Winter can be a tough time for farmers. With fewer daylight hours, colder temperatures, and slower markets, work becomes more challenging. And if there is one challenge that is particularly costly, it’s farming equipment failing in the cold weather.
But even though equipment failure is more common in the winter, it doesn’t have to be inevitable. These tips for maintaining your tractor in the winter will help keep your tractor in top shape all season long.
Perform regular inspections
You likely won’t use your tractor as much during the winter. But extreme cold can still damage your tractor even when it isn’t in use. That’s why it’s important to conduct periodic inspections.
Watch out for the following:
Cracking in rubber hoses
Damage to treads
Air pressure of tires
Areas in the undercarriage that require lubrication
It’s also a good idea to start up the tractor for a few minutes once a week. Doing this type of preventative maintenance will help keep your tractor’s final drive in good condition.
Focus on cleanliness
If you’ve ever driven a car in the winter, you know that this season and vehicle cleanliness don’t exactly go together. But there is a good reason to make sure your tractor is relatively clean before you put it into storage.
Built-up water, mud clots, and other debris can become hot spots for rust buildup on your tractor. Mud clots may even attract pests that can chew through your tractor’s wiring. Your tractor doesn’t have to be perfectly clean, but try to give it a rinse before you put it away.
Don’t neglect lubrication
Keeping your engine lubricated is another tractor maintenance tip for winter. Being mindful of the type of lubrication you use for your tractor is even more important in this season.
As the weather turns colder, some types of oils will become too thick for your tractor.
This can lead to problems starting the engine. Be sure to invest in winter-grade oils to keep your tractor running throughout the season.
Store it properly
The wintery temperatures, snow, and sleet will wear down anything after a while, and that includes your tractor. To keep your machine in the best shape possible, try to find a heated garage to house it. Even if a heated storage unit isn’t possible, simply having an overhang to keep snow off the tractor is better than leaving it outside.
Winter can be tough. But if there’s one thing farmers know how to do, it’s adjust with the seasons. Maintaining your tractor during the winter is one step that will help you have a better season when spring returns.