Protecting your investment through routine maintenance
Farm equipment such as tractors, plows, sprayers and other machinery represent a large but necessary financial investment. It is in a producer’s best interest to keep this equipment running smoothly and safely for as long as possible.
The first step towards extending the life of farm machinery is to understand how it works. This is where owner and operator manuals can come in handy. Even if a producer is familiar with machinery, purchasing an updated model of a tractor or other piece of equipment can present new options and challenges. Taking time to peruse the manual can help identify potential pitfalls before they happen.
Routine maintenance is what keeps farm equipment going strong.
Most tractors require maintenance per number of hours in use. The manual will indicate what type of maintenance needs carried out when for components such as electrical systems, filters, tires, fluids, etc.
Keeping a record of the maintenance performed will not only keep a producer organized, but will also come in handy if the piece of equipment is ever sold or in the event that a warranty needs cashed in on a part.
Farm equipment, especially tractors, require a great deal of lubricant to run properly. Producers will want to ensure they are using the right type of grease or oil on the right component; again, the manual will provide this information. Establishing a regular lubrication schedule will help keep equipment out in the field where it belongs instead of in the shop.
Mark Hanshaw, truck and trailer sales associate with Wood Motor Company, explained there are several diesel fuel additives on the market that have a lubricant component.
This can be helpful to run through the tank if a producer is using newer diesel fuel containing less sulfur.
Whatever product a producer opts to use, Hanshaw said fuel additives “are always money well invested.”
The quality of fuel used will impact the longevity of equipment, so make sure it’s good. Hanshaw advised producers to purchase high-quality diesel fuel from well-know and reputable fuel stations for their valuable equipment.
Keeping farm equipment under cover will help extend its life. This will prevent unnecessary wear and tear from being exposed to the elements, which can cause premature rust and other issues. Having a rodent management plan to keep them out of the shop can prevent costly damage to expensive equipment.
Winterizing equipment will keep it going through the hardest months of the year. This can be accomplished by making any needed repairs, replacing filters, running fuel treatment through the tank and even purchasing a heater core for a diesel engine block.
For equipment such as sprayers, producers will want to clean and flush the system before placing it under cover for the winter.