For many a farm owner, the tractor is the trusty workhorse. The safe, sturdy, dependable piece of equipment without which many tasks—or even running the farm—would be impossible. Whether you have a new tractor or ride around on an old or “previously appreciated” model, regular maintenance is the key to protecting your investment.
Good tractor maintenance begins with your eyes. Replace missing or worn clamps, bolts, nuts, or screws, and tighten any loose connections. Make sure the loader or other attachments are connected properly, and that all pins and bolts are in place. Tighten fuel tank mountings if necessary. Inspect hoses for leaks and loose connections, and belts for signs of wear or rot. Also, be sure to check fluid levels in the battery, transmission, radiator, and hydraulic system.
Oil and Fluids
Check the oil, transmission fluid, and water regularly. The frequency of your checks will vary, depending on hours of use. How often should you change your oil? “We recommend changing the engine oil after the first 50 hours that you use the tractor and every 100 hours after that.
You’ll replace the oil filter whenever you change the oil—generally, after the first 50 hours you use your tractor, then every 100 hours. Air filters need to be changed whenever they get clogged. Look through your air filter from the inside, and hold up a light to the outside. If you see a good amount of light, your air filter is okay.
You’ll want to check all electrical connections to the battery to ensure that they are still wired tightly. The biggest problem is the buildup of corrosion on the battery cables, which can cause your battery to go dead. keep your batteries clean especially where the battery post meets the inside of the terminal and make sure the connection is tight. If you can twist the cable, it is too loose.
Wheels and Tires
Regularly inspect the wheel bearings for signs of wear and tear. Tighten wheel lugs according to your owner’s manual. The mechanics at Massey Ferguson recommend tightening the lugs after the first 10 hours of use on a new tractor, then every 50 hours after that.
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