The family automobile is not the only piece of equipment that requires routine upkeep to ensure it is operating properly.

“Equipment ranchers use is essential to cut, bale and feed hay to their cattle,” said Andy Ward, Sheridan store manager for C&B Operations.  “It is kind of like a knife for a meat cutter; they are tools of the trade.”

Life on a farm or ranch can come to a screeching halt if equipment is not properly maintained. Farmers and ranchers invest hundreds of thousands of dollars on agricultural equipment, such as tractors, tillers, hoppers and dozers. Adhering to maintenance schedules can prevent breakdowns and decrease the need for potentially costly emergency repairs.


Keep it clean

Cleaning the surface of equipment can go a long way toward keeping it operating smoothly. Use a pressure washer to remove caked-on mud and other debris. Suppliers recommend quickly washing equipment after usage so that substances do not have the chance to harden.

“I have always said maintenance is cheap,” Ward said. “Not greasing and keeping clean oil and filters on your equipment can be very costly. Take care of your equipment and it will last a long time.”


Learn the equipment

Over time, it is possible to employ your senses of sight, sound and even smell to determine if equipment is working properly. Familiarize yourself with the owner’s manual so you can troubleshoot minor problems. Any unusual sounds, odors or responses from the gear should be noted.

“We have professionals in service, parts and sales departments to answer any questions customers have,” Ward said.


Routine maintenance checks

Routinely inspect hoses, fittings and seals to ensure they are in good working condition. Be sure fluids, such as coolant and oil, are at the proper levels. Check and replace filters as needed. Tires need to be properly inflated, and inspect the battery for corrosion or other signs that it may need to be replaced. Check belts for cracks. Tour the exterior of the equipment looking at signals and lights to ensure they are in proper working order. Hardware should be tightened and any missing pieces replaced.

Heavy farm equipment needs motor oil, hydraulic oil and filters changed more frequently than automobiles. Such equipment also may need more frequent lubrication of chains and cables. Always check and inspect equipment prior to jobs requiring heavy and extended usage.


Expect some welding

Have a knowledgeable welder on call to make repairs as needed, or develop your skills to a point where you feel comfortable making your own spot repairs. Experts say cleaning the surface area and removing any paint, oil or corrosion from the metal area that needs repairing can make for smooth, durable welds.

Multi-process welding generators and accessories can ensure the right welds for repairs in the field or in the shop.

“We have a full-service shop for small to large repairs on any size tractor. We also have multiple service trucks to get customers up and going in the field,” Ward said.

Maintenance on farm equipment helps keep operations running along and protects expensive investments.

Note: This content was sponsored by C&B Operations.