While You’re Waiting

Teresa Olson
By Teresa Olson April 17, 2018 09:44


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Tuesday, March 20th marked the first day of spring, and that usually gets farmers excited for sunshine, warmth and this year’s planting season.  But because Mother Nature has a mind of her own, many are still waiting – perhaps impatiently – for those signs to appear.  It’s a little hard to imagine that field work is right around the corner as many of you look outside at a cold and frozen tundra.

Take advantage of this waiting period to do some maintenance tasks on the farm that are often overlooked.  If you’re doing the things listed below then you’ve got everything under control.  If not, then consider getting started as soon as possible.

  • Planter closing (packing) wheels are overlooked the most.  Check for looseness and worn bearings, bushings, or cams.  Then check the assembly for bends or cracks.
  • Drive belts could cost you valuable field time, so check them all whether it be on a tractor or fluid pump.
  • Planter drive components including chains, cables, sprockets, idlers, clutches, and their bushings or bearings should also be checked.
  • Implement tires don’t require much maintenance – just an inflation check prior to and during the season.  Make this a habit as correct inflation keeps a toolbar or an implement level in operation – and that pays off.
  • Air bags can spring leaks over time as a result of vibration or brittle hoses.  Fill a spray bottle with soapy water and spray every connection.  Bubbles will tell you there’s a leak.
  • Batteries can experience sudden death syndrome so performing a load test with a volt-ohm meter in the winter is advisable.  If you don’t have the ability to do this, replace any battery that is 5 years or older with a new one specifically designed for heavy-duty use.  A battery with more than 14.6 volts after the surface charge is removed with a load tester is internally sulphated and near its end.
  • Clean  and tighten engine carburetors and intake manifolds while doing regular maintenance (oil, plugs, filters) on all small engines, whether it be a nurse trailer, seed tender or UTV.
  • Air conditioning filters should be cleaned or replaced every time engine filters are changed, and the HVAC system must also have enough coolant.  Poor maintenance could cost you money.
  • Check your engine coolant every winter using test strips that you can buy at automotive supply stores.  Recommended levels of SCA should range between 1.5 to 3 units per gallon.
  • Electrical grounds should be removed, cleaned and be securely re-attached before starting fieldwork.
  • Check your tillage attachments for structural breakage and mounting point wear.  Follow that with a scan of all soil-engaging elements for wear.
  • After releasing the pressure, take paper, pen and a paint marker and assess the status of your hydraulic hoses.  Mark needed repairs with the marker and write down developing problems.  Look for wetness (indicating a puncture), wear from friction/erosion, cracks and crushed hoses.  If you don’t see obvious signs of distress, press a ballpoint pen into the rubber.  If it leaves a mark, make a note to check it again next year.

These tasks are bound to keep you occupied, so get busy and before you know it you’ll be in the field!

-Terry Olson, Titan Outlet Store Team




Teresa Olson
By Teresa Olson April 17, 2018 09:44
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