Don’t feel bad. You’re not alone if you pushed your equipment harder and stretched maintenance schedules through the long harvest season. It’s now time to get back on track.
Whether readying your tractor for hibernation or preparing it for winter chores, a thorough maintenance check now can help reduce the likelihood of downtime during the dead of winter or at the height of spring fieldwork.
Routine maintenance schedules and requirements depend on the age of your equipment. Oil change intervals, lubrication requirements and filter efficiencies have evolved through the years. Start by reviewing your tractor’s operators manual. It covers maintenance schedules specific to that model. Another great resource is our Red and Ready Productivity Hub, where you’ll find tips, maintenance checklists, and parts and service information.
Consider these general steps and areas of emphasis to keep your tractors humming through the grueling winter or prepare them to emerge from a winter’s rest ready to roll:
Keep it clean. Dirt, dust and chaff are the enemies of nearly all moving parts. An air compressor, power washer and garden hose can help you clear the tightest nooks and crannies.
Change fluids and filters. If you are winterizing your tractor, change the engine oil and filters, and top off hydraulic and transmission fluids. Examine used oil for obvious issues. Consider having your Case IH dealer conduct an oil analysis, which can pinpoint wear or contamination before it results in bigger — and more expensive — headaches. Don’t forget to clean or replace air filters, too. And stick with Case IH fluids and filters for optimum performance. Complete these same steps on tractors you plan to use through the winter, and be sure to change the engine oil and filters according to schedule.
Grease it. Use your operators manual to familiarize yourself with all of the grease fittings. Proper lubrication will protect against moisture and corrosion and, of course, keep parts moving smoothly.
Inspect thoroughly. Make sure tires are properly inflated. Check belts and hoses, and replace anything that appears damaged or cracked. Look for oil leaks, which can indicate worn or damaged seals.
If you’re not comfortable performing tasks so critical to your equipment’s longevity, or if you simply don’t have the time or facilities, turn to your Case IH dealer. Your dealer can work with you to develop a Planned Maintenance Agreement designed specifically for your operation. Your dealer also can conduct Certified Maintenance Inspections and free you and/or your employees’ time for other tasks.
No matter how you prefer to manage maintenance, get the job done now. Treat your tractor right, and it will treat you right for years to come.