Heavy machinery – especially farming equipment – takes constant upkeep so it’s in good working order when you need it most. Spending a little time maintaining your fleet before and after you’ve been in the field will decrease your chances of a breakdown – or worse, a piece of equipment going up in smoke.
- Keep machinery clean, and maintain a clean environment — There are many seals and filters in place on heavy machinery to keep working parts clean and free of contamination. Seals and filters should be inspected regularly to make sure they’re in good condition. Breathers should be kept clean to avoid creating a vacuum which will suck contaminants into the cab. The electronics in the cab are susceptible to breakdown if contaminated. Dirt and chaff buildup should be regularly removed so as to prevent moisture damage.
- Check for signs of wear — Vibration, shock, high temperatures, friction and age all contribute to the breakdown of parts in heavy machinery. If you find wear and tear on any moving parts within your equipment, be sure to perform the necessary replacement of any damaged parts.
- Keep it under cover — To get the best life, large machinery should be stored in a shed or other building if at all possible. Exposure to wind and weather can lead to premature corrosion. The machinery should be run periodically if it is not in use.
- Read and comply with the manual — Always thoroughly read the manual for each piece of equipment. Your new tractor may function differently than your old one, for example. Then, comply with the instructions and maintenance schedules.
- Adjust equipment accordingly — This means keeping all guards, shields and access doors in place when operating equipment, and making necessary alterations to equipment to fit operational conditions.
- Dress appropriately — An untied shoelace, flowing long hair and stray threads from an old shirt have, in the past, led to horrendous injuries when operating farm equipment. Dressing appropriately can mean reducing risk of such injuries.
- Keep children and animals away from working areas — Farms offer a world of adventure for curious kids. To avoid any disastrous accidents, keep your child’s play area separate from your work area.
Want to be sure? Give your Broker a call to see if you are covered for major equipment breakdown. And, remember to keep your Broker up to date on any changes to your fleet.