2019 UPS Rate Changes

Another new year brings another shipping cost increase.

Compared to the 2017 UPS domestic rates (2 years ago), we expect an average of 11% increase for packages under 70lbs. For packages 70lbs and up, the increase will be around 25%. Larger packages will also see new surcharges, which will affect some mufflers and radiators. Similar or identical increases are seen for shipping to Canada.

Fuel surcharges are dropping, but are still higher than a few years ago, and are also calculated at a higher rate. For example, the cost of diesel in September 2016 resulted in a 5% ground package surcharge, that same cost would now result in a 6% surcharge. The current surcharge is 7.25%. Air shipment fuel surcharges are 30% lower than in October 2018, resulting in a 2.5% relative drop in air shipment costs.

We estimate the actual average year over year increase to be about 10% relative to 2018 rates. FedEx has a similar rate increase that is effective in a few days. The next Priority Mail International rate increase will be on the January 27th 2019 and be around 4%, this will only affect international shipments.

Holiday 2018 Hours

Thanksgiving: We will be closed starting 6pm on Wednesday the 21st, and will reopen for business on Monday the 26th.

Christmas: We will be closed starting 5pm on Monday the 24th, and will reopen for business on Wednesday the 26th. There is no package pickup on the 24th.

New Years: We will be closed starting at 6pm on Monday the 31st, and will reopen for business on Wednesday the 2nd. There is no package pickup on the 31st.

How to store your combine over winter

An hour or two spent preparing your combine for storage can save a lot of headaches and extra expense next summer.

Clean the combine to stop damage and rodents

The first step is to clean the combine.

The two best tools for cleaning combines are a pressure washer and compressed air. If you don’t have compressed air, a leaf blower will work.

This is a messy job, but is important because:

1. It helps make combines less attractive to rats and mice

2. It reduces the chance of corrosion

3. Dirt and crop debris, especially in the engine compartments, is one of the biggest causes of combine fires.

First, clean any crop residue and debris with the air compressor. Compressed air is better than a pressure washer as it cleans without leaving moisture in the combine. Make sure you clean dirt from around any bearings and any crop remains that wrap around the shafts during harvest.

Other areas that are sometimes missed are the grain tank and pan, and the engine compartment. Dirt and crop remains in the engine compartment are important to clean. They can be a fire hazard when you start the harvest next season. This is one of the biggest causes of combine fires.

You may need to use the pressure washe. Be careful not to pressure wash any electrical connectors, or any shaft seals and bearings.

While you have the shields off for cleaning, it’s a good time to look for any damaged or worn parts that need repairing.

Wear, tear and repairs

Combines get used extensively for a short time of the year – this means that they are more likely to have worn or damaged parts.

If you don’t have the time to make repairs on the combine until the quieter months, there’s one thing you should do:

Take the time to make a note of all the things you need to fix or repair on the combine. Six months later, there’s a good chance you or your mechanic will have forgotten them.

How to prepare a combine for storage?

  • Fuel Tank – To prevent water in the fuel injection system component system, fill the fuel tank with fuel over winter. This stops condensation in the tank. Remember to drain the water separator before use.
  • Battery – Remove battery and store somewhere warm and dry.
  • Belts – Loosening belt tension slightly. Don’t remove the tension as this will case the belt to shrink – this causes headaches next season.
  • Radiator – If you have added water to your radiator, remember to replace it with coolant.
  • Oils – Do a service check and change fluids if required. Old oil can lead to corrosion while in storage, so it is better to make the oil change before winter.
  • Engine – When a machine is in storage for a long time, some people recommend sealing exhaust and breather outlets with masking tape. This will help stop condensation caused by changes in temperature. Condensation in the engine can lead to rust. Remember to remove the tape when you start the engine.
  • Bearings – After you have greased and lubricated, run the combine for 15-20 minutes to distribute the grease inside the bearings.
  • Tyres – Combine tyres can be expensive to replace, so it’s worth making sure these you store these correctly.

We would recommend putting the combine up on blocks to get the tyres off the ground. This is particularly important if the area is damp.

Tyre pressures should be set at the normal pressure and are best kept out of sunlight. Oil or grease on the tyres will damage them so make sure to clean this off.

How to keep rats and mice out of a combine.

If you’ve ever gone to start your combine and found that rats or mice have spent the winter months making a home in it or (worse yet) a meal out of the wiring, then you will understand how frustrating that can be.

We have put together a list – we haven’t tried them all, but hopefully they will give you a few ideas:

1. Electronic repellents – these are sonic or ultrasonic devices that emit a high pitched sound. This is said to deter mice and rats.

2. Baits and traps – These can be effective. Traps can be a lot of work emptying and resetting them. Bait and poison is a good option, the downside is that rodents will find a hidden spot to curl up and die. Dead rats and mice do not smell pleasant.

3. Cats – A farm cat or even a Jack Russell Terrier will be effective rodent killers.

4. Moth balls – This is said to keep mice away, but won’t make them leave if they are already there. It may be worth paying a little extra to go for scented moth balls, as the smell will be quite strong in the cab.

5. Other solutions – There are many other methods used such as Irish Spring soap, homemade traps, mixtures of old diesel and oil, powdered or granular sulphur.

10 Tips To Cut Combine Breakdowns

Here are 10 common-sense steps that most farmers can take to avoid combine breakdowns, according to Potter and two agricultural Extension machinery specialists:

1 Start with a preseason inspection. “To avoid breakdowns, farmers need to give their combines a rigorous preseason inspection,” says Dan Ess, Purdue University Extension ag engineer. “That’s number one. The obvious places to check are chains, belts and bearings.”

2 Review your operator’s manual. “Check your manual for the appropriate settings for rotor or cylinder speed, concave clearance and fan speed,” advises Mark Hanna, Iowa State University Extension ag engineer. “Also check settings for screens in the cleaning shoe.”

3 Inspect and clean daily. “Keep bearing surfaces clean of dust and crop residue,” says Hanna. “Check for leaks of pressurized oil lines such as those to the turbo charger.”

4 Use air, not water. High-pressure air is the preferred cleaning tool for most combine components. “Be careful if using high pressure water to clean the combine, even on the outside of the machine,” warns Hanna. “Water forced into interior surfaces can cause rust.”

5 Pre-scout fields. Farmers should pre-scout fields for crop size, ear size and weed patches, and be ready to make adjustments as needed, says Hanna. For example, the stripper bar settings on the corn head should have about a 1¼-in. gap for normal settings. For smaller-sized ears, he says that gap should be narrowed.

6 Adjust to field conditions. “As the crop dries down in the heat of the day, fine-tuning can help,” says Potter. “Each time you change to a different corn or soybean variety, check to see if you need to make some adjustments.”

7 Check grain quality. “If the combine isn’t giving you good quality grain, you might have a worn grain elevator chain,” says Potter. “If the elevator chain is damaging grain, it could lead to other breakdowns.” Feeder house adjustments might also be needed, he adds, if grain quality is deteriorating.

