Acres Magazine

Tractor Talk

Tractor Talk

Winter 2008

Beat the cold weather

Getting your tractor ready for winter work is not a difficult process if you are already up-to-date on routine scheduled maintenance as outlined in your Operator’s Manual.

The following suggestions work in conjunction with a good maintenance program to make sure your tractor is ready to go when you are.

1. Give the unit a good cleaning. Dust, dirt, and chaff from summer mowing operations may have collected in various places and if not cleaned out, can hold moisture that can speed corrosion of metal and paint. Wet grime can also freeze and expand, causing moving parts to bind up and become inoperable.

2. If your tractor has a cab, clean the glass thoroughly, and apply a coat of “Rain-X” or a similar product to it inside and out. This will help prevent condensation and will make snow and ice slide off more quickly. Replace the wiper blades for best visibility, and confirm that the windshield washer system “is working properly and filled with washer fluid that won’t freeze.”

3. If your tractor has a cab, lubricate door and window seals with silicon spray or grease to prevent sticking. Oil hinges and latches, and lubricate the door lock cylinders with a graphite lubricant.

4. Check the condition of the tires as well as the air pressure. Cold, wet weather can increase the likelihood of tire damage, particularly if tires are under-inflated. See your Owner’s Manual for correct pressures.

Tips for very cold climates

Before operating in very cold climates where temperatures are typically below 20°F, follow these tips:

1. Replace the engine oil with winter grade oil as specified in the Operator’s Manual. Also, replace engine oil filter as required.

2. After overnight or extended shutdown, let the engine run at about 1200 RPM for several minutes to circulate the oil in the engine, transmission, and hydraulic systems. It is not necessary to fully “warm up” the engine, but this gets everything lubricated before putting it under load.

3. After letting the oil circulate for several minutes, slowly cycle any hydraulically operated function including the steering, 3-point hitches, loader lift and bucket, and attachments using the tractors remote hydraulic valves. Again, this is mainly to get things lubricated and moving.

4. When this has been done, the tractor can be driven away slowly and the engine speed and load increased as it warms up.