Post-Harvest Maintenance Tips
With harvest wrapping up across the United States, many farmers are already looking ahead to 2022. The easiest way to ensure a smooth spring startup is performing proper equipment maintenance and inspection now. Here’s a checklist of our top 3 post-harvest maintenance tips to save money and prevent downtime come spring.
- Exterior cleaning and inspection.
Dirty, dusty equipment doesn’t just look bad – storing tractors and other equipment without proper cleaning can also lead to unnecessary downtime in the spring. Dust can harden when left for extended periods time, damaging gears, bearing and other components. Additionally, some dust contains chemicals that can accelerate corrosion. Debris also attracts rodents, which can damage electrical components if they decide to take up residence in your equipment over winter.
Use an air compressor to clear dirt and crop debris once the tractor has left the field. This is a good time to check tires for twine or plastic wrap, which can damage wheel seals. Remove stubborn dirt with a pressure washer.
To prevent rust and corrosion, lubricate all grease fitting and exposed metal surfaces that slide in and out of seals.
Once your tractor is clean, carefully inspect the body for scratches and bare spots and touch up with AGCO Parts paint products to achieve a factory matching paint color. Finish with a wax coat. This will provide protection from UV rays and chemical residues when you’re back in the field.
- Take a good look under the hood.
Before storing your tractor, it’s important to carefully clean, inspect and maintain engine components. Consult your operator’s manual for the most detailed information on your specific Massey Ferguson model.
Start by cleaning the radiator, condensers and coolers with compressed air and water. Be sure to blow in the opposite direction of air travel to ensure all dust and debris are removed.
Next, check oil, coolant protection system and supplemental collative additive (SCA) levels. To ensure smooth spring startup, take the time to top off all engine fluids. This is also a good time to change oil and filters, if necessary. Refer to your operator’s manual for specific maintenance intervals for your model.
Filling the fuel tank is also recommended before winter storage. This helps prevent condensation from warming and cooling temperatures. For colder climates, use winter blend fuels or AGCO Parts DMax Winter Fuel Conditioner, which is specially designed to meet the rigorous standards set by AGCO Power engines and ensures fuel quality and condition when it’s time to get back in the field.
- Interior cleaning and inspection.
You’ve spent a lot of time in the cab this season, and it probably looks it. Remove monitors and tools from the cab. Blow out dust and debris with an air compressor. This is also a good time to inspect seats and upholstery panels for signs of wear. Replacing these over winter means more comfortable riding conditions next spring.
Carefully clean windows, looking for cracks, scratches and other damage that will need to be addressed before spring. Inspect weather stripping around doors and windows, as well. This helps improve climate control and keep dust and chemical vapors out, so it’s important to have a good seal. Look for a snug fit with no brittle patches, cracks or other signs of damage.
Taking time to care for your tractor this fall will get your operation off to an efficient start in 2022. Whether you’re planning to complete everything in one day or have a slightly longer maintenance window, work with your local AGCO Dealer to arrange parts and service that fit your schedule.