8 Be prepared. Keep a cell phone with you or have some other way to quickly call for help if you need it, recommends Hanna. He also advises having two ABC-type fire extinguishers available on the combine. A 5-lb. model should be in the cab and a 15- to 20-lb. model should be mounted at ground level. Having a small shovel on board the combine can also come in handy to quickly throw dirt on flames.

9 Don’t delay repairs. “If you know some things aren’t working right, get them worked on right away before you forget,” advises Potter. “Proper maintenance starts right at the end of the season before you put the machine away.”

10 Clean before storing. Prior to placing a combine in storage for the winter, farmers should clean and remove the battery and place it in a heated storage area where it won’t freeze, says Hanna. He also advises giving the combine a good, overall cleaning.

“Also before harvest, make sure the skid plates under the grain platform are clean, and check that they give you a full range of movement,” says Hanna. “Clean under the corn snouts on the corn head and check and clean the gathering chains. Also clean any accumulated debris on the cooling fins on the radiator, the hydraulic oil cooler and the air conditioner condenser.”

Inspect Combine Components Before Harvest

To help in efforts to clean and adjust your combine prior to harvest, Mark Hanna, Iowa State University Extension ag engineer, has developed a preseason combine component checklist.

You may also want to keep and expand on the following checklist as you review your operator’s manual prior to harvest:

  • Air conditioner (clean cooling fins, check the drain tube for plugs)
  • Auger spirals (look for worn or bent flighting on cross augers and unloading augers)
  • Battery (check, clean)
  • Bearings (check wear, condition)
  • Cleaning shoe (clean, adjust, lubricate as needed)
  • Corn head (check condition of ear savers)
  • Cutter bar (check flexibility and movement)
  • Cylinder or rotor rasp bars (check manual for allowable wear)
  • Drive belts (check for tension, look for excessive wear and cracks)
  • Feeder house (adjust setting of lower drum, inspect sheet metal on underside for holes, cracks or worn or thin material, and replace if needed)
  • Filters (replace)
  • Fluid levels for engine oil, coolant, hydraulic fluid and gear case oil (check both condition and amount)
  • Gathering chains (clean, check tension and condition)
  • Grain bins (clean with a shop vacuum)
  • Grain platform (check knife sharpness and wear, examine for full back-and-forth cut)
  • Lights (clean, replace bulbs)
  • Reflector tape (clean and/or replace)
  • Rubber paddles on grain elevator (check for wear /condition)
  • Skid plates under grain platform (check for full range of movement)
  • Stripper bar (check settings)
  • Slip clutch (check operation and bolt condition — look for broken or sheared bolts)
  • Tires (check air pressure, tread wear and condition).

How You Can Market Your Farm And Increase Sales

Increase Sales Direct From The Farm

Items can be easily sold by setting up a basic stand or even selling from the yard or from inside a barn. This reduces the need to carry produce to another location and allows for more relaxed conversations with customers. Some farmers are even able to work on an honor system by simply putting the produce out for customers to get and allowing them to put the money into a money box. The customer would simply write down on the clipboard what items that they took and then they would simply put the cash into the box.

Selling From Farmers Market

Many people love shopping at the Farmers Market. They often will be open weekly but some are only open seasonally. It’s becoming more common for farmers markets to be inside a building so that they can be open year-round. They may reduce hours during off-seasons and increase them during busy seasons.

It’s pretty common for farmers to be able to find multiple farmers markets within a 40 or 50-mile radius of the farm. This allows farmers to sell at the different farmer’s markets on the different days of the week that each is opened. Most farmer markets are very reasonably priced for farmers to set up a stand. Many farmers markets will simply have a farmer pay a fee for the season and some may charge a percentage of each sale.

Depending on the farmers market and their situation you may need a table and in some cases a canopy. In other situations, it might call for a truck or trailer as you will need something to bring your goods to the farmer’s market in. You may have to invest some personal time or have a farmhand to pack everything that’s needed and then to set up at the farmers market and someone will need to be there to handle the sales and transactions.

Sell Direct To Restaurants

Many farmers don’t think of this idea but when you approach a restaurant directly you can develop a relationship with them and especially any chef or restaurant manager and discover which produce items that they need on a regular basis and other items that they may only need occasionally. Many chefs and restaurant owners like using local produce that’s super fresh and you can probably offer them a discount and still come out with a good profit margin. If you have a particular item that’s hard to get elsewhere, you may find that the shop or restaurant owner is willing to pay a pretty fair amount for that exclusive item.

Try The Internet

The internet is an opportunity to sell almost anything and that includes items from your farm. More and more people are seeking out the things they want online and if you can advertise to them and let them know that you have produce and other farm items that they can buy over the internet, then they’ll be happy to do so. You can set up a Facebook page or website or even a Twitter account and people will begin to find you.

Make sure that you have all the needed information for your farm and the different things that you sell. If someone emails you, you should answer swiftly and you should regularly post any type of interesting information or news regarding your farm. The post should not be just about selling stuff but also interesting things that attract viewers to your web properties. Any items that can be shipped can be sold directly online.

Look For Ways To Increase Google Reviews

Because you have a local business you can sign up for a ‘Google My Business’ account and people will find you that way.

Use PPC With Google Adwords

If you have any budget at all for marketing you might consider using some of it for pay per click advertising on the Google Network. You can choose the specific keywords that you think your customers are searching for online to help bring in more visitors to your web properties and help them to get familiar with your farm and what you sell. Depending on the keywords that you advertise, you could be looking at $0.50 to a dollar per click or more. For this reason, it does require a budget and some management skills.

Build And Optimize A Mailing List

It’s important not to leave your customers in the dark when they’re researching your farm on the internet. Make sure that your page clearly indicates the names of staff and products and who works on the farm and even the type of growing practices that you use. The better you get at answering your prospects questions before those questions come up, the more customers that you’ll attract.

Always Update Your Website Regularly

Customers want to know that you’re there and so they look for clues to help them understand that the information their reading is up to date. If someone looks and sees it’s been months or years since the website has been updated then they feel that nobody cares about this web page and therefore they are not going to care about the farm.

Give The Customer Several Ways To Communicate With You

When you run a local farm you should be able to give your customers an email address along with a physical address and a phone number that they can call you on. If you use any type of social networks such as Twitter, or Facebook then you should also let your customers know about those pages as well.

Let Local Media Know About Your Farm

Local media are always looking for special stories to tell to the readers. Make an effort to reach out to reporters and let them know that you’re available for interviews and for quotes and for informing them about any type of agricultural stories happening in the area. You can even create your own stories based on the things that you’re doing on your farm. If you grow new types of vegetables or you have a giant pumpkin, these are all things that can be used as a story for the media.

Use The Post Office System

Put together a postcard mailing to go out to every address within a 20-mile radius of your farm.

