Tractors are essential tools when it comes to farming. The amount of power and convenience they offer on the farm makes them a farmer’s best friend. However, they need to be well maintained periodically to provide significant benefits. And for that, businesses need to know critical areas in a tractor that should be frequently checked during maintenance.
Why it is essential to maintain tractors
Tractors have become increasingly important in farming. In addition to this, they constantly improve along with technological advancements, so the cost of these machines is bound to increase. The importance of the tractor to a farmer results in the need to maintain it properly to give it a good service life and keep it in top-notch condition without incurring extra costs. This guide will highlight key areas to look at when maintaining a tractor.
Tractor’s maintenance checklist
Check the overall appearance
A visual check of the entire tractor is essential before using it. Walking around the tractor will help identify any worn-out hoses, cables, or fluid leaks. Places with dirt build-up indicate that there may be a leak that needs attention. The glass sediment bowl, located beneath the fluid filter, should be checked for water or material. Leaks identified may require tightening or replacing hoses/screws. The same goes for loose clamps or drain plugs.
Some tractor models have windows that enable operators to view fluid levels, such as oil. Visual checks are also suitable for checking whether the indicators and hazard lights are working, so turning them on is advisable. The PTO shields should also be inspected for defects, and the neutral start switch should be operating correctly.
Check the fluid level of the radiator
While it is normal to have fluids such as coolants reduce their level over time, a sudden drop in the amount of coolant, brake fluid, and other fluids could indicate a more severe problem that needs attention, such as fluid leaking into the engine or the gasket.
It is therefore essential to have regular checks to keep track of changes in fluid levels. Besides this, checking for fluid levels allows topping up fluids when necessary for a smooth operation of the tractor.
Check the fuel tank
Every once in a while, a check in the tractor’s fuel tank will help increase its life span. Having a new top-up of fuel is recommended before using the tractor. It is not advisable to have fuel in the tank for more than three months. For storage, it is better to use containers free of dust and rust.
The sediment bowl should also be drained frequently to take off sediment build-up, while the fuel tank should be partially drained to remove water.
It is also advisable to use anti-gelling additives, especially during cold seasons. During warm seasons, additives also help improve the lubricity of the fuel. A fuel conditioner may be necessary for tractors that use ethanol to prevent the ethanol from separating from the fuel and mixing with the water.
Check the oil
The oils used in a tractor should all be checked before its used. Begin by turning on the tractor and allowing it to heat for a few minutes. The tractor should then be turned off a few minutes before checking the dipstick. Warming up the engine enables the oil to heat up and circulate within the engine as it may have condensed overnight. Top up the engine with oil if necessary.
The oil in the gearbox and transmission sections should also be inspected. A sudden drop in any oil level indicates a more significant problem, such as a leak caused by driving on rough terrains or an oil dump. Internal oil leaks can be easily spotted with a blue smoke emitted by the exhaust or reduced engine power.
It is also essential to ensure the lubrication of moving parts and grease joints. These include grease fittings across the tractor. Having a checklist of each fitting is recommended so that none is left behind.
Check the air pressure
The life span of the tires can be affected by the air pressure they have. First off, during winter, tires will frequently lose pressure. Air pressure should therefore be keenly monitored during spring. Using low pressure will wear down tires and increase fuel consumption.
The air pressure should be adjusted based on the events of the day. Should be a lot of tilling, then the pressure should be reduced by a few pounds. If there is a lot of road travel, the air pressure should be increased by a few pounds. Using a loader would require the front tires to have more air pressure while lifting heavy weights requires the rear tires to have more air pressure.
Check the air filter
Air filters ensure that the engine’s air is free of materials. Daily checks on the filter are unnecessary, though black smoke from the exhaust indicates that the air filter should be checked. A loss in the engine power is another indicator that the air filter could be excessively clogged.
When inspecting the air filter, you will note an outer filter and inner filter. The inner filter should never be removed except when being replaced. The outer filter can be removed if visibly dirty and then blown with pressure no more than 35 psi before being returned to its place. Any dirt should also be wiped clean before closing the housing.
Check the engine and gearbox
The engine should be inspected every day for any damage to it or the gearbox before using the tractor. Specific attention should be drawn to whether the engine produces weird noises, indicating a deeper problem. Smoke coming from the engine could indicate an oil leak that should be handled before using the tractor. Also, the gearbox should be lubricated before using the tractor.
The tractor’s productivity on the farm is unmatched in many aspects. It could easily be called a farmer’s best friend because of its productivity, so its maintenance is of great importance to farmers and business owners. Visit Alibaba.com for a selection of the best tractors to purchase.