‘Tis the season for preventive maintenance around
Much of the country turned back their collective clocks to usher in shorter days and longer nights. No matter how you feel about losing an hour of daylight in the evening, the time change is our annual signal to catch-up on preventive maintenance for tools and mechanized farm equipment, including tractors, ATVs, chainsaws and your Man Saver Post Driver™. It’s also an ideal time to make repairs, where necessary, and tidy up the shop.
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And that holds true for winterizing the equipment that makes your operation tick on a daily basis. Plus, you’ve invested a lot in your tools and machinery. Properly cared for, they will last longer and provide a better return on investment. Taking the time to do it in the fall means you can hit the ground running come spring while avoiding costly delays because of a malfunction.
Here are five general winterization steps, though we highly recommend consulting your operating manual for instructions regarding specific equipment.
1. Top off tanks – Top off fuel and hydraulic oil tanks to prevent water or condensation from seeping in. Plug tank vents and keep containers away from heat and direct sunlight.
