If there’s anyone (or anything) that will always have your back when it comes to farm work, it’s going to be your farm equipment. But given the nature of their tasks, agricultural equipment is no stranger to breakdowns. If these pieces of equipment are not kept in top shape, they can pose a danger to property, crops, and their operator. Here are some tips to keep your machines working their best and prevent untimely breakdowns that can hurt your farm’s productivity.
Ensure that the Operator has the Right Training
To make sure that your equipment serves you well, you also need to treat them well. Make sure that everyone who operates your farm machinery is familiar with their operational requirements and capacities. This knowledge should include knowing when to conduct periodic maintenance checks and recognising the earliest signs of mechanical stress and wear. Always keep the product manuals handy and make it a point that your machine’s operators regularly brush-up on them.
Don’t Skip on Professional Maintenance Inspections
Much like vehicles and other complicated machinery, agricultural equipment should be routinely inspected by their respective specialist. These professionals should know these machines like the back of their hand and will be able to spot and prevent issues that will seem invisible to the untrained eye. These trained professionals are also equipped to perform on-the-spot repairs and are qualified to give professional advice to the equipment’s respective operators. Always keep records of maintenance activities and keep a schedule so you don’t miss essential checks.
Watch Out for Rusting
Rust is one of the biggest banes of heavy equipment. Farm machinery is especially at high-risk by being regularly exposed to moist soil and irrigation. Over time, this moisture can eat through the metal and will compromise the equipment’s integrity. Luckily there are various anti-rusting compounds available for purchase, and you can also have your equipment periodically repainted and waxed to keep them safe from the elements. It’s also a good idea to have a shed where you can store your equipment so they can be safe from the harsh weather when not in use.
Keep them Clean
Give your farm equipment good hose-down or pressure washing to remove all the caked-up mud, soil, and grime. Keeping your equipment clean will make it easier to conduct visual inspections for signs of leaking and wear. Leaving built-up earth on the surfaces of your machines can also contribute to corrosion and rusting. Maintaining the inside clean for the operator is as important. Nobody likes to work in a dusty office, and happy workers are productive workers.
Keep Spare Parts Handy
Determine which parts will need to be swapped out most often and keep a backup handy. This precaution can save you a day of downtime when a sudden breakdown occurs. Even if your mechanic is a phone call away, you can’t be too sure that the parts you’ll need will be readily available.
Don’t Skimp on Lubrication
With so many moving parts, you must always refresh your farm machine’s lubricants. This practice will reduce friction and vibration, which can extend your equipment’s durability and usability.