Utilize Local Organizations

Often communities will have organizations such as the Lions Club and almost all of them will have a Chamber Of Commerce and these are places where you can meet people who have influence in your area and it’s a great opportunity for you to get the name of your farm out to others. Very often if you join something like the Chamber of Commerce they will then list you as a member and some people will find you that way.

Have Yourself Listed On Localharvest.org

Local Harvest is the most important listing of CSA Farms in the entire country. You will definitely want to have yourself in their database and you’ll want to keep your listing updated every year.

Churches

Churches have a built-in interest in serving their community and if you can provide healthy, homegrown produce and other farm items then many churches will be glad to allow you some space and even a public voice to their congregation. Any customers that you already have you can ask them if they’re a member of a church and then that may open the door to you being able to get better known by all the members of the church.

Wellness Centers, Gyms, And Even Yoga Studios Are Potential Clients

Gyms and wellness centers all have a mailing list and many of them have connections on social media as well as having a physical location and customers that are health conscious. If you have fresh produce and other farm items then this is something they may well be interested in. You might even consider giving the facilities a special discount to their customers and coupons that they may be able to set up in a small display stand on the desk.

Established A Yelp Listing Online

Any ‘foodie’ in your area is likely to look on Yelp to see what businesses are available for them.

Use Facebook Advertising And Boosted Posts

Just like with Google, Facebook has opportunities for pay per click advertising to boost a post and Facebook is still fairly inexpensive in the cost of getting the word out.

Sell To Chefs

Chefs are always looking for ways to make their meals better. Using the freshest produce and other farm items is one of the best ways for them to do that. By approaching professional chefs at the restaurants where they work and developing a relationship with them is a great way to start selling directly to them.

In some cases when the produce is exceptional, the chef may be willing to place the name of your farm on the menu as an enticement to the local clientele.

Workplaces

Companies want their employees to be healthy and happy and they like the convenience of having ways to offer them something special especially if it doesn’t cause them any inconvenience. If you can bring fresh produce to the workplace and allow company employees to benefit from buying the fresh produce directly without any hassles, then many companies might welcome this. Begin by simply reaching out to any businesses that you think would have an interest.

It takes a bit of courage to get started with this but once you do you’ll see that it’s really not that difficult. Many people enjoy helping so even if you approach someone who’s not a good candidate they might know a company or person that is. In that case, if you build a relationship with them they’ll be glad to introduce you to a more appropriate company.

List Of Everyone’s Mailing Address In The Neighborhood

There are a lot of organizations that advocate for a neighborhood and often this can be a perfect fit for your farm message. Simply Google your neighborhood organizations and then contact key personnel within those organizations. Ask if they have a way that you could send your information to their list of email subscribers.

Use Your Farmer Markets Stand For Advertising

You should go to a printer and have them make you informational sheets that tell what types of products that you have and other farm items along with your farming practices and so on. You can use these to help you start a conversation with potential customers and to market to people and businesses. You should start gathering email addresses of those that agree to allow you to email them with specials and other important information that you might have.

Billboards At Coffee Shops

Often coffee shops and other similar places have Community Billboards where they allow anyone to post important information to the community that they might be interested in. This is a very classic method of advertising but it still works great. You may even have friends and family or even teenagers who would be glad to go around town posting these on all the community boards.

5 Combine Harvester Tips For A Strong Finish To The Harvest

The harvest season places huge demands on harvesting equipment. Poor performance and unexpected breakdowns of equipment can have a significant impact on yields. As every minute in the field is critical during the harvest season, it is important to ensure combine machines are in good repair and properly maintained to avoid downtime for repairs. As the end of the fall harvest approaches, take a look at the combine maintenance tips below to ensure that not one day of harvesting will be wasted performing repairs in the workshop.

1. Understand and Inspect Your Combine Machine

Inspecting your machinery prior to as well as during the harvesting season will minimize the risk of breakdowns. Performing thorough checks prior to subjecting the machine to rigorous work in the field will prevent lost time while taking care of mechanical problems that could have been avoided.

Understanding the ins and outs of how your combine harvesting machine works are essential in order to effectively evaluate the health or otherwise of the machine. It pays to study the operator’s manual to familiarize yourself with the appropriate settings and maintenance tasks required to keep the machine working smoothly without a hitch.

2. Pre-Scout and Adjustment to Field Conditions

Carefully scan the combine for any potential problems or obstructions that could affect the machine’s performance before putting it to work.

Adjust the settings for the size and types of grain being harvested. For example, stripper bar settings for corn heads should be set according to ear size.

3. Be Prepared for On-the-Spot Repairs

Preparing for the worst case scenario may save you precious time during the last days of harvesting. Pack an emergency toolkit for minor repairs that can be done immediately and quickly. Always have a fully-charged mobile phone on hand to call for assistance in case of a serious breakdown. Neglecting to repair a problem immediately will lead to major problems in the future.

4. Perform Regular Service Checks

Check the engine oil levels, hydraulic oil levels, fuel filter condition, and air cleaner condition before sending your combine out into the fields for a rigorous week’s work. After checking these points, grease all parts of the combine according to the owner’s manual. These routine checks will ensure that your combine and all its parts are well-oiled and running smoothly.

5. Prepare the Combine for Winter Storage

After the harvest season, the combine should be prepared for winter storage. Use a high-pressure air cleaner to clean the machine thoroughly inside and out. Avoid using water as it could cause rust in the interior spaces of the combine. Inspect running parts like bearings, fan belts, and other parts that may need replacing while the machine is running. If a problem is detected, contact dealers to order replacement parts or have the combine repaired by a mechanic.

If you follow the above combine maintenance tips you will not only have a good end to this season’s harvest but also ensure that the combine will be ready to perform optimally at the next harvest. Keeping your combine harvester well-maintained and healthy will allow you to get the most out of your harvesting time with minimum risks of unexpected issues and breakdowns.

Tractor Maintenance Tips That You Should Not Overlook This Summer

Summer is usually the best season to prepare equipment for most farmers. This includes tractor maintenance, from the smallest of things such as routine inspections to major repairs as well as replacements. Regardless of the number of times you intend to use the machine during the season, it’s still important to ensure that all the parts are functioning optimally for both efficient and safe operation.

Regular wear and tear will occur, fluids will seep into the engine, and the batteries might corrode with time. As such, it is imperative that you do not overlook these aspects when conducting maintenance as you want to plan for a smooth harvest season properly.

That being said, here are a few tractor maintenance tips to keep in mind:

Check and Clean the Battery

When a tractor sits around idle for an extended period, the battery tends to discharge, and this can overwork the alternator and in severe cases, lead to engine failure. If the battery is low, you should recharge it with a high powered charger. Additionally, you should check the electrical connections for corrosion, fractures or grease residue and clean them thoroughly if necessary. If the battery is working correctly, it will not overtax the alternator, and it will be able to keep a full charge while operating the tractor.

