A few months ago,Grainews asked its readers to let the Motor Safety Association know if you had any clever ideas for safely removing combine concaves. Thanks to your great responses from across the three Prairie provinces, MSA put together a nifty, back-saving solution to this tough job. Some of the comments received were, “the concaves are too large and heavy” or “grain producers are getting older and are not as strong or agile as they used to be.”
Some suggestions received are to use a winch on the end of a wheeled picker crane to remove and reinstall the concave, or to purchase smaller concaves from a jobber supplier which are half the weight as they supply them in long narrow strips. For example on a combine that requires three full-size concaves you would use six of the half-size concaves.
After considering all the suggestions MSA purchased a 12-volt winch and mounted it on the left-hand flooring platform on a combine. Next, a wiring harness was run to the battery and a swivelling snatch block was mounted overhead.
We then hooked the winch cable to the concave and successfully removed and reinstalled the concave (below, left). The process was very quick, efficient and inexpensive. It abolished the risk of a back injury by eliminating the hazard of an awkward lift or overreach to remove or reinstall the concaves.
With the addition of a snatch block one could utilize an ATV equipped with a winch to remove and reinstall the concaves. Simply drive the ATV beside the combine and utilize the ATV winch. This saves you from having to purchase a separate winch. This is useful in a field or at the farm as most grain producers have an ATV with a winch. MSA recommends anyone attempting either process to utilize CSA-approved materials and load-rated hardware/ rigging.
MSA is very grateful for the cooperation we received from agricultural equipment dealers, technicians and grain producers. When we first started asking people what can be done to correct this problem the answer was, “there is no other way to do this.” With co-operation and believing in discovering a solution it is possible to implement prevention methods to remove the chance of a back injury.
For further followup to this story and to view Motor Safety Association’s other case studies please visit: www.motorsafety.ca.
TheMotorSafetyAssociation(MSA)is anon-government,non-profitorganization fundedthroughanoperationalagreement withtheWorkers’CompensationBoard. Backinjuriesareconsideredoneofthe nation’sbiggestsafetychallenges,and accountforapproximatelyoneinfive workplaceinjuries.