We all know that maintaining your equipment is an important part of ownership. So today, we’ll show you some tractor maintenance checkpoints to remember whether yours is a compact or utility tractor.
Whether you only use your tractor occasionally on weekends, or you use it virtually every day all year round, following the tractor maintenance guidelines in your Operator’s Manual is critical to making sure your tractor is always ready to work when you are.
But there are also some points to consider that you might not find in your OM, depending on the age and the brand of tractor you own.
So here are a few tractor maintenance checkpoints to remember that will help keep you out of trouble.
- Read your Operator’s Manual – again. Nobody bats 1000, just like nobody can remember everything. A reminder review of any tractor maintenance you should be conducting right now can help save a costly mistake.
- When planning to use your tractor after an extended period of not using it, check the engine compartment for rodents, birds, and other varmints who may have set up housekeeping in there while you weren’t looking.
- Clean your radiator and all its screens using compressed air. The radiator is essentially how your tractor engine dissipates heat. If the screens are clogged, bad things can ultimately happen. This is especially true after work that can kick up a lot of dust or residue like rotary cutting, hay cutting, and the like. Also, keep all those screens in place and do not operate your tractor without them.
- Check and tighten your tractor’s wheel bolts, also known as lug nuts. Trust us. You’d be surprised.
- When lubricating your tractor’s grease points, don’t mix grease formulations. Incompatible grease formulations can chemically react with each other in undesirable ways. Essentially, either the mixture can harden and not release any of its oil, eliminating its ability to lubricate. Or the mixture can soften and release all of the oil, which then leaks out. Either way, there isn’t any lubricant left in place to do the job that needs to be done.
- Before the temperature falls below 32o Fahrenheit, add a winterizer/antigel product to your tractor’s fuel storage tank. Use the correct variety for your gasoline or diesel engine. Without this antigel agent, your fuel can literally thicken into a gel during cold weather, your tractor won’t start, and it can be difficult to warm it up again. This is also a good time to check your engine coolant mixture using an antifreeze/coolant tester. Be sure to let your engine cool down before you remove your radiator cap or coolant reservoir cap.
Now remember, always read the Operator’s Manual before storing or operating any piece of equipment, and follow all operating and safety instructions.
And if you’re looking for implements and other tools that help turn your tractor into the workhorse it was built to be, you’ll find them – and all kinds of advice on how to use them – every day at your John Deere dealer.
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