Each and every piece of farm equipment is an important, and oftentimes expensive, investment that's built to last if cared for properly. As farmers, we know the value of well-maintained and durable machinery, without which our business would suffer. For many farmers, keeping a tractor or plow in good shape is just as important as a good harvest. But, in order to get the best use out of your machinery, it's crucial to take the proper steps to maintain and clean all farming equipment on a regular basis.
Depending on the type of farm you have and the type of equipment you use, you may already have a maintenance system in place. If you're looking for confirmation that you're maintaining your machinery in the best way possible or seeking out some tips for general upkeep, refer to this list of the 5 best ways to improve your tractor maintenance process:
Every. Single. Day: Some aspects of maintenance are necessary only annually or biannually, but other steps should be practiced on a daily basis. This includes keeping your equipment in a safe place, in a garage or barn where it will be kept from harmful weather. Keep an eye on the temperature of your engine whenever your tractor is in use to make sure it's not overheating.
Make a Checklist: Even the most experienced farmer might occasionally miss a step, so it's important to make a list of the necessary cleaning and maintenance procedures. This checklist should be performed daily and include such procedures as checking tire inflation of tractors, counting all tools and returning them to their designated space, checking coolant and oil, and ensuring no belts have come loose.
Service Records: Whenever your machinery needs professional servicing, either for repairs or just a standard checkup, make sure you keep detailed records of what procedure was done and who did it. That way you can reference these documents in the future should the equipment need further servicing or should you plan to sell it.
Changing Seasons: When your tractor comes out in the spring for the first time, give it some time to adjust. The cold and extended period of non-use can make it a little slow to start off with. While it's waking up from its winter hibernation, check the tires, steering gear, clutch and brakes, electrical system, transmission, and hydraulics.
Imagine It's a Ferrari: A tractor is a prized possession for any farmer so you must treat it as such. Most Ferrari owners aren't going to take their "baby" through a local car wash; they are going to take the time to carefully clean the car to ensure the best and most intricate care is being given. The same should be true for your shiny green and yellow tractor.
We hope you will consider these helpful and essential ways for improving your tractor maintenance practices. If you already feel confident in your current maintenance, we encourage you to share your wisdom with other farmers. As members of the agriculture community, it's important to work as a team to provide the best and safest product for the consumer and our own families.