It’s time to start preparing your equipment for spring and summer use. Know what is important and how to take care of issues prior to the first spring use. Routine spring maintenance will keep your equipment running.
Gary Busselman has been the Service Manager for eight years for S & H Farm Supply at their Lockwood, Mo., branch, which is the hub of their four branch operations. Gary told Ozarks Farm & Neighbor it is best to address any previously known issues first. Check to see if they have gotten worse and now need to be taken care of.
Busselman said to look at all of your liquids with regard to condensation. “Condensation sits on oil. Fresh oil and filters is a good process. Flushing of antifreeze is also a good idea. It’s also wise to put a conditioner in there to help prevent corrosion on the cylinder walls.”
Busselman suggested that we proceed to clean out the A/C condenser. He mentioned that there is also an evaporator on top of the cab that needs blown out with air to make sure it is free from dirt, dust and debris.
Busselman continued, “check the air pressure on the tires because of the change in weather the pressure will fluctuate. Make sure the operation of the transmission is smooth. Check the calibration of the transmission as well.”
Busselman said, “With regard to the hydraulics, you will need to change filters and check for condensation in the fluids. Be sure to change fluids if you find any excess condensation.”
“Making sure all of the emergency flasher lights or SMV signs are all properly installed and visible. If any of the flasher lights or lights are not working properly, it may be a sign of rodent damage to the electrical system.”
Busselman emphasized the need to check for rodent damage and nests. “Look for visible signs such as nests in the wiring. Make sure electrical components are working. Up underneath the cab is a common area for nests.”  
Busselman concluded with a final admonishment to check those belts to make sure they haven’t stretched with the previous years’ use.
Busselman stressed the benefits of preventative maintenance and not being “down” at the wrong time.
Alex Patton at Springdale Tractor, in Springdale, Ark., suggested produceres to park their tractor on a flat place with the engine shut off, parking brake on and chock the wheels. Alex mentioned it’s a good idea to check where the tractor was stored for any visible water or oil leaks.
Additionally, Patton suggested checking lug bolts to ensure they are tight. Also, check the brakes to be sure they are working properly.
Patton recommended to grease all pins on the loader as well and check all other areas that might need grease.
Patton said to check belts for cuts or dry rot and also check the condition of the seat belt. While in the operator seat, check the throttle pedal, brake pedal and clutch pedal to make sure are all operating correctly. Then check the parking brake, steering wheel and look at performance of meters and gauges on the dashboard. Patton concluded, “taking a close look at all of this early gives you a good chance at having a worry free spring work out.”


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