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Maintaining Your Food Plot Equipment

Todd Amenrud

ferminator food plot equipment

The more intricate an implement, the greater possibility for more tribulations…that is, unless you perform proper periodic maintenance. Keeping your equipment in tip-top shape means it works better and lasts longer.  Many gamekeepers would agree that one of the most versatile, useful implements is a Firminator because of its unique one-pass planting capability. There are 162 individual parts and 416 individual pieces of hardware (nuts, bolts and washer) that go into making a Firminator.

William Yancy, Sales Manager for Firminator, says that no unit has ever been returned for a craftsmanship issue. The company, Ranews Outdoor Equipment, builds about eight units per week.

“The most common failure we see is the ‘seed handle’ sticking,” said Yancy. “This is normally caused because seed gets left in the unit or it’s being stored outside, uncovered. If operators will make sure the seed hopper is empty and spray the seed cups with a Teflon or graphite lubricant, this will not happen. We recommend vacuuming out the seed box and lubricating the cups after every use. This simple process would eliminate 90 percent of the calls we get for this issue.”

There are only three bearings that can be greased on the Firminator. There is one on the seed cup shaft and one on either end of the cultipacker shaft. Yancy recommends that users place about three shots of grease in the fittings following every 10-12 hours of use. Never pump grease until you see it coming out, that will blow out the bearing seal. That’s good advice no matter what you’re greasing.

“When ready to store the unit after planting season, use an air hose to blow out all the dust and debris – then lube the chain with a high-quality chain lube,” Yancy said.

No matter whether it’s a disk, seeder, a simple unit like a cultipacker, or an implement like the Firminator that combines all three, simple maintenance will save you time and money in the long run.

For more GameKeeper tips, read “Food Plot Preparation: Plan Ahead For Success.” Late July and August can be a very busy month for wildlife management chores. Dove season is right around the corner as well as archery season for deer. Formulating a plan this time of year on what, when, and where you are going to plant cool season plots can save time and frustration. Waiting until the very last minute and scrambling to find seed, equipment or fertilizer can be a major headache.

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