When you rely on a tractor for keeping the soil on your property in shape or hauling crops, it needs to be taken care of year-round. Having a maintenance checklist in place will help you stay on top of daily, monthly, and annual tasks. Use the basic tips below to keep your equipment in top condition for years to come.
How to Care for Your Tractor
1. Protect It From the Elements
When your tractor is not in use, it should be stored in a garage, barn, or similar place where harmful weather conditions can’t harm it. If you must leave the machinery outside, invest in a canvas tarp to prevent sunlight damage and avoid water condensation.
2. Perform a Visual Inspection Before Use
Before putting your tractor to work, perform a quick inspection to ensure there are no issues. Check the hoses and cables for leaks and tears. Look for any water or debris in the glass sediment bowl that sits below the fuel filter. Ensure the PTO shields are in place and all lights work, and finally, check the coolant and oil levels.
3. Empty Fuel Before the Cold Season
If your tractor goes into storage over winter, don’t leave it sitting with fuel in the tank. Sediments and water can accumulate and cause the tank to rust. Instead, store extra petrol in a container that will prevent evaporation if you want to have some ready to go at the beginning of spring. However, many manufacturers advise against using any fuel that’s been sitting for longer than three months.
4. Tire Pressure Check
As with a car, low tire pressure can significantly increase fuel consumption and tread wear. In addition to checking your tire pressure before each use, you should also adjust pressure based on the activity your tractor will be performing. For example, any heavy lifting will benefit from increased tire pressure.
5. Use Fresh Fuel
It's never a good idea to use old fuel that has been left in an idle tractor for several months. This can lead to condensation buildup, which will negatively impact engine performance. Drain old fuel to get rid of water and sediments, and top off the tank with fresh fuel. Don't forget to also check oil and coolant levels after long periods of disuse.
6. Belt check
A tractor's drive belts help power everything from it's alternator to the cutting blades. Needless to say, without functional drive belts, your tractor won't be very useful. You should routinely inspect the drive belts for issues such as weather-related damage, rot, and misalignment. Replace damaged belts as soon as possible. Doing so could greatly extend your tractor's lifespan.
Even with pristine maintenance and care, tractors will eventually get old and worn-out. If yours is reaching this elderly state, visit Gene & Matt Tractor Sales Inc in Winder, GA, to explore their quality selection of tractors and other heavy equipment. These farm equipment dealers offer service and warranties on all the products they sell and provide financing on Kubota® equipment. For more information about their available products, call them today at (770) 867-3179 and visit their website.