March 25, 2009
Whether your small tractor has been in the shed for the winter or out tackling the toughest of winter chores, it’s time for a thorough “spring cleaning” inside and out to get ready for that long list of upcoming spring and summer projects on your acreage or small farm.Â
Learn more about getting a tractorÂ for your farm and basicÂ spring cleaning.
Here’s some advice from tractor manufacturer Massey Ferguson on how to get your farm equipment moving again now that it’s spring.
- Do your best to keep your tractor fully serviced and maintained by committing to a regular program of service and preventive maintenance. This can prevent breakdowns and helps maintain resale value
- Develop a relationship with your dealer to assist with regular maintenence issues. Massey Ferguson, for example, is “working hard to give customers the help and advice they need so they can enjoy every minute using their tractor â€“ not spending their valuable time inconvenienced by repairs and down time,” says Chris Box, marketing specialist, Compact & Commercial Equipment for Massey Ferguson.
- Become familiar with your tractor’s owners manual for regular service and maintenance information specific to the model you own.
Next–Begin with a thorough inspection:
- See if there is anything loose, damaged or in need of repair. Look for loose or missing nuts, bolts and screws, then tighten or replace them. Loose fasteners cause insidious damage to thread parts, linkages and bushings; can loosen tolerances on tight-fitting mechanisms; and will waste your time on repairs that could have been prevented.
- Make sure the loader or other attachments are connected properly and all pins and bolts are in place.
- Look at all electrical connections and check them to see if they’re still wired tightly.
- Check for fluid leaks and worn or cracked belts. Add engine coolant and replace belts as needed.
- Check the condition of your tractor’s battery. A voltage meter reading below nine volts indicates you need a new battery. Make sure the battery connections are tight and free of corrosion.
- Check the tires for proper air pressure and wear. Replace the tires if needed.
- Tighten wheel lugs according to the owner’s manual. Typically this is done after the first 10 hours of use and again at 50-hour intervals.
Finally–Make the needed changes:
- Change the engine oil and filter.
- Change the fuel filter, and if the tractor has not been used for several months, drain out old fuel to prevent dirt or water that has accumulated during the winter from damaging the engine.
- Install new spark plug(s) and points.
- Replace engine and air conditioning air filters, removing any debris from these areas.
- ForÂ OEM replacement parts, contact your local dealer;Â OEM replacement parts areÂ designed and manufactured to the exact specifications of your tractor. Many OEM come with a 12-month warranty, and all are backed by the manufacturer.
- Lubricate. An un-lubricated tractor eventually experiences wear damage that will cause unnecessary and sometimes costly repairs.
- Check your owner’s manual for grease zirk locations (so you don’t miss any) and direction on the type of grease or lubricant to use. Check the loader and other attachments as well for grease fittings.
- You also can apply a drop of lubricating oil to each nut, bolt and joint on the tractor to prevent rust and keep them from seizing up.
- Wash and polish. A clean tractor runs more efficiently and looks sharp while at work. Winter mud, grime and de-icing products should be removed to keep metal parts from corroding and rusting.
- Use a mild soap and hose or power washer to clean away mud and debris. Automotive degreaser is an effective way to remove greasy build-up on the engine and chassis. Don’t forget the radiator screens and the underside of your tractor.
- Vacuum and wipe dust from inside the cab and wash cab windows to ensure the best view of your work.
- Give the tractor an occasional wax or polish to enhance the paint finish and add to the tractor’s resale value.
For more information about getting the most from your compact tractor contact your local tractor dealer. For more aboutÂ Massey Ferguson, visit www.masseyferguson.com.