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Mechanics Corner: Upgrade your operation with these Father’s Day gift ideas

Teri Ruffalo Published on 06 May 2015

With Father’s Day just around the corner, you may be wondering what to get the mechanic in your life – or what to buy for yourself to prepare for the long days this growing season is sure to bring.

My father spent his entire career in agriculture working for Case IH and spent hours in his shop during the off-season keeping his tractors in tip-top shape.



He also owned his own farm, which was no easy side-job. Here are some items I know my dad would appreciate and would make great gifts for any dad who spends his days in the field.

Put the power in Dad’s hands

Because farmers are no strangers to multi-tasking, a 3-in-1 compressor/generator/welder makes a great Father’s Day gift. It saves space in the shed or on the truck and is more portable and less expensive than three separate units.

These are equipped with an engine powerful enough to run all functions at once yet offer several features that allow you to save fuel when you do not need all that power.

Or perhaps your dad is looking for more power. A 12,000-watt generator will give him a boost, but often they are too large and heavy to move around a field. To avoid this, consider one with a single-cylinder engine.

The single-cylinder engine makes the generator portable while still delivering the same power. Look for one with a sturdy frame so vibration isn’t an issue and the generator stays in place while in use. An added bonus is your dad will have the biggest, most impressive portable generator in your community.


If your dad is as meticulous as mine, he’ll also appreciate a pressure washer for heavy-duty cleaning around the house or on the farm. There are several powerful models rated up to 4,000 PSI that will take on the heaviest baked-on dirt, grime and grease and are equipped with 50-feet double-wire braided hoses that will let him get everywhere around his machine with ease.

Not only will your dad enjoy keeping his work area tidy, but equipment that is well maintained and cleaned will retain its resale value.

Hay helpers

Don’t let wet hay spoil Dad’s day. Purchase a portable hay moisture tester to determine when it’s safe to begin baling hay.

According to agricultural nutrition experts, wet baled hay with moisture levels greater than 16 percent can grow mold and start to heat and spoil.

Baled at higher moistures, the bale can become discolored and will begin to lose most of its nutritional value. And at moisture levels of more than 27 percent, the bale could potentially catch fire. Even if a fire is avoided, the moldy hay is no longer safe to feed to livestock.

Moisture testers allow for important hay testing before and during the baling process. Plus, they make testing individual bales quick and easy.


If you’re already protecting your hay with a hay preservative, you can take it a step further by using precision-farming technology.

The newest hay preservative application systems – which work seamlessly with the tractor’s precision-farming display and baler – accurately test for moisture on-the-go and adjust the preservative application every three seconds to match the condition of the hay so only the exact amount of preservative needed is dispensed.

Give Dad the ride of his life

Today’s tractors boast a lot of upgrades compared with heritage equipment, the most important being operator comfort. Rather than buying Dad a new tractor, upgrade his ride with some cab comfort items.

An ergonomic seat can do wonders for back pain and posture. When installing a new seat, make sure Dad’s knees are slightly lower than his hips while seated. As for the seat pan, it should be deep enough that the backs of the knees don’t touch it while sitting and at least 1 inch wider than the hips.

Of course, nothing makes Dad more comfortable than knowing what’s around him at all times. Give him an extra set of eyes with an observation system for his tractor or vehicle.

Dad will be able to see all around him in real-time using infrared imaging technology. Make sure you select an observation system for heavy-duty use in all weather conditions, or choose medium-duty if it will be used in an enclosed cab.

Long hours in the field can also fly by faster with a heavy-duty radio enabled with everything from AM/FM radio to check weather conditions to iPod compatibility for Dad to listen to his favorite tunes.

Whether your dad is high-tech or more hands-on, these items are sure to make his day. PD

Teri Ruffalo is a corporate communications assistant with CNH North America.

teri ruffalo

Teri Ruffalo
Product Marketing Manager
CNH Industrial