As the harvest season draws to a close, it’s time to focus on the next stage of farm equipment usage: storage during the off-season. Cleaning and properly preparing your farm equipment for winter storage is vitally important. Without proper maintenance, your equipment can slowly disintegrate and lose its effectiveness and power. To avoid costly repairs and maintenance in spring, follow these five off-season farm equipment maintenance tips.
Five Maintenance Tips to Prep Your Farm Equipment for Winter
Before you store your farm equipment for the off-season, it’s essential to properly prepare it for storage. Failing to do so can cause serious equipment breakdown, which will cost you come spring. Keep your farm equipment in good shape during the winter and get it ready to use in the spring with these simple tips:
- Check for Damage – The demands placed on your farm equipment during harvest can take their toll. Check all of your equipment thoroughly for any signs of damage or wear and fix them before placing your equipment in storage. This will prevent broken parts from further deterioration and rusting during the cold months, leaving your equipment in tip-top shape for the upcoming season.
- Clean – Harvest can leave significant dust and debris build up on your farm equipment, so it’s important to conduct a comprehensive cleaning of your equipment prior to its storage. Remove all dust, dirt, and debris from both the inside and outside of your farm equipment.
- Check Fluid Levels – When the weather changes, condensation has a habit of creeping into empty fuel tanks. To prevent water from getting into your tanks come spring, make sure to check all fluid levels and properly fill all tanks. Top off fuel and hydraulic tanks, lubricate all equipment parts to protect them during the off-season and store all diesel exhaust fuel in its original container.
- Charge or Disconnect Batteries – For equipment that you may need to use during the winter months, the best way to protect the battery is to keep it as fully charged as possible. For equipment that you’ll be storing and not using until spring, your safest option is to disconnect the battery completely, which will prevent leakage.
- Store Properly – Finally, after you’ve sufficiently prepared your farm equipment for the off-season, keep it properly stored for further protection. The best way to protect your equipment during storage is to keep it stored safely under a roof; however, if that’s not an option, you can also protect your equipment by covering it properly. Protect anything computerized by covering it with a waterproof cloth, and for extra protection, use waterproof products like wax to prevent rusting and premature wear.
Taking advantage of this downtime to properly prepare and store all of your farm equipment will make your life much easier when spring rolls around again. Properly maintained and stored equipment will be ready to roll out and work hard for you when the busy season returns. Don’t wait; follow these farm equipment maintenance tips and save time and money next season.
About Precision Ag Services
With over 30 years of experience in the agriculture services industry, Precision Ag Services is Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana’s leading expert in Precision Agriculture support and consultation. We help farms implement precision farming equipment and techniques to increase yield and generate higher profits. Interested in getting started with Precision Farming? Contact Precision Ag Services or call us at (419) 490-8129 today!