Fill The Tank With New Fuel

This might sound obvious, but it is something that farmers tend to overlook. If the tank has leftover fuel from the previous season, it’s important that you drain it and refill the tank with new fuel. This reduces the risk of condensation occurring in the engine, which in turn makes the tractor run smoothly. While assessing fuel quality, it is ideally a good idea to check the levels of other fluids as well. If necessary, add more coolant and hydraulic or engine oil, which are essential for lubricating the transmission, protecting the engine from overheating and minimize the moisture amount.

Sharpen the Blade Attachments

Attachment maintenance is equally important, particularly if the tractor ideally functions as a lawnmower. Blades become rusty and dull over time, and the last thing you want is non-optimal blades when harvesting. It’s imperative that you clean and sharpen the blades regularly. This is a simple task and just needs detaching the blade and polishing the blunt edge with a grinder. If you do not have a grinding wheel, you can take it to a hardware store or an automotive repair shop. However, if the blade is past due its life, you should replace it.

Assess The Condition of the Tires

You should check for cracks in the rubber and make sure that air pressure is consistent. If the pressure gauge is low, inflate the tire using a compression machine. If the wear is substantial, consider replacing the tire(s). This investment will pay off by avoiding the safety hazard of a flat tire or even a full blowout.

Inspect the Belts

To ascertain maximum longevity of your tractor, it is important that the drive functions optimally as the entire machine depends on the belts to run all internal functions. If the belts are compromised, so will the battery charge, hydraulic pumps, and other features in the tractor. As such, you should check the belts for rotting, abrasion, slippage, cracks and malfunctioning and then replace them if necessary. In most situations, this can be done manually, but if they are in an extremely poor condition, then you may want to avail professional help.

Of course, you will not be using the tractor for extended periods during summer, but that does not mean it needs less attention and maintenance. Investing in optimal performance today will save you money, time and stress in the long run.

The Top Ten Tips To Cut Combine Breakdowns

This article will prove the top ten common-sense steps most farmers use to avoid combined breakdowns, according to Potter and two agricultural extension machinery experts:

1. Begin With A Pre-Season Inspection

According to Purdue University Extension ag engineer, Dan Ess, breakdowns can be avoided by farmers giving their combines thorough pre-seasonal inspections. This is, undoubtedly, step number one. The most obvious places to inspect include the belts, bearings, and chains.

2. Review The Operator’s Manual

Mark Hanna, the ag engineer at Iowa State University Extension, states that a person should review their machine’s manual to determine the appropriate settings for the concave clearance, fan speed, and rotor or cylinder speed. Hanna also pointed out that the farmer needs to check the settings for screens in the machine’s cleaning shoe.

3. Inspect And Clean The Combine Daily

Hanna stated that bearing surfaces on the combine need to be kept clear of any dust or crop residue. It is also important, according to this engineer, that leaks of pressurized oil need to be checked, such as those that could occur in the turbocharger.

4. Using Air And Not Water

Contrary to popular belief, water must not be used to clean a combine. According to Hanna, high-pressure air is the preferred option for cleaning the majority of combine machine components. If water is used on interior or exterior areas of the machine, you are placing the combine at risk of rust and corrosion.

5. Pre-Scouting Fields

It is recommended that farmers pre-scout the fields for crop size, ear size, and weed patches. According to Hanna, this should be done so they are prepared to make adjustments to the combine if required. For instance, a stripper bar setting on corn heads should have approximately 1 and 1/4 gap for normal settings. Smaller ears, however, need to be adjusted to a narrower setting.

6. Modify The Machine To Field Conditions

According to Potter, when the crop dries during the heat of the day, fine-tuning a combine can be beneficial. Potter states that each time one changes to a different soybean or corn variety, it is recommended that you check whether or not adjustments need to be made.

7. Review The Grain Quality

When a combine is not offering you high-quality grain, there is a chance that you may have a worn grain elevator chain. Potter states that if the elevator chain damages the grain, it could result in further breakdowns. This is the reason why feeder house modifications need to be made, particularly if the grain quality is deteriorating.

8. Always Be Prepared

Hanna advises that you keep a cell phone or some other method of quickly contacting people for help if you need it. Hanna also recommends having two separate ABC-type fire extinguishers available to use on the combine. A 5-pound model should be kept in the cab, and a 15 or 20-pound model should be kept at ground level. Finally, a small shovel should be kept aboard the combine as this can be helpful to throw dirt on any flames.

9. Do NOT Delay Repairs

Potter insists that proper maintenance begins at the end of the season before the combine machine is packed away. If you are aware of a component that is not working correctly, always repair the item before you forget or before it becomes worse.

10. Always Clean The Machine

Before placing a combine in storage for the winter months, it is recommended that farmers remove the battery, clean the battery, and place it in a heated storage space where it will not freeze.

The skid plates below the grain platform should be cleaned before harvesting. This will ensure that you receive a full range of machine movement. It is also important to clean below the corn snouts on the corn head, clean away any gathered debris on the radiator or cooling fin, clean the air conditioner condenser and hydraulic oil cooler, and clean the gathering chains.

To assist in a farmer’s efforts to both adjust and clean the combine before harvesting we developed a pre-season combine component checklist. Of course, you may want to expand on the following checklist when reviewing the operator’s manual before any harvest.

• Air conditioner – clean the cooling fins, and check the drain tube for clogs.

• Battery – clean and check the battery.

• Auger spirals – check for any bent or worn flighting on the cross augers, and unload the augers.

• Bearings – check the condition and wear of the bearings.

• Filters – replace the filters.

• Cleaning shoe – clean, adjust, and lubricate as necessary.

• Cutter bar – review the bar’s movement and flexibility.

• Corn head – review the condition of the ear savers.

• Rotor rasp or cylinder bars – review the manual for allowable level of wear.

• Feeder house – adjust the setting of the lower drum, and inspect the sheet metal on the underside for cracks, holes, or worn material.

• Drive belts – check for wear, cracks, and excessive tension.

34 Experts Reveal the Top Things to Look for When Buying a Used Tractor

Introduction

For the part-time or small farmer purchasing a used tractor might be the most economical and practical way of getting the power you need without having to spend lots of money. But how can you make the best purchase and know what to buy? The first thing that you need to know is what your requirements are for a tractor so that you can figure out what to begin searching for.

Tractors that were built since the mid 1950s can be a decent all-purpose utility tractor. Although older tractors can still do plenty of hard work, most likely they will be limited to being able to pull something that is hooked up the drawbar and then utilizing the power takeoff (PTO) for powering a mower or other piece of equipment. Newer tractors come with more advanced systems, so before purchasing anything consider the kind of work you are planning to do as well as the type of attachments you are going to need. Then search for a tractor that meets your requirements.

