A few simple steps can prolong the life of your tractor

Tractors are a crucial part to many agricultural operations. Typically, they are also a large investment, and in order to protect that investment, proper servicing and maintenance is required.

While there are many variables when it comes to equipment usage, it is important to keep tractors (and other machinery too) on a regular maintenance schedule.

“Is’s a good idea to perform an oil change and replace fuel filters every 100 to 200 hours,” Steve Kuhs, service Manager at S&H Farm Supply in Lockwood, Mo., said.

At that time, other checks and maintenance can also be performed on the tractor.

“A typical service should entail, of course, an oil and filter change, as well as replacement of all fluid filters on the machine, checking coolant, checking engine air filters, (replacing if needed), checking the cab filters (replacing as needed), and greasing all grease points on the machine,” Kuhs explained. “Basically, check the entire operation of the machine from front to rear, including all the lights and all the functions.”

While servicing a tractor is a year-round task, there are a few special procedures that need to take place before cold weather sets in to winterize machinery.

“In the fall of the year, everyone should make sure they don’t forget to get ready for winter,” Kuhs advised. “The most important thing is make sure to check coolant freeze points. This is very crucial if the coolant system has weak coolant, and if it freezes this can be a very costly repair, so make sure your coolant is at least around negative 20 degrees (for our climate here).”

He also advised running a fuel additive in both diesel and gas engines. While this can be done all year, it is especially important to keep fuel from gelling or freezing in the winter.

While routine service on a tractor may seem costly or time consuming, it costs far less in the long run to keep machinery on a schedule for upkeep.

“Routine services are vital to keeping all your equipment up and going,” Kuhs said. “By doing regular maintenance, this keeps you in the field during harvest time and it lets us find and repair issues before they become a major breakdown. The last thing a farmer needs is to have their equipment in the shop when it needs to be in the field.”

Klaire HowertonFarm Helpproper maintenance,tractorA few simple steps can prolong the life of your tractor Tractors are a crucial part to many agricultural operations. Typically, they are also a large investment, and in order to protect that investment, proper servicing and maintenance is required. While there are many variables when it comes to equipment...The Ozarks' most read farm newspaper, reaching more than 58,000 readers in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma