If you’ve got a farm of any size, then a tractor is one of the most important pieces of equipment you can own. However, if you’ve never owned a tractor before, then you should be aware that it’s not as simple as getting it on-site and putting it to work. Even a new tractor requires regular maintenance and care to keep it running smoothly. This will help not only for how it operates in the present but also to keep it running well into the future.
Keeping your tractor properly maintained is just as important as operating it safely. A tractor that isn’t maintained well could stop working when you need to use it. A broken tractor does you no good, and you will have to pause everything to get it fixed. Not only that, but preventative maintenance is cheaper than paying for big repairs. It’s much more affordable to keep an eye on everything and keep things in good shape than buying new parts or disassembling and reassembling a component. Good maintenance means having a reliable and affordable tractor at all times. Here are six maintenance tips for new tractor owners that you should always keep in mind.
It might seem like a lot to inspect your tractor every day. However, you should remember that tractors can take a beating, and your physical condition can change from one day to the next. Therefore, your inspection should include your engine components, filters, oil and fluid levels, and tire condition at a minimum. In addition, make sure that all of your signal lights are working and that the emergency brake is functioning as well. This will ensure that everything is in the best shape possible and that you keep yourself familiar with how it should all look so that you can spot an issue quickly. Catching problems early will help you save on large repairs down the road.
You should be cleaning your tractor regularly. For one, that will keep it looking nice at all times. However, even if you don’t care how your tractor looks, you should still be cleaning it. Tractors go through dirt and mud all day long, and that dirt can get up into its engine components and cause problems. Your engine should be dissipating heat, but too much built-up dirt can insulate it. It can also get into hoses and fluid reservoirs and contaminate those spaces.
When you clean your tractor, don’t just hose down the paint job. Instead, get into every component and get dirt and debris away and out of your tractor. Once a year, apply wax to your paint job. This will protect the paint and the fiberglass underneath from rotting out. When cleaning, do a thorough job and make sure that your tractor shines from the bottom of the tires to the top of your John Deere tractor canopy.
Your air filter prevents dirt and debris from getting into your engine and clogging up its components. Your tractor works on soil, grass, gravel, and manure, providing many opportunities for these materials to get into your engine. Your air filter will get clogged up quickly if you put it through enough work. When you do your daily inspection, check the air filter and see how much has built up from the previous day. Always switch out your filters before they get too blocked to avoid any issues. You may also notice your tractor smoking or having less power than usual. If you can’t see any light through your filter, then it is definitely time for a change.
You probably take your car or other vehicle in for an oil change on a regular schedule. Your tractor needs the same thing. Most people change the oil in their personal vehicle based on the mileage they’ve driven. With a tractor, you should do so based on the hours of use you’ve put your tractor through. Tractors are now made with an easy-to-see meter that tracks no long the tractor has been in operation. It will alert you that it is time for a change when it reaches a certain number. Always make the change right away. Do not wait since having inadequate oil can cause severe damage to your engine.
You have engine belts that keep the components moving in an efficient manner. There are belts connected to your hydraulic pump, alternator, coolant pump, and more. Over time, these belts can wear down from all the friction they experience while the tractor is in operation. If you think there is an issue during your daily inspection, remove the suspected belt and see if it can snap or make a cracking noise when you bend it. It should be flexible and loose, and if it’s not, it should be replaced immediately.
Like with belts, many hoses help your engine components do what they need to do. While there’s not as much friction involved, they can still wear down and lead to leaks. Regularly check your coolant hoses and hydraulic lines. They will break without warning if you are not paying attention. If you think there is an issue, then replace them right away. Again, much like with belts, you will notice they are brittle and possibly cracking.
Your tractor provides a wealth of benefits that can prove the difference between a successful farm and go out of business. Since it’s so important, you can’t afford to neglect it and allow something to go wrong. Follow these maintenance tips and conduct regular inspections to make sure that you prevent big issues and always have your tractor to use when you need it.