Operate a Combine Harvester

A combine harvester is a versatile agriculture machine engineered to harvest a variety of grains including wheat, corn, soybeans, and other similar farm crops. Combine harvesters have greatly increased the productivity and cost savings for today's farmers. Combines enable farmers to harvest large areas of land quickly and efficiently. The machine is fitted with detachable headers designed for specific crops. The combine drives through a field of crops, cutting, threshing, and cleaning the grain. The grain is collected inside an internal tank, which is then periodically emptied into carts pulled by tractors. [1]


  1. Prepare the combine for use.
    • Since a combine harvester is typically used only a few times per year, clean and examine it well before each use. Make sure that the chains and bearing on the harvester are greased and the belts are tightened before attempting to use the machine.
    • In addition, check the engine, battery and fluid levels before use. Both the engine and the battery should be relatively cool for best results. Make sure that all of the protective glass and safety shields in the operating cabin of the harvester are secure and that a fire extinguisher is present before using the machine.
  2. Examine the field.
    • Field conditions are important when operating your combine harvester. Make sure that the product you plan to harvest is dry and free from moisture, as this can lead to the development of mold. Also, check for any rocks, branches, or other obstacles which may be currently in the field being harvested. If it is a field which is relatively new to you, you may want to walk over it before using the harvester, surveying the slope and lay of the ground.
    • Avoid operating the machine after strong rain, or excessively soggy/wet conditions.
  3. Position the combine in the field.
    • Typically, combine harvesters are transferred to the fields that they will be used in on a moving trailer. This is particularly true if the combine is a "group" machine, and is used by a number of farmers in the area.
  4. Begin the harvesting process.
    • Like most vehicles, you typically turn on a combine harvester with the turn of a switch. When harvesting, make sure that the header (or the front) of the combine harvester is positioned properly. Be prepared to turn the steering wheel quickly in the event that a large obstacle which was previously unidentified appears in your pathway. Finally, keep an eye on the flow of grain as it flows from the harvester to the grain hopper, where it is stored.
  5. Transfer the grain from the hopper to the grain truck.
    • Once the grain hopper appears to become full, you will need to empty it into a waiting truck. In very large harvests, an empty grain truck often drives alongside a combine harvester for ease when emptying the hopper.
  6. Store the combine harvester.
    • When all of the harvesting is done, you should examine the machine for signs of wear and tear. Perform any necessary repairs to the combine harvester on the day that you notice them while they are still on your mind. If the machine appears to be in good shape, store it in a machine shed or another secure facility.

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