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.