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Equipment Hub: Keeping compact tractors in top shape

Angie Ryan for Progressive Dairy Published on 06 May 2020
Implements and attachments need attention

Compact tractors are do-it-all workhorses on the farm. They load material, grade roads, prepare the soil for planting, help in the barn and more.

Compact tractors are essential to ag and dairy producers, so it’s important to keep them well maintained.

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Since you and your employees perform most maintenance, follow these four routine maintenance schedules as outlined in the operation and maintenance manual: inspecting fluids and fuel, the battery, tire pressure and engine, as well as implements and attachments.

Follow the basics

The first thing you and your equipment operators should do is read the operation and maintenance manual, which is typically stored near the operator’s seat. It’s the best resource for properly operating and maintaining your equipment, while also keeping it running at peak performance.

Inspect fluid levels and filters

Fluids – including engine oils, fuel, coolant and hydraulic fluid – need to be checked regularly. Using the wrong lubricants can lead to unnecessary repairs, so make sure to work with your dealership to match fluids to the proper ambient temperatures and to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

To protect today’s advanced components in compact tractors, it is important to follow published interval schedules for engine, air, fuel and hydraulic system filters and purchase original equipment manufacturer filters compatible with your machine. Changing filters on a consistent basis can help reduce potential system contamination and extend the life of core components.

Check the battery

Make sure the battery is in good working condition with no visible signs of wear or damage. If you disconnect the battery during non-working seasons, such as winter, be sure it’s reconnected properly and is fully charged. Connections on the battery should be clean to prevent hard starting and charging issues.

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Prepare implements and attachments ahead of time

Implements and attachments require the same attention to maintenance as the machine itself. Visual checks of the hitch, cylinders and guards on the attachments can help determine if damage or wear has occurred. Everything that engages with the ground should be looked at for wear and damage.

Consider these other maintenance tips:

  • Operate only implements and attachments approved for use with the compact tractor.

  • Connect the implement or attachment and operate it briefly to make sure it works properly before using it on your farm or acreage.

If you do not have adequate service training or an on-site mechanic, consider partnering with your local dealership for compact tractor maintenance. Your dealership can create a unique package that can address your maintenance needs and assess key machine features – parts, supplies and lubricants – before servicing your machines. 

On the farm, the chores are always calling. But maintaining your compact tractor should be top-of-mind. By following these four simple maintenance tips, as well as the guidelines listed in your operation and maintenance manual, you can extend the overall life of your equipment and remove the unwanted surprise of costly downtime. end mark

PHOTO: Implements and attachments need the same attention as the machine itself. Photo courtesy of Bobcat.

Angie Ryan is a product marketing manager with the Bobcat Company

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