Making It Last

Published online: Jan 22, 2022 Articles, New Products, Potato Equipment
Viewed 472 time(s)
This article appears in the January 2022 issue of Potato Grower.

Farmer Eric Ebelhar of Pasture Belt Farms in Owensboro, Kentucky, applies a chemical treatment to his standing crops several times a season. However, serious chemical buildup and corrosion occurred on the sprayer booms.

Essential farm equipment is at risk from destructive corrosion, which causes costly downtime, repair or replacement due to ever-present accelerators like irrigation, chemical treatments and fertilizers. Exposure to humidity, condensation and other environmental contaminants can further the corrosion on tractors, planters, sprayers and harvesters, weakening equipment and leaving it prone to breakage and “freezing in place.”

Ebelhar did not want to damage his crops, so he searched for a way to keep his equipment clean.

“We run one of our units as a front boom sprayer,” he says. “Because we drive through the spray, corrosion from chemical buildup was a constant battle. Even though we used hot water pressure washers, after a whole day of washing and scrubbing, we still did not always get it off, so this corrosion degraded our equipment.”

StrikeHold lubricates and protects spray equipment dispensing liquid fertilizer, which can be quite corrosive.

Fortunately, Ebelhar discovered StrikeHold, a unique compound that works as an anti-corrosion protectant, lubricant and cleaner. This compound was originally developed to preserve, maintain and lubricate U.S. military weapons and heavy equipment for use in some of the harshest working conditions in the world. As an anti-corrosive protectant, StrikeHold applies wet and dries in place. A shield-like film coating protects equipment against the effects of moisture and corrosion—even against saltwater—while repelling sand, dirt and dust.

Farmers such as Ebelhar—who manages 6,000 acres of corn and soybeans and also runs a commercial chemical application business that treats other farmers’ crops—have found the rust-inhibiting compound to be surprisingly effective at preventing corrosion in a wide range of agricultural equipment. According to Ebelhar, when Pasture Belt Farms turned to StrikeHold, he found it to be an easy method of preventing such accelerated corrosion while extending equipment longevity.

“StrikeHold seems to have stopped any corrosion on our front boom unit,” he says. “Using a normal-pressure garden hose and cold water, we are now able to wash off any buildup that previously required high pressure and hot water.”

This coming year, Pasture Belt Farms will apply it on its corn planters to combat corrosive buildup, since the farm runs a large amount of liquid fertilizer and nitrogen through the planters.

“Anywhere liquid fertilizer is run through irrigators or spray equipment, it would be very helpful, because fertilizer is quite corrosive,” says Ebelhar. “It could both lubricate and provide a protective coat, so would be valuable in dry spreading equipment too. Usually, such equipment has to be washed almost daily to prevent corrosion and premature replacement.”

The anti-corrosive protectant can also help to waterproof and dry out wet electrical gear and other water-sensitive parts, and will actually improve electrical performance by cleaning and protecting contacts and internal parts, including circuitry and connections. Because of this capability and its dielectric properties (ability to transmit electric force without conduction) to 40,000 volts, it can help keep motors, electronics, circuit boards, lighting, wiring, connectors and switches working properly.

As farm equipment incorporates more advanced electronics and technology, Ebelhar suggests the protectant can help to promote reliability and longevity here as well.

“We have electric solenoids on every single sprayer nozzle,” he says. “Just on the boom itself, there are 97 electric solenoids. This has helped to keep all those functional, minimizing downtime. Most ag equipment today utilizes processors, sensors, wire harnesses, and other electronics, so its use could help to protect from moisture and water intrusion during the season or post-season.”

According to Ebelhar, preventing such corrosive buildup has helped to make Pasture Belt Farms more efficient.

“With the labor savings in preventive cleaning and maintenance alone, StrikeHold more than paid for itself the first time it saved us some downtime due to corrosion buildup,” Ebelhar says. “Just in labor and time, we have probably saved about $500 this year so far.”

He also expects a notable return in extended equipment life.

“Long-term, we are expecting much less downtime and fewer repairs,” he says. “Using regular water pressure instead of high pressure is also easier on electronics, so the equipment is bound to last longer.”

Fast-acting StrikeHold penetrates metal parts that have become frozen or encrusted to get them working again. It contains synthetic-based additives that act like microscopic ball bearings to reduce friction. Ebelhar anticipates notable benefits from its use as a lubricant.

“As a lubricant, protectant and cleaner, it can help keep our combines in good working order, with all their moving parts, pulleys, belts and drive chains,” he says. “It could be useful on everything from planters to combines for harvesting, tractors for pulling or plowing, and dump trucks for hauling fertilizer.”

 

Exposure to humidity, condensation and environmental contaminants can further the corrosion on tractors and other heavy equipment, weakening and leaving it prone to breakage and “freezing in place.”

To learn more about StrikeHold lubricant, call (866) 331-0572 or visit www.strikehold.com/pages/agriculture.