Your spring farm equipment checklist
Many farmers already are out in their fields. But it’s important to spend some time in the maintenance shop, too. Make sure your equipment is ready and reliable from planting to harvest.
Tractor maintenance. Your tractor should idle smoothly. Check or change fluids to ensure purity, and remove any water that may have condensed inside mechanical housings and hoses.
Make sure brakes, clutches, and cooling systems are all in working order. Check rubber hoses and belts for cracks, as those could lead to breakdowns in the future.
Think about accident prevention, too. Double check that front and back hazard lights are in good working order and that appropriate slow moving vehicle placards are placed correctly, visible, and in good condition.
Farm tire inspection. Check tires and rims for rust, damage, or premature wear. Next, make sure tires are properly inflated for the work ahead.
According to the USDA, properly inflated tires will generate 25% more pull than over-inflated tires. The right inflation will reduce fuel consumption, field time, and soil compaction.
Ventilation. Test fans and confinement ventilation systems to make sure they’re in working order. Same goes for your floor fans and any other cooling systems in your buildings.
Watering systems. Check the plumbing and replace filters if you use a purification system. Periodic inspections are important to ensure proper operation and care of livestock.
Proactive maintenance will help you avoid safety issues and equipment malfunctions, and hopefully keep you out of crisis mode during the busy season.