Prepare Your Equipment for the Off-season
Your equipment is a big investment, can you imagine trying to get all your work done without it? It's important that you take care of your machinery after harvest and during the winter when it is in storage. You want it to be able to be used next year with little effort.
Tips for Post-harvest Storage
Service Your Trucks and Tractors
Once you are done with your equipment and ready to put it away, you should do some routine maintenance on it. Small things like changing the oil and adding fuel stabilizer can not only prolong the life of your machinery, it can help them start next spring when you need them. Other tasks you should do at this time is replacing air filters, checking antifreeze, lubricate bearings and joints, and inflating tires. Top off all the fluids and add stabilizer, when appropriate. When it's time to use your implements, you will be glad you took the time to do this before you put it in storage.
Clean Your Equipment
Once your machinery has been serviced, you need to clean it. Combines, harvesters, trucks, tractors, and wagons can all get filthy during harvest time. Make sure dirt, debris, grain, and other material are all cleaned off. This will keep rust from occurring and prevent rodents from building a nest in your implements. Don't put the machines away wet, either let them dry outside or use an air compressor to rid them of excess water. If possible, use a wax to protect your trucks and tractors from rust and the elements.
If your equipment has been damaged, take the time to make any needed repairs now. If bare metal is exposed, paint it to prevent corrosion. Fix any broken parts now and, if it's a bigger repair, the shops may not be as busy as during the planting and harvesting season. You'll be able to use your machinery as soon as you need it next year.
Prepare Your Batteries
Batteries take a lot of abuse and we usually don't give them a second thought until they aren't working. Make sure your battery is taken care of over the winter months and is ready for storage. This will keep them from draining or leaking during this time. Some batteries should be disconnected and put on a trickle charge, to maintain their strength for when they are needed again. Clean the terminals and connections and apply a grease coating to prevent corrosion from occurring.
Protect From the Environment
If possible, store your machinery in a shed or barn to protect it from the weather. If this isn't possible, use a strong tarp to cover the equipment. The winter months can give your trucks, trailers, combines, and more a beating if you don't shelter them from the elements.
Consult Your Manuals
In addition to these tips, you should read the owner's manual for your equipment to see if there are any other steps you should take when putting your machines into storage. Let Roll-Rite help you with any tarp repairs you may need, in addition to other coverings for your implements. Contact us today to learn more.