8 common farm equipment maintenance mistakes

8 Common Equipment Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid for Farmers Advice, Farm operation tips, Heavy machinery

8 Common Farm Equipment Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid for Farmers

10 Nov 2020

8 common farm equipment maintenance mistakes

Is your track record with heavy machinery a little dubious? Do you get the key to a brand new combine harvester, only to have it belching smoke and wheezing under the pressure a season later? If so, like many farmers around the world, you may need some advice on maintaining your equipment.

It is an assumption that farming machinery is durable. While it is built to work in tough conditions, there are a number of equipment maintenance mistakes you need to know to keep your farm running and save money. read on to find out our 8 common mistakes you may be making.

8 Common Farm Equipment Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Overrunning Machines

Any machine, farm equipment or not, will not last and suffer problems if it is constantly running at maximum performance. You would not buy a new car and drive it at top speed all the time, then expect it not to have problems. Why do it with farming equipment?

Machines should be run just under their maximum performance levels. If a task requires a lighter mode, then switch to it to preserve the integrity of the machine and let it rest. You should also avoid using machines for tasks that they were not designed for.

  1. Not Lubricating

Farm equipment had a number of parts that require regular maintenance, and a major part of this involves lubrication. Lubricating your equipment will extend the life of your expensive machinery.

Friction is one of the main causes of damage and repairs on farm equipment. Lubricating is a simple, quick task that eases this. Put lubrication at the forefront of your maintenance schedule. In doing so, you are cutting down on the daily grinds, wear and tear on your machinery.

  1. Prepare for Winter

Using equipment in the winter is a huge difference from using it in summer. Cold can play havoc with machinery, and frozen ground, as well as your own frozen fingers, can make even routine tasks a lot harder. You must prepare accordingly.

Before winter arrives, make sure all major repairs and maintenance are done to your machines. Run winter fuels, clean the equipment, and replace any other fluids. If you have specialist equipment, such as ag sprayer parts, they may need extra specialist maintenance.

If you are very lucky, then you may not need your equipment in winter, or use different equipment altogether. In this instance, make sure your equipment is properly stored in an outbuilding or barn. Make sure it is weatherproofed by covering it with a tarp and securing it down.

  1. Equipment Maintenance Mistakes and Cleaning

Cleaning all your types of equipment on the farm often seems like an endless and thankless task. As soon as your clean, mud will cake on the vehicle at every opportunity. So you may wonder why you should bother.

Leaving mud and dirt on a vehicle can rot the shell over time, particularly if it contains fertilizer components or manure. In addition, debris and dirt that works its way into the motor or engine can result in immediate problems and failure. Finally, electrical components can short and break because of dirt hampering connections.

  1. Not Replacing Worn Parts

On a busy farm, it can be very tempting to ignore worn parts if they are still functioning. Stopping to replace them just means time, and time is money. However, this is a false economy.

At some point, the machine is going to give in regardless, so you are just deferring the problem. In addition, many broken parts are caused by a fault in a connecting section. So addressing the problem now, allows you to make a thorough inspection, replacing all parts at once, costing less time overall.

  1. Not Keeping Records

When maintaining your farm equipment, it pays to keep a farm equipment budget that includes any receipts and invoices for maintenance. It should also be on a dated schedule, so you know when any equipment is ready for another check-up or parts replacement.

This helps you in a number of ways. You can show its service history if selling the machinery on. You also have a record for insurance purposes, should any machinery cause an accident or injury.

  1. Not Training Staff

Regardless of if your business is small or large, training your staff on how to correctly operate and maintain machinery will increase its longevity and efficiency. In a busy operation, it can be hard to take out time for training sessions. However, it will pay dividends for your equipment.

Once staff know how to work machinery and look out for possible maintenance requirements, you can set up a rota. This can be weekly or daily, in which machines are maintained, cleaned, and checked for possible problems.

  1. Upgrading Too Fast

While not strictly a maintenance mistake, upgrading and enhancing your equipment too fast is a trap that many farmers fall into the trap of. Especially for farmers who are just starting out, having the newest and best equipment does not necessarily equate to an increase in profits. This can lead to lots of trouble if you are still paying off loans for previous equipment.

Instead, you should keep your current equipment in great condition and concentrate on growing. Make sure every part of your land is being used to its fullest. If you begin struggling to manage every inch of your land efficiently, you should then begin considering an equipment upgrade but never before.

Create a Schedule

In summary, design a regular maintenance schedule, while looking after and storing your equipment properly. If you avoid our equipment maintenance mistakes, then your machinery will last a lot longer, saving time and money.

If you enjoyed our article, then check out the other posts on our helpful blog. We have articles on farming, land management, and architecture that are sure to assist you in your business.

Comments on this guide to 8 Common Farm Equipment Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid for Farmers advice article are welcome.

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