GUIDE – Getting The Most Out Of Your Farm Equipment: A Guide To Proper Maintenance
As a farmer, you know that your equipment and tools are a valuable resource, you also know that keeping them in full working order is essential. Putting it basically, you know that when a piece of equipment goes wrong, it could well end up with an unacceptable level of downtime and a serious loss in productivity. Crops could be left unharvested and difficulties could be experienced in feeding livestock, all of which will reduce your income.
Every time a tractor malfunctions or a combine or another piece of agricultural equipment breaks down could mean a trip to the dealers or having to wait for a service call, and all that time you will be getting behind schedule on those vital farm duties.
The good news is that with proper maintenance, they can last a long time and should need a lower number of costly repairs. In this article, we'll provide you with a comprehensive guide to maintaining your farm equipment.
Maintaining farm equipment is essential for any successful farming operation. Without proper maintenance, your equipment can quickly break down. Furthermore, farm equipment that has not been properly maintained can be dangerous, which could lead to a range of preventable accidents. For this reason, it is important to take the time to care for your farm equipment and keep it in good working order.
Benefits of Proper Farm Equipment Maintenance
There are many benefits to properly maintaining your farm equipment. Here are just a few of the most important ones:
- Improved safety: Regular maintenance of your farm equipment will ensure that it is safe to use. This is especially important for larger pieces of equipment like tractors or combines, which can be dangerous if not properly maintained.
- Increased efficiency: Regular maintenance increases the efficiency of your farm equipment. This will help you to maximize your productivity and get more done in a shorter amount of time.
- Extended life span: With regular maintenance, your farm equipment will last longer. This will save you money in the long run, as you won’t have to replace your equipment as often.
- Reduced repair costs: Regular maintenance can help to reduce the need for costly repairs. This is because any problems that arise will be caught early and can be fixed before they become more serious.
- Also the residual value would be higher if there was a history of maintenance
Some Important Tips
Keep all the documentation for every piece of equipment safe
It does not matter where your farm office is, but what is important is whether you have an orderly system for keeping all your records and documentation— including receipts, manuals, dealership data, warranties and service details. Its vital that you maintain accurate records of all the repairs and the maintenance work that is carried out, whether you perform it yourself or get a specialist engineer into do the work.
You should create an equipment maintenance checklist that contains information about all the regular checks that have to be carried out, whether this is weekly, monthly or once a year.
Always Change the Oil
Almost anything with an engine will need to have its oil changed at some point if they are to run at an optimal level. As this could affect any warranties, it is vital to keep a list of all oil changes and when you replace oil filters. In some cases it will also be a good idea to have the oil professionally checked, as residues in the oil can point to future problems. Your dealer should be able to help you here,
Keep All Moving Parts Lubricated
Today’s farm machinery can be highly complex and have a lot of moving parts. Always keep your equipment in proper working condition by lubricating every moving part on a regular basis. The The frequency of this work will vary depending on your local climate, the working conditions and of course the manufacturer's recommendations.
Tyres and Hitches Will Need To Be Checked
It is essential that you inspect the trailer hitches and couplings on your equipment. This goes not only for the trailers, but also for the tractors, trucks, cars and ATV’s that you use as tows. Ensure these all are working properly and that you can securely connect one to the other. Plus remember to clean any excess dirt and rust from both the hitch and tow balls and bars.
Just as with your car, it is vital that you check the tires on all your farm equipment. Make sure the treads are OK and that all, including the spare, are all pumped up to the recommended levels.
Check Lights and Batteries
Every light on your vehicles and trailers needs to be checked, including extra lights and any other lighting, like roof mounted spot lights. Make sure you attach each trailer and ensure all lights are working correctly.
When it comes to the batteries in your equipment, check for signs of corrosion and make sure you check everyone as some vehicles can have more than one battery box.. And remember that if you have some equipment that is only used a few times a year, that it may be better to store the batteries indoors.
Inspect all equipment for damage
Farm machinery has a hard life and often suffers damage, so after every use, or weekly or so (remember to keep a note of the check) and before storing it for the winter make sure you give the equipment a thorough check for signs of damage. Loose parts and odd noises may well indicate that some maintenance is needed and it is always best to resolve these issues before they become a bigger problem.
In conclusion, proper maintenance of your farm equipment is essential for a successful farming operation. By following the tips and resources outlined in this post, you can ensure that your farm equipment is properly maintained and running at peak efficiency. Basically speaking a stitch in time saves nine.