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Yellow tractor in shop Kyle Stackhouse

Time for annual maintenance

Change in weather makes now a great time to sequester in shop and work on equipment.

We’ve had a couple shots of snow each of the last two Wednesdays, but it hasn’t been a lot. It did make travel home from basketball on those evenings less than fun, but everyone made it home safely.

Since the change in weather, we’ve sequestered ourselves in the shop doing annual maintenance on the motorized vehicles. With major service intervals now at 400 to 600 hours, we don’t get them in the shop as often as we used to. Sure we grease them and check fluids regularly, but the oil and filter changes only come once as year. We do a once over: checking the lights, tire inflation, looking for leaks, etc. Often this is the only time of year we have to cover some of the less important maintenance such as properly mounting or securing ‘temporary’ repairs made in season.

When convenient, we bring equipment in with tractors. This week, we had the manure spreader in - we didn’t keep that in the shop any longer than necessary! I’m guessing it’s been ten years since we bought it. After the first season, we retrofitted some old grain cart tracks onto the spreader. Those rigid, unforgiving undercarriages are now worn out. In December, after a year of looking, we found a reasonably priced undercarriage to replace the old ones. While the spreader was in the shop we took pictures and measurements so that we could have a new stub axle built to mount the new undercarriage. We’ll bring it back in the shop and make the swap when those are complete. Hopefully this makes for a smoother and quieter ride.

We’ve also serviced the tile plow and the chisel plow, even though we probably won’t need them much in the spring. The corn planter is set to go in next week. Corky and I will work on it while Mom and Dad are at Dowdy’s Next Level Conference in Phoenix.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 

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