Identify Your Needs

Those who are experienced with buying used tractors will understand this already, but for those who are getting ready to buy their first tractor, it is very important to be aware that there are a number of different kinds to choose from in today’s marketplace. So before doing anything else, you should first narrow it down to which category of tractor will suit your specific needs the best. The most common kinds of tractors include the following:

Compact Utility Tractors – Smaller tractors that have been design for use in many daily grounds maintenance and landscaping applications.

Utility Tractors – General-use utility tractors that are versatile in their capability. They are frequently used for hay production, wagon pulling, and grounds maintenance.

Row Crop Tractors – More specialized tractors in terms of the task they have been designed to perform. These tractors are well suited to work with various field-use applications and implements.

Articulated 4WD Tractors – Used normally in grain operations for handling seeding and tillage work. Frequently used for dirt transportation and land leveling as well.

Various accessories and implements are available for all kinds of used tractors – to broaden the range of their versatility quite successfully.

Consider Price Range

With any major purchase, one very important consideration is understanding and then determining a price range. There are quality pre-owned tractors that are available on even tight budgets. By determining an amount and then sticking with your decision, you can narrow your options down even further – which allows you to focus on the used tractors that are most relevant to your needs and requirements.

What to check when buying a tractor

What to Check Votes
Engine 16
Tires 12
Overall state 11
Fluid Levels 7
Hydraulics 5
Transmission 4
Sheet metal corrosion and dents 2
Paddles and hitches 2

Tires

Depending on what kind of tractor you get, replacing the tires could cost as much as $30,000. Before making a decision, take out a tire gauge and measure the remaining tread depth on the tires and then compare this with the tire manufacturer’s tread depth measure that you should be able to find on their website in order to get a good sense of how much life is remaining on the tires.

You should also make sure that the tires are the correct size and that all of them match. Check for cracks since they usually are the biggest expense when restoring a tractor.

Engine

Like with any piece of equipment, start up the tractor, lift the hood, allow it to run and then check for any signs of leaking from the hydraulics, hoses or engine. Check for any worn or cracked fuel, coolant or hydraulic lines. Locate the engine plate and see what the horsepower and ensure that the engine meets your jurisdiction’s emission standards.

Use a mechanic’s stethoscope, although we have seen some buyer using a screwdriver, and hold it on the engine block. Find out if there are any scratching or knocking sounds coming out of the engine cylinders.

Take out the air filter after the machine is turned off. The air filters need to be replaced every 100 to 200 hours and for cab filters every 300 to 400 hours. Check the owner’s manual to find the manufacturer’s recommendations. The air filter shouldn’t look dirty if it has been replaced on a regular basis.

Does the tractor easily start on a cold engine? That might eliminate several candidates all at once.

Does the tractor run well when it is hot? Plan to spend half an hour running it. Then after it is running check for leaks, on both the antifreeze and oil. Finally, after it is warm, turn it off to see how it starts back up.

It there clunking sounds coming from inside of the engine? If there simple ticking coming from the top part of the engine that might just need a basic valve adjustment. However, a deep thunk coming from the middle or bottom of the engine might indicate very expensive and serious repairs. The clunking should be much more pronounced when under load. That might be an indication of issues with the piston rods, bearings or crankshaft.

Check the crankshaft’s o-rings. A cold engine should be able to pick the speed up immediately. It is fine if there is black smoke billow from a diesel engine on start-up. If it is anything but black or doesn’t clear, then there is a problem with the engine. Check the ventilation on the engine by using the palm or your hand or piece of paper to close the end of the pipe to collect any of the oil that comes out.

Make sure it is firing on all cylinders and not smoking and not too noisy. Start the tractor up and listen for any knocks or scratching sounds. Some folks use a screwdriver or mechanic’s stethoscope to do this. Check for signs of leaks from the engine, hoses and hydraulics. Take note of low idle smoothness to give a hint as to whether the engine has any valve issues.

Hydraulics

When inspecting the hydraulics, check for poor seals and leaks for potential signs that there may be damage to the hydraulic tank or outlets. Consider what kinds of attachments you are going to run when you are inspecting the auxiliary/return lines and hydraulic outlets. For example, a majority of air drills need to have at least three hydraulic outlets as well as one auxiliary line that has 38 GPM worth of hydraulic power. However, some might need as many as three auxiliary lines and five hydraulic outlets with 98 GPM worth of hydraulic power, Make sure the tractor has the right amount of lines and outlets for what you need for running it now as well as one year from now.

Conduct both an operational and visual inspect of the tractor’s articulation point. It needs to be greased at all times given that it is the tractor’s major moving part. Check for metal shards. Shards are an indication of wear and most likely have been caused by improper maintenance.

To perform an operational inspection, start the tractor up and drive back and forth. If there is a knock while you are moving, it could be due to a transmission slip. Next, turn the steering right and then left. Check for nay looseness or wandering in the steering. That might mean that the main pin is damaged or bent and needs to be replaced. Difficult or tight steering could be a sign that the hydraulic cylinders are not working properly or the pins might need to be greased.

When it says “Live PTO and hydraulics” what that means is that the transmission clutch does not affect the hydraulics or power take-off shaft. So you can stop and start the PTO or lower and raise the hydraulics whether or not the clutch is in. A standard three-point hitch allows you to hook it up to many different attachments regardless of what manufacturer it is. Hydraulics let you lower and raise implements through attaching hoses connected to the hydraulic cylinder that is mounted to the tractor implement.

Are the brakes working well? It is fairly inexpensive to replace the brakes themselves. The part that is expensive is the extensive tear down to get the new ones. The way you can test the brakes is through locking one wheel and then turning towards that side. The wheel shouldn’t rotate and the tractor should spin.

Work the hydraulics To check the Rams’ full range extend them with a load. Allow the load to sit in a hold position for an extended amount of time to ensure there isn’t any leak down. If there are any chattering noise coming from the pump when lifting that could be an indication that the pump isn’t getting enough hydraulic fluid flow. The pump will have had had excessive wear if it was run that way for extended periods of time and might be about ready to fail in the near future.

Overall condition and evaluation appearance and of the care/servicing it has received in the past

The tractor’s overall appearance does matter. Does it look like it has been cared for and is it clean? Look a bit closer to ensure it hasn’t been spot-painted in order to cover up any rust. Ask where the tractor was kept. If a tractor was kept in a garage or shed it will always in better shape compared to one that was exposed constantly to harsh weather conditions. Bulging, cracked or weathered tires, dents, and peeling paint are all signs that a tractor might have been abused and was stored outside.

Open the door of the tractor’s cab and check out the inside. Mud and dirt on the inside of the cab may be signs of poor or improper maintenance. Get inside of the cab to check the number of operating hours that the tractor has done. Keep in mind that some tractors might have as many as 4,000 to 5,000 operating hours but might be in very good shape still due to being well taken care of. If there is a guidance system included in the cab, check to make sure that all of the electronic components, receivers and displays are all in good working order. It can be expensive to repair or replace a guidance system.

