Preventive Maintenance

Each machine upon which we depend for springtime work will receive some attention in our shop before spring arrives.  Each tractor will come in, and receive proper service, which may include an engine oil and filter change, transmission oil change (and or +filters), chassis and drive-line lubrication, final drive oil change, air filter replacements (cab and engine), and a thorough cleaning.   Yeah, a cleaning!  Those machines are clean when we place them in storage, but as they sit overwinter, they accumulate a layer of dust!

Here is a stack of filters, just for the 9520R alone. Yes, they’re expensive… but good protection for the life of the machine.

The corn planter will come into the shop.  We must add a special cable that will improve the way planting information is collected and stored.   This machine should not require much in the way of replacement of wear items, for it was new in 2019.  But it will be thoroughly inspected, and any stray bearing or blade that is not correct will be replaced.

The soybean planter, which was new in 2017, went to local JD dealer Alliance Tractor in January, for a major rebuild.  It showed enough wear that the openers would not have run properly through all of the 2020 planting season.  The ground-engaging parts on each row unit received upgraded “Pro-Series” parts.  This included a 3-spoked gauge wheel, a new opener blade, a new seed ‘boot’,  a new seed ‘tab’, and a new press wheel.  The closing wheels were in very good condition, and were not replaced.  This re-build allowed us to capture the improvements to the row units.  Alliance also performed some repairs to primary seed tubes, and row-unit bushings.  One of the hydraulic cylinders required a repair to the inner piston.  A wiring connector on the air cart required replacement.  This machine will be “like new” when we take it to the field at planting time.

The guys will also prepare our 3-box seed corn wagon that we use to load the corn planter.  They will clean out the Wilson trailer on the Vision Mack truck that we use to supply seed to the soybean drill.

The sprayer has already been through our shop, receiving an oil change, lubrication to chassis and boom, and a correction to the oil levels in the planetary final drives (wheel hubs).

The water trailer that supports the sprayer will have the Honda water pump serviced.  The local Nutrien plant will place the appropriate mini-bulk herbicide tanks in the rear of the trailer.  Those get switched out as the season progresses, and the need of differing chemistries change.

Our field cultivator will be serviced last, just ahead of spring work.  It is too wide to unfold it inside our shop, so we will work on it outside the shop door on a warmer day.  Wheel bearings will be checked, the frame lubricated, and any worn sweep will be replaced.

There are many different ‘moving parts’ to spring time work.  By taking these steps during the winter ‘off season’, we should progress through the spring planting season with greater efficiency, and less ‘down time’.   Emphasis on the word should.   

Dad always told us, “Take good care of your machines, and they will take good care of you.”

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