Owning and using a tractor on your farm is part of a farmer’s everyday life. You need it to transport various materials around your land, and it can even be used to help tow different tillage equipment. It is vital to properly maintain your tractor in order to keep it running and in good condition for when you need it most.
Farming equipment in South Africa needs to be kept in proper storage so it does not become rusted and to keep it out of the elements. You will also need to perform regular checks on your tractor to ensure that all parts are in working order and if any replacements need to be made. Below are some top tips on how to properly maintain your tractor.
Start with an inspection
The most effective way to maintain your tractorn is to start the day with a visual inspection. You will need to check for leaks, worn hoses and any loose cables. This will help you to ascertain whether the leaks need to be fixed by a professional or if you can treat them yourself by replacing and tightening hoses, clamps and drain plugs.
Other important aspects to inspect are the safety features of your tractor. Farming equipment in South Africa includes safety features such as power take-off shields, hazard lights and a neutral start switch (which ensures that your tractor will not start while in gear). An inspection will tell you whether everything is in correct working order or if you need to make any urgent repairs.
Always clean the air filter
Your tractor drives through fields, over gravel roads and dusty paths, which means that the air filter can easily become clogged and problematic. If your air filter is not working correctly, it will not be able to protect your engine from any dust and dirt that is kicked up by your tractor.
Check and clean your air filter at least every two days in order to maintain it and keep it dust free. If your air filter is clogged or dirty, it can cause immense wear and tear on your engine, so it is important to check it and clean it regularly. An easy and effective way to do this is to look at it under a light or the in sun and if you cannot see through it, then it is time to clean it.
Take a look at tyre pressure
The pressure of your tractor tyres is important, so check this at regular intervals. The tyres of farming equipment in South Africa can be checked using a normal tyre pressure gauge which means you will not have to buy any new equipment.
Tractor tyres can last for many years but an underinflated tyre can cause damage to the sidewall and this will cause the tyres to wear much faster than normal. You will also find yourself using more petrol if you operate with under inflated tyres, so inflate them to the right pressure. Be sure to take note of the pressure in the different seasons as it might fluctuate in both cold and hot weather. Global warming in South Africa might make it a better idea to check your tyres each week as the weather fluctuates.
Monitor the radiator fluid levels
The loss of fluids over time in a tractor is common, but if you find yourself having to top up radiator fluids more than once a week, this might indicate another issue. If you are using your tractor for up to 12 hours a day, be sure to check your radiator fluid daily but if you only use it for five hours a day, you can check it weekly.
Radiator fluid can also leak out through broken or faulty head gaskets, so ensure that you keep an eye on these as well. If you are unsure about the radiator fluid levels then you can contact the manufacturer or consult your manual for help. Be sure that you know the specific model of tractor so you know exactly which coolant to use. It is a good idea to avoid using the tractor until you have changed the radiator fluid.
Maintaining your tractor is vital to the smooth operation of your farm, which means that you need to inspect all aspects regularly. You should start each day with a full visual inspection, then move onto looking at the air filter, tyre pressure and the radiator fluid levels.
Once you have finished these checks, you should look at the interior and be sure that nothing is damaged or in need of replacement. Ensuring that your tractor is maintained will not only save you time and money but will help with the productivity levels of your farm.