Tire and cab wear should be consistent with the tractor hours. If there are low hours there should be the little wear on the mats and carpets around the pedals as well as the petals. Newness or age of the tires should also be consistent with the hours of operation.

If the tractor looks well-maintained, it usually matches that on the inside. Peeling paint, rust, dents, cracked tires, etc. likely mean this tractor hasn’t had great maintenance over the years and may need a bunch of repairs. Has the tractor been welded on? How rusty is the tractor?

If possible, ask for maintenance logs, work orders and anything to support that the tractor has been well maintained. Another important fact to consider is how easy or difficult it will be to get parts and service on a timely basis for this model.

Look at overall physical appearance for signs of abuse, wear to drawbar, hydraulic leaks, oil leaks, broken and/or welded castings, wear to tires, evidence of poor patch job repairs, etc.

Sheet metal parts (hood, fenders, seat, etc.) must be there and in good shape. Mechanical components are more likely to break and they are still available easily to find on market but this is not the case for sheet metal parts.

Check fluid levels

Check for any signs of leaks. Any type of leak – water, oil or gas – is an indication of a potentially serious problem.

Does the tractor smoke? Blue smoke is an indication that oil is being burned by the engine. Black or white smoke can often be fixed with ignition or carburetor change but still takes some work.

Take the dipstick out. The oil will indicate whether timely fills have been made or not. A burnt smell or dark black suggests that the oil didn’t change at the right time intervals. Tiny water bubbles or a gray tinge on the dipstick indicates that there is water mixed with the oil. If more than a usual amount of oil spits out when you pull out the dipstick, that probably means that the rings are bad and oil has gotten into the oil pan. That could mean that the engine might need to be overhauled.

Oil film in the antifreeze and radiator is an indication of problems.

Check paddles and hitches to see if they are worn or not

Clutch and brake pedals are a good indicator of what the machine’s real operating time is (better than the hour’s meters that might have been changed). Worn pedals frequently mean the machine has been used for over 10,000 hours.

Sheet metal corrosion and dents

Check for structural cracks. It can take some time but it is definitely worth it. Go over the steel and cast components checking for hairline cracks. It isn’t expensive to fix but very time consuming and it is not a good idea to work a tractor in that state until the problems have been fixed.

Radiator

Make sure to check the radiator to make sure that the fins are not damaged and see what kind of coolant has been used as well.

Look for rust and make sure there is no back pressure.

Other Issues to look for

  • Is the tractor original with all components intact?
  • Radiator: You should also check the radiator for any damage to the fins and check to see what type of coolant is used. Look for rust and make sure there is no back pressure.
  • How much power it produces when under a load
  • Potential resale
  • Drive train: should not show a lot of wear
  • How long has it sat
  • How long has it been in the family
  • Age
  • Parts availability
  • Capacity/Use
  • Uniqueness and rarity

Conclusion

Purchasing a used tractor is often a hazardous job. Older tractors do have a tendency to not be as reliable as newer models. However, if you follow the above recommendations you can minimize these hazards. Always purchase from a reputable source. Learn all you can about the tractor’s repair, performance and service history. Don’t overrate new paint. See what it is covering up. Contact more than just one source and look at several tractors. Plan ahead, so that you will have enough time for shopping around. If possible, make arrangements to use the tractor on a trial basis for a couple of days, with the option of purchasing it if you are happy with its performance. Whatever you end up buying, insisting on getting the Owner’s Manual along with the tractor. Also, make sure that you read it! Get any promised guarantee or warranty in writing.

How to Find the Small Tractor that’s Right for You – How to Accessorize Your Tractor for the Jobs at Hand

Purchasing the best tractor for a small farm requires looking for the right tractor for the job. Tractors may be used for many reasons. Assessing the jobs and also eliminating the tractors that will not work is the very first step. Tractors are iconic symbols of farming along with also a common farm equipment purchase. Picking the best tractor for small farms and homestead operations may also be enjoyable. Learning about the various brands of tractors and machines and speaking to individuals with years of experience helps us to improve on the job of our tractor is going to be doing.

Do not over buy.

Just as with a tractor big enough for the job is crucial, so isn’t having a tractor that’s not too big for your property. Start your search for the best tractor for small farm operations by finding the dealerships close to your house that sell farm equipment and tools, such as small tractors. However well you keep the tractor, you are going to require support and parts. Having the ability to pick up parts or schedule a repair is a lot easier and timely when you’re in the exact same place as the dealership. Describe the jobs you’ll perform with the tractor.

This may assist the sales person narrow down the search for the ideal tractor. Plowing, moving hay bales, moving pallets of feed, mowing grass, and cutting hay are only a couple of the tasks that may be accomplished with a tractor. Make a farm implements list. Which ones do you use all the time? . Would having one of these jobs handled by the tractor enhance your farm life? . Utilizing a grid to form a compact tractor comparison chart will assist you visualize the options. Grab a sheet of paper or graphed paper. On the other hand, list the jobs you’d use the tractor to achieve.

If I purchase a Used Tractor? 

It’d be fantastic if you could get a deal on a used tractor for a small farm requirements. It’d be better if the tractor was in fantastic condition. From our experience, this is a tough item to find. If a tractor is a good car, then the owner is likely to use it till it’s nearly worn out. Ask about the hours the machine has been run and be sure to check the tire quality. Let the buyer beware of course. If you find a used tractor, take care looking it over and consider having a machinery mechanic have a look before you buy.

Does it Matter What Brand I Buy?

I think that it is better to have a local dealership to conduct business with. The dealership may have better luck ordering components and also scheduling a fix on your farm. John Deere, Alis Chalmers, and International Harvester are only a couple the dealership and the brand options. Each of the major brands are constructed to tackle the tasks on a little farm. What size tractor will I Need and What About the Horsepower? . This is where things get sticky when attempting to get advice. Many men and women believe that bigger is better when purchasing the best tractor for little farm work.

Let us break down the response by looking at three chief options for tractors for smaller farms. Garden style tractors are great for cutting grass. They’ve limited horsepower and might not have sufficient traction for more than that. The more compact farm tractors are between 30 and 60 horsepower. These are popular options for little farming work. This size range may be readily maneuvered around buildings, paddocks, and throughout pasture gates. Bigger farm tractors, over 75 HP are all great for plowing massive fields, planting, harvesting, and cutting hay. Transmission Options. Hydrostatic transmissions are a newer option in tractor transmissions.

This transmission is much like automatic. This option is great if you’re doing a great deal of field work, planting, clearing fields, and cutting hay. Contrast this kind of transmission with the classic guide transmission. The advantage of the older style transmission is the additional lower equipment. This is helpful for pulling due to the extra torque. The hydrostatic transmission is suitable, but the expense is high if a fix is necessary. It’s always a fantastic idea to measure gates and narrow areas on your farm before buying any tractor to get little farm usage. Gates might seem large, but the tractor might not fit throughout the gate causing more work.

