Investing a couple of hours in spring cleaning your tractor heads off breakdowns and helps maintain resale value, says a Massey Ferguson rep. Step 1 is a thorough inspection.
See if there is anything loose, damaged or in need of repair. Look for loose or missing nuts, bolts and screws, then tighten or replace them. Loose fasteners cause insidious damage to thread parts, linkages and bushings; can loosen tolerances on tight-fitting mechanisms; and will waste your time on repairs that could have been prevented.
Make sure the loader or other attachments are connected properly and all pins and bolts are in place.
Look at all electrical connections and check them to see if they’re still wired tightly.
Check for fluid leaks and worn or cracked belts. Add engine coolant and replace belts as needed.
Check the condition of your tractor’s battery. A voltage meter reading below nine volts indicates you need a new battery. Make sure the battery connections are tight and free of corrosion.
Check the tires for proper air pressure and wear. Replace the tires if needed.
Finally, tighten wheel lugs according to the owner’s manual. Typically this is done after the first 10 hours of use and again at 50-hour intervals.
STEP 2. MAKE THE NEEDED CHANGES
Change the engine oil and filter. Change the fuel filter, and if the tractor has not been used for several months, drain out old fuel to prevent dirt or water that has accumulated during the winter from damaging the engine.
Install new spark plug(s) and points.
Replace engine and air conditioning air filters, removing any debris from these areas.
Contact your local dealer for genuine OEM replacement parts designed and manufactured to the exact specifications of your tractor.
STEP 3. LUBRICATE
An un-lubricated tractor eventually experiences wear damage that will cause unnecessary and sometimes costly repairs.
Check your owner’s manual for grease zirk locations (so you don’t miss any) and direction on the type of grease or lubricant to use. Check the loader and other attachments as well for grease fittings.
You also can apply a drop of lubricating oil to each nut, bolt and joint on the tractor to prevent rust and keep them from seizing up.
A clean tractor runs more efficiently and looks sharp while at work. Winter mud, grime and deicing products should be removed to keep metal parts from corroding and rusting.
Use a mild soap and hose or power washer to clean away mud and debris. Automotive degreaser is an effective way to remove greasy build-up on the engine and chassis. Don’t forget the radiator screens and the underside of your tractor.
Vacuum and wipe dust from inside the cab and wash cab windows to ensure the best view of your work.
Give the tractor an occasional wax or polish to enhance the paint finish and add to the tractor’s resale value.