The Case IH Module Express cotton picker automatically forms the half-length modules with minimal action on the part of the operator. The operator’s manual provided by the manufacturer provides guidance on the operation of the module forming system. Each operator should read, understand and follow those instructions.
The primary activity for the operator regarding the module is to decide when to unload it. The instrument console provides an indicator of the size of the module being formed as a percentage of the recommended size. In most cases, the module size will not be 100 percent of recommended size as the picker reaches the turn row. For this reason, the operator must decide to unload a less than full-sized module, or to continue picking and have to deadhead back to the turn row when the module is complete. These decisions can have a significant influence on the operating efficiency of the harvester. For more information on unloading half-size modules, see “The Spindle Type Cotton Harvester” publication.
When the modules are unloaded, typically on a turn-row, they must be staged properly so that they can be picked up by a module truck. While some operators have tried to stage two modules together, this often means driving to the location of a previously unloaded module. Staging together is not a requirement, as module truck drivers can pick up a single half-length module, drive to the next module and pick it up as well. These separate actions require a higher level of skill on the part of the module truck driver, and so problems with module damage can occur with inexperienced drivers. The following practices are recommended when unloading and preparing modules for transport:
The half-length modules require a 16-footlong cover similar to conventional covers in manufacture. Multiple manufacturers offer 16-foot-long covers, and the considerations for selection between those offerings are similar to those of conventional module covers. Some individuals have tried to place two 16-foot modules end to end and use a 32-foot cover over both, but this practice is discouraged, as it often will tear the large cover when the two modules shift independently.
The practices used for installing conventional covers are also appropriate for the half-length modules. Because of the smaller size, and often shorter modules, half-length covers are easier to apply. Because of the auger mechanism used in the compression chamber of the Module Express picker, the half-length modules have a tendency to have depressions along the length of the module that can collect water during storage. To minimize the potential for water collection, it is important to pull the cover down over the module as much as possible. A loose top surface is more likely to collect water that could potentially penetrate into the seed cotton.