Have a fantastic idea of what the best tractor for little farm jobs will include before heading to make a purchase. The tractor should work for you as well as the farm for several decades.

How to Buy and Outfit Your Small Farm Tractor

When you are looking for the best small farm tractor to your farm or homestead, you might gravitate toward the replicas of yore, Ford 9Ns, Farmall Cubs, Fordsons, and the such. The attraction is understandable because these are real classics of farming, giving an appeal of an iconic character along with an attractive price point. You’ll find good deals on these, accessible in a variety of phases of negligence scattered across the pages of these tractor finder magazines, however if you’re searching for functional tool for your farm, you could be barking up the wrong tree. Tractors aren’t on the cutting edge of science, but you might be unaware of just how far they have come and how obsolete those antiques .Producers have developed new systems and merged many ports since the era of the Farmall, producing best small farm tractors which are robust, agile, dependable, and readily modified to match the task at hand.

Back in the day, a tractor was a tractor, but today there’s a broad variety of available options, and that may be overwhelming. Follow along as I clarify some things about today’s contemporary lineup, and also help you decide what type of tractor will suit you best.

What’s The Hitch?

A 3 point hitch is the port that we use to attach implements to the rear of a tractor. For our purpose, we will need to comprehend the distinction between Cat-0, Cat-1, and Cat-2. There are far more categories, but these are the dimensions which pertain to a little farmer and homesteader. Each one of These valves have a different pins, hitch arms, and tops connection dimensions. Cat-0 implements are mini variations of Cat-1 implements and are meant to work on the smallest of tractors. Cat-0 is a size that is new. These implements have a tendency to be expensive, restricted in ability, and infrequent in the used market.

I do not advise the purchase of a Cat-0 tractor for a number of reasons, availability of implements is one of them. Cat-0 tractors may only utilize Cat-0 implements due to size, weight constraints, and the minimal power connected with Cat-0 tractors. Cat-0 implements are readily identified with their tiny appearance and application of both 5/8, lower arm hooks. Cat-1 implements are what many consider to be a standard, implement. Cat-1 is the most typical size of hitch, also Cat-1 implements are offered in various widths to fit the best little farm tractor. Cat-1 implements are numerous, easily accessible, simple to find, and provide you the best opportunity to discover a fantastic deal, particularly in the used market.

Cat-1 hitches utilize a 7/8, lower arm pin and several Cat-0 implements may be adapted to fit a Cat-1 hitch. Cat-1 has become the most typical hitch found on the best little farm tractors. Cat-2 is a bigger, less common hitch size generally reserved for tough use or high horsepower implements. Cat-2 implements have a tendency to be much more robust in their structure, hence they use the bigger 1-1/8, lower arm pin size. My tractor is a Cat-2 tractor, therefore with the exception of my backhoe or scraper box, so I want to utilize sleeves to accommodate my Cat-1 implements to my Cat-2 hitch.

It may be frustrating whenever you lose those stupid little sleeves, but having a Cat-2 hitch opens my options when purchasing implements and permits me to utilize a bigger backhoe.

Transmissions

Tractors have been utilizing clutch and gear design transmissions for a very long time, and several seasoned operators are much more comfortable with this tried and true design. Today, however, the lion’s share of tractors sold have hydrostatic transmissions, which simplify and simplify the action of pressing a tractor all in the exact same time, particularly if you’re utilized to some clutch. Rather than releasing a clutch and getting your tractor lurch ahead, you are now able to select your speed or gear array, then push the forward or reverse pedal to regulate the rate and direction you wish to go.

This kind of transmission is an established design and tends to last longer than conventional manual transmission clutches. With a hydrostatic transmission, it is possible to creep along without burning a clutch, which is quite useful. If you discover leaning on the tractor’s grip regularly, hydrostatic will serve you well. Try out both styles out.

Tractor manufacturers now offer several sizes of tractors, usually grouped by class. , These classes have been designed with a target client in your mind so skill, power, options, and price points change accordingly. Broadly speaking, all tractor manufacturers offer a sub streamlined, compact, medium size and full size class array. Not all dealerships offer all the classes, therefore knowing what class you are shopping for can help when deciding where to shop.

SUB COMPACT

Sub compact tractors are the bottom of the power curve and therefore are a yard tractor on steroids. Tractors in this class are limited to Cat-0 hitch due to their size.

The majority of the sub compact tractors of today are harmonious with a front end loaders, but with a load limitations of 500 lbs or less in the bucket they qualify as self propelled wheelbarrows. Due into the sub compact craze, manufacturers are currently offering mid ship PTOs in many, if not all tractors. Mid ship PTOs are a power take off, points, such as a rear pto alloy that may operate your bush hog. These mid sized ship, or belly PTOs allow a tractor to power a belly mower, such as your average ride-on lawn tractor, only a lot larger.

Possessing a mid sized ship PTO also opens up the option of adding a front mounted, PTO driven snow mill, that appeal to those of us from the northern regions. Many sub compact tractors are now available with diesel engines and 4 wheel drive, that is a significant upgrade in operation. You can anticipate horsepower ratings to be in the teenagers or weak 20 at best, which restricts what sort of gear you are able to run. If you desire a major lawn tractor with bucket loader, this only might your own ticket, but I do not advise purchasing a lilliputian tractor such as this for farm use.

If you are serious about farming or homesteading today, you’re likely to be let down by a sub compact tractor’s lack of power, skill, or performance. In case the biggest load you plan to raise is grass clippings and leaves, then you may expect to pay around $12, 000 for this over sized garden tractor. Compact tractors are a bump up from sub compact, albeit a little bump. Compact tractors are extended in Cat-0 or even Cat-1 hitches. A 4×, 4 seems standard in this dimension, as does a 3 cylinder diesel engine, that is good news. All compact tractors I have seen are harmonious with fairly reliable bucket loaders. Robust or not, these bucket loaders continue to be rated for below 900 pounds in the bucket, so take that in account.

COMPACT

The compact class bridges the emissions difference, meaning some of those tractors provide horsepower ratings both sides of 27 hp, that is cut-off for non emission controlled engines. Why should you care? . Emissions systems on tractors are a fairly new technology and have to be proven in credibility and longevity. Years down the road, you might be looking at costly emission system repairs, and the addition of those systems push the purchase cost. If four or three pony powers do not actually make a difference between you and the compact course is where you are shopping, then take to get a non emissions tractor to get now.

Compact tractors sit at a precarious spot, bridging the two the emissions difference and hitch classes, so many compact tractors will probably be a bit too wide to get a Cat-0 implement, but underpowered for many Cat-1 implements. Despite this, I’d advise leaning toward a Cat-1 armed tractor because I’d rather have the latter issue. Some of those compact tractors match on a landscape trailer, that makes them easier to carry than their bigger brethren. Due to their size, they also have a tendency to be less frightening to the very first time tractor owner. They also provide a palatable price tag, generally somewhere between $15, 000 and $23, 000 depending on the options and the model, which makes them achievable for a lot of men and women.

