5 Tips to Increase Equipment Life
1. Know Your Equipment
Taking the time to do some training after purchasing your machine is important. Learn as much as you can so you are comfortable with the functions and operations of your machine. When you adjust working conditions, refer to your operators manual for best practices. As always, if you have questions or concerns you can always contact us at Hanlon.
2. Maintenance, Maintenance, Maintenance.
Conducting and tracking your regular maintenance is key. Keep a good schedule of your maintenance and track it consistently. This will also benefit you when it comes time to trade in your machine.
A maintenance chart, like the one available below, is a simple way to keep up with your routine maintenance. Keep the chart in your shop and log in the hour meter readings each time you service it.
Lubrication. This is a necessary component of all regular maintenance checks. Take a look around your machine for grease build-up, oil leaks and look for leaks on seals. Ensure you’re using the proper lubricants for your machine.
Oil analysis. This is another great way to check up on the condition of your equipment. Taking detailed samples of engine, transmission and hydraulic oil can help you identify problems before they become major and costly. A tested sample can indicate wear and oil contamination. Oil samples may also indicate how frequently you need to be changing your oil. Sometimes you may determine you are changing it too often or you may find out you are not changing it frequently enough. Ideally samples should be collected every 500 hours for engine oil and 1000 hours for hydraulic. Doing so will allow you to compare the oil to the previous sample.
You can purchase oil test kits from us at Hanlon and we will send it away for analysis. It costs a little less than $40/sample. You can also purchase kits from independent companies which will send you the test kit and may also provide the return package with pre-paid postage.
When Obtaining an Oil Sample
Your sample should be representative of all of the oil in the machine. Ensure the oil is hot and thoroughly mixed before taking the sample. Always take caution when handling hot oil to avoid severe burns. The most convenient time to retrieve your sample would be when conducting an oil change, let some oil drain then catch the sample.
If you choose not to obtain the oil during a change you can suction it out using plastic tubing which is routed down the oil reservoir.
3. Monitor and Assess Wear
Worn elements on your equipment can alert you of deeper issues. Vibrations can be an indication of belts and gears which have slipped out of alignment. Shocks can be the result of lousy operating practices or accidents. High operating temperatures could be due to extensive use, worn parts, excessive friction or minimal lubrication. Cracked and dry seals, twisted belts and bolts loosening often occur when equipment begins to age. Take care of wear and tear at the first sign to prevent problems from worsening.
4. Keep Your Equipment Clean
Clean windows reduce fatigue and help to prevent accidents. Avoid creating a vacuum in the cab by checking cab filters often. When contaminants are pulled into the cab they can affect the electronics and the operators health.
If you have the ability to store your equipment indoors, do so. An investment in storage will pay for itself over time by improving the life and resale value of your equipment. Make sure you are firing up your equipment occasionally when it goes through long periods of non-use. This helps keep the bearings and seals lubricated.
5. Avoid Tractor Modifications
It may be tempting to boost your machine with a bit more power, however, it isn’t a great idea in the long-run. Whether it’s engine modification or simply changing the injector pump, modifications can lead to long-term consequences. One downfall is that the majority of manufacturers void the warranty if any modifications have been made, and with current technologies it isn’t difficult for them to discover them. Engine modifications can also significantly reduce the life of your machine. When a tractor is designed, it is tested to handle a certain capacity of power, and the cost of the tractor is usually reflected in this- more durable and rugged equipment requires a larger investment for a reason. Engine modifications can put added strain on many components of the tractor- leading you to the repair shop much sooner than you should be.
As far as the injector pump goes, this modification usually ends up decreasing the fuel efficiency on your tractor. This is caused due to the engine overfueling, which uses more fuel and costing you more money in the end.
One Last Note…
Of course, we always recommend routine servicing through your dealership. Having dealer records to verify consistent servicing provides additional value when it is time to trade in your equipment. Dealerships have the necessary tools to check codes, perform updates and ensure all technological aspects of your machine are functioning properly. Usually services also include warranties on the parts and labour which will protect you throughout the season. Here at Hanlon we provide one of the best warranties in the industry- a 12 month warranty on parts and 6 months on labour on parts we install.
Knowing your equipment has been serviced by professionals who are up-to-date and certified to work on the model of equipment you bring in, can help put your mind at ease. When you conduct regular services on your equipment, problems can be diagnosed early and save you on costly repairs from problems which were left too long.
In order to encourage regular maintenance, until the end of this year, we are adding in some extra incentives to have AGCO brand hay equipment in for routine servicing. This includes a 15% discount on parts used during your inspection, 50% off transportation, a Hesston belt buckle and a Hanlon hat and t-shirt. Click below to learn more about this limited time offer.Back to News & Events