You might not know it to see all the snow still on the ground in some parts of the country, but spring is upon us. And as farmers ready themselves for long days, they first should make sure that their equipment and machinery is tuned up and ready to go.
Not only will keeping farm equipment well maintained help to extend its life, it also will make sure that everyone who uses that equipment remains safe. What follows is a list of what farmers need to check before they put their equipment to work.
- Lights and flashers. Flashers and turn signals need to be tested to make sure they are working correctly. Emblems need to be clean and any worn down ones replaced.
- Shields and guards. Check your PTO drive-line shields. Shields should turn freely and independently of the drive line. Further, to ensure maximum protection, the drive-line shields, tractor master shields and corresponding implement shields need to be in place.
- Hydraulic systems and mechanical locks. Check all hoses, fittings and seals and replace worn pieces.
- Tires. Check that all tires are inflated properly and that bearings are properly lubricated.
- Sprayer and planters. Hoses, valves, fittings and all other components must be free of leaks. Any tanks should have tight covers so spills are avoided.
- Hitch pins. The locking hitch pins on tractors and implements must be checked to guarantee that they are secure and in good working order.
- Steps and platforms. Always keep equipment platforms and steps clean so that no one slips and falls when entering, exiting or standing on equipment.
No matter what make or model of equipment you own, make sure you are familiar with the owner’s manual. This ensures that you will have all the information necessary for its particular service and maintenance requirements.
Getting your tractors and other equipment ready for spring doesn’t need to take a long time but it will pay off in the long run. After all, there is nothing worse than being slowed down by a breakdown after work has begun in the fields and around the farm.
Finally, it is always a good idea to have a strong relationship with your equipment dealer. That way if there is a major issue with your equipment you have someone to turn to for help instead of scrambling to find someone at the last minute.