For a number of reasons, some individuals will discover their best little farm tractor within this class dimensions.

MID SIZE

You get what you pay for, broadly, and the mid dimension tractor category is a good example. Mid size tractors provide more flexibility, flexibility, horsepower, and conveniences in relation to the bigger compact and sub compact tractors, like taxi options and distant hydraulic controls. Mid sized tractors will come with a Cat-1 hitch at minimum, with lots of manufacturers that offer a Cat-2 hitch with their bigger mid size tractors. Power evaluations and engines vary widely throughout this class, but most will feature a 3 cylinder diesel engine between 35hp and 65hp.

In case you are searching for a great all around farm tractor with the capability to run a good deal of different implements, then something close to the 50hp mark should serve you well. Whenever you go north of 50hp, you’ll also discover some manufacturers offer economy PTO, option, which is overdrive for the PTO. When engaged, it enables the motor to spin slower while maintaining appropriate PTO shaft RPM’s, reducing fuel consumption when conducting gear like farm generators. Bucket loader capabilities vary broadly within this category, anyplace between 1, 200 lbs to more than a ton in the bucket, which sounds excessive to some individuals, but having a machine in this lift capacity scope is way more useful for clearing soil, lifting materials and transferring pallets with a fork bucket. A normal size shipping dictionary can manage on a ton of weight, thus having a loader that could handle that securely will prove invaluable to a lot of farmers and homesteaders. Mid size tractors provide a good deal of power and alternatives in addition to value for your dollar.

FULL SIZE

Have a large farm with big implements? . If you do, I doubt you are reading my article, but when you’re, then you need a tractor from the git-er done class of complete size tractors. These behemoths start around the 80hp markers and get about as large as you can imagine, and some. Should you need something within this category, be ready pay a lot for the real deal. I am sure you can purchase many of those tractors without a taxi, but that could be a special order because cabs, air ride seats, air conditioning, heat, and the such come standard with this kind of tractor.

Homesteaders and tiny farmers who won the lotto will love to own one, but if you’ve plenty of space to play, they’re just too large to do a lot of what we do. These are large pieces of machines, plus they will not always match where we need them to go. A complete size tractor is over and beyond the needs of many of us, and the price points start around $60, 000. The sky appears to be the limit on the bigger models, many costing more than the normal property. I need one.

More Things to Consider

Whenever you set out to purchase your little farm tractor, there are a few things you should think about before you spend your hard earned cash.

Here are a few abbreviated notes to think about: &bull, When choosing a brand or dealership, consider the parts, service, and maintenance accessibility for that brand. Getting a tractor from a brand that does not have lots of dealerships in the area, or perhaps in your nation, may cause you a lot of trouble when it breaks. Some unknown or unestablished brands sourced from others nations might be offered at bargain prices, but even simple things such as oil filters can be difficult to come by. I suggest purchasing from a well recognized brand and a dealership that is been in business for quite a long time.

&bull, Four wheel drive is a given these days, but should you happen across a brand that offers tractors with or without 4×, 4, do yourself a favor and purchase 4×, 4. Traction is king when operating in the dirt, and I can speak from experience when I say you need 4×, 4. All of the best little farm tractors have 4times, 4, and yours should too. &bull, reevaluate how you are going to be utilizing your tractor, and choose the tire style that best fits your needs. For general farm use, I propose opting for the agricultural cleat style tiresindustrial fashion should you need a compromise that’s road friendly. Turf tires rarely serve a little farm tractor well, unless you are mowing your yard with it.

In addition, consider services such as ballast tractor tires in case you need additional traction.

Cabs are a luxury, but if you plan to function in snow, it could mean the distinction between misery and comparative relaxation. Unless of course you like dressing up like a Michelin Man and being hit full force with winter weather, critically think about adding a taxi to your mid sized tractor. &bull, Speaking of the white things, if you would like to add a front mounted, PTO driven snow blower to your tractor, I suggest purchasing a tractor with a mid ship PTO already installed, or at least be sure you are able to add one later.

Similarly, if you are looking at a compact or sub compact tractor and mean to purchase a belly mower for it. &bull, Tractor brands such as New Holland, Kubota, John Deere, and the recently revived Massey Ferguson are well recognized brands in the US and will probably be your best little farm tractor brand, however you’ll discover others like Kyote, Mahindra, Yanmar, and others. Exercise due diligence and research the mark you intend to purchase since this will be a long term investment and you do not want to purchase from a brand which has the capability to disappear. &bull, Pay attention to bucket attachment systems.

Some brands are more harmonious than others, some have proprietary attachment patterns and some do not even detach, which need to be avoided. It is just one of these things worth considering. Similarly with the loader arms themselves. Most brands enable you to easily and quickly remove the whole loader, that makes maintenance easier.

How To Keep Your Tractor Running Strong

Working a piece of valuable equipment is quite laborious, but if you neglect small things, they can become a big problem and prevent you from getting a job done.

Here are six things which you ought to examine on your tractor each time you use it to keep it working at its best and saves you money in the long term.

Fuel Level: Even though this might seem obvious, just how a lot of you know of somebody who runs out of gas in their car on a regular basis. Its happens daily and I will bet that if you get extremely busy, you’ll see yourself at least 1 or 2 fear moments linked to the total fuel amount in your tractor.

Oil Level

We frequently forget that the oil in the motor of our tractor is like the blood of life in our veins.

If you start to get rid of oil it may do lots of things that you may not be aware of. Low oil means the available oil is heating up more, wearing down faster and might even leave the motor without oil if you’re working off camber or on abrupt ground.

Coolant

Maintaining a big engine cool isn’t only the job of the coolant, but in addition the radiator. In case your coolant gets reduced and air is introduced to the system you may start a heating problem. In case the radiator gets clogged with debris then you get a separate issue altogether.

Coolant may also alert you to possible problems inside the motor itself. Milky coolant is a potential sign of motor issues and should the temperature regulation system starts to fail, pipes or internal parts, then you’ll more than likely see particles suggesting this in the coolant.

Air Filter

This is yet another easy, but a very important part to check how dust and dander from areas may clog the air filter, causing the motor trouble in the long term. Let alone small rodents love tight, dark distances to hide their precious possessions. You could don’t have any air intake at all from just one night at the barn!

Belts

External components such as the water pump and alternator make need a belt to run them on most tractors. The power steering and AC run off the belted system on the motor and shedding one belt could indicate that several of those items won’t work at all.

Implements

In case you’ve big tools attached to your tractor such as a brush hog, tiller, harrows or some other big nurturing equipment, you should look over it as well. I can’t tell you how often times I’ve started the tractor up engine, stepped off the aspect of the beast to inspect the bush pig there lay a little dog hiding in the shade of the filler.