Breakdowns are a costly and time-consuming part of farm life. Farming machinery is notoriously expensive to fix, and whole days are lost waiting for specialist parts to arrive or a mechanic to arrive.
But staying on top of maintenance will significantly extend the life of your farm equipment. This means longer between ordering replacements or auctioning farm equipment. Here are 5 simple farm equipment maintenance tips to keep your equipment in good working order.
Ensure Everyone is Trained
Human error in machinery operation causes most farm equipment breakdowns. After you buy the equipment, ensure everyone who will use the machinery is fully-trained in how to operate and maintain it.
Keeping on top of this as people come and go can be time-consuming, and often falls by the wayside in the day-to-day life of running a farm, but it is essential. Before you know it, your machinery has been neglected because your staff don’t know how to check it properly and before you know it, the equipment has broken down.
Clean Mud and Silt Away Immediately
Keeping your machines free from mud and silt should be a priority. If it is allowed to harden, it will become a nightmare to get off and could damage the equipment if left to build up.
At the end of each use, spray the equipment down with a pressure washer to dislodge any mud, then let the equipment dry before putting it away.
Develop a Good Schedule for Lubricant Replacement
Regularly replacing lubricant is one of the easiest ways of extending the life of your farm equipment. Lubrication is the life-blood of the machine. It prevents grease and dirt build-up on moving parts.
But that doesn’t mean you can apply a one-size-fits-all approach. Each part will have a manufacturers recommendation for what lubricant to apply. It is worth following this to the letter as a build-up of contaminants, or the wrong type of oil could cause an expensive breakdown.
Replace Fuel After the Winter Months
If your machinery has left-over fuel from the winter months, drain it and fill it with a fresh tank. Over the winter, condensation can build up, leading to poorer quality fuel and an engine that won’t run smoothly.
It is also a good idea to check all the fluid levels after the machinery has been standing over the winter. Coolant and hydraulic oil can become low, increasing the risk of overheating or transmission failures.
Take Measures to Prevent Rust
Rust is the scourge of the farming machinery world. This is why it is essential to properly clean the machinery and store it in a clean and dry environment. Machinery that is constantly exposed to the elements is vulnerable to rust.
For an additional layer of protection, wax your equipment regularly and touch up any paintwork that is peeling or fading. There are also a number of sprays on the market the block rust and prevent it from forming.
Your farm is your business. Every expenditure is another blow to your profit. Frequently repairing and replacing machinery means a significant expenditure. It is in the interests of your business to stay on top of equipment maintenance to get the most revenue from your assets.