An article in the March 2009 edition of Ag Connection, a publication from the University of Missouri Extension, quoted a Midwest study that showed many farmers could reduce machinery repair costs 25 percent by improving routine tractor maintenance procedures. As an example, the study stated that an $80,000 tractor would typically require about $24,000 in repair costs during 5,000 hours of operation when receiving average maintenance. This cost could be decreased to approximately $18,000 by increasing the level of service management.
The study’s authors concluded that timely preventative tractor maintenance and inspection will help identify problems when they can be corrected with relatively minor repairs, thus helping reduce major problems and downtime.
Now you might not be driving an $80,000 tractor, but the concept still applies. Whether your tractor has been used consistently, a little bit, or maybe not at all during the long, cold winter, getting it ready for spring work is important. It can save you money you’d rather not spend on repairs, and a lot of time you’d rather spend out enjoying on your property.
Always start by reviewing your operator’s manual thoroughly to make sure you consistently cover all the maintenance bases including engine, transmission, lubrication, electrical, fuel, fuel line and fuel tank. And don’t ignore the “miscellaneous” categories, either, because thorough maintenance can also mean higher resale value down the road. Talking to your John Deere Dealer about the details of a maintenance program for your tractor is also a good idea.