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5 Tips to Help Ensure You’re Ready to Make Hay When the Sun Shines!

by Tom Boodle

5 Tips to Help Ensure You're Ready to Make Hay When the Sun Shines!

By: Swiderski Equipment

The old adage of make hay while the sun shines is true for any project, whether youre mowing 10 acres of land or planting and harvesting 1000 acres of field crops.Large-scale operators, small hobby farmers and land owners alike need their equipment running properly during peak seasons and regular maintenance will help you keep your equipment running efficiently and save you money over the long haul.

A University of Nebraska Extension study estimates machinery repair costs can be reduced by 25% with routine maintenance.The study estimates an $80,000 tractor will require about $24,000 in repair costs during 5,000 hours of operation when receiving average maintenance.This cost can be decreased to approximately $18,000 with excellent service management.The question is, how do you ensure excellent service is being performed?Below are 5 tips to help you attain an improved maintenance plan.

Read the owners manual & manufacturer checklists.

No one knows your machine better than the manufacturer who built it.There are dozens of inspection points on a machine, making it easy to miss one along the way.The owners manual will provide proper maintenance guidelines, while checklists supplied from the manufacturer will help identify inspection and wear points specific to the implement or tractor.

Properly clean your equipment at the end of each season.

Debris, dust and moisture build up easily on equipment, causing parts to lock and rust.Planning time to properly clean equipment at the end of each season will help you remember to take care of issues. Grease machines and change oil, fluids, and filters before parking for the winter.Check your safety equipment, such as signals, lights and hazards to ensure you are ready to go when spring arrives.

Take notes and keep good records.

You cant afford to have your equipment in the shop during the peak season, so take advantage of downtime in the winter for maintenance. Its not always possible to stop and check out every clank or vibration in the moment, so take note of the issue so you can properly address it later.Keeping accurate records will help you estimate future work needed, as history is typically a good indicator of future needs.Good care and maintenance not only helps keep your machines running, it will help maintain resale values, as well.

Budget for maintenance costs.

Long-term budget planning for regular maintenance can help you avoid unplanned hefty repair bills.Planned maintenance agreements help give you a fixed price for future service, based on a plan that is tailored to meet your needs and timing deadlines.

Consult with a trusted shop or dealership.

Trained service personnel may be able to spot unusual wear or missed inspection points.They can also help determine if work is covered under warranty.New or remanufactured parts installed at a certified dealer may help protect you with additional warranty coverage.

We all want to work smarter, not harder and well maintained equipment works more efficiently.You cant afford to be down when something breaks, so prevent major issues with regular maintenance. Regular maintenance will allow you to get the most out of your equipment when you need it, where you need it, in the field.

Swiderski Equipment Inc. is your partner on the job with 5 convenient locations in Mosinee, Wausau, Thorp, Antigo, and Waupaca. www.partnersonthejob.com