Properly preparing your planting equipment for winter storage is essential for success. However, reversing that preparation and making your equipment ready again for planting season is equally as important. Readying your machinery for planting can extend your equipment life, reduce regular maintenance costs, and save you precious time when the real work of planting actually begins.
Change Air & Fuel Filters
Whether your tractor uses diesel or gasoline fuel, it is still a combustion engine that needs the proper mixture of fuel to oxygen to run at optimal levels. This means that clean and fresh air and fuel filters are a must.
A clean air and fuel filter will allow your planting equipment to operate at an optimal level. This means that your planting will be more efficient, your equipment will not go down unexpectedly, and you will avoid costly repairs during the planting season.
Clean & Maintain Fuel Tanks
As a part of your winter preparation, it is recommended that you empty your gas tank or add a fuel stabilizer to a full tank of gas. If you’re not sure about the status of the gas in your tank, it is a good idea to go ahead and empty the planting equipment tank and start with fresh gas. It is even a good idea to drop the gas tank completely and clean it or, at the very least, run a fuel system safe cleaner in your first fill up after winter storage.
While this planting preparation may seem like a lot of work right before the busy planting season, you can be sure this important step will save you a lot of headache down the road. During the winter, unstabilized fuel can collect moisture and gum up sensitive fuel systems on tractors. Proper tractor maintenance can prevent costly delays in planting and machinery repairs.
Clear Radiators & Engines
A lot can befall our precious planting equipment over the winter months. From insect and rodent nests to falling leaves and more, a lot of debris can build up in our machinery before the planting season. Not to mention any debris that was missed in your pre-storage cleaning. Cleaning your equipment’s radiator and engine compartment will help keep your tractor cool during planting.
Planting preparation cleaning doesn’t have to be a drag though. There are specially designed tools out there to help keep your equipment clean without breaking your back or wasting time. The Radiator Genie is one such tool. With a water wand that simply hooks up to any standard water hose and an air wand that attaches to any air compressor, you can blast away dirt and debris in no time! Don’t worry about craning your neck, hurting your back, or scratching up your arm to get at hard to reach places. The Radiator Genie has a long tube and specially curved nozzle to make reaching those places easy!
Grease, Grease, & More Grease
Checking all of your fittings, bearings, and other grease-able mechanisms on all of your planting equipment is key for a successful planting season. Over the winter months, grease can be washed away, become gummy, and collect dirt and debris.
Greasing is a necessary evil for all heavy duty equipment and tractor users. If a tractor is not properly and regularly greased the essential mechanisms that allow it to function properly will ultimately fail. This means that expensive repairs are an inevitability if operators are not making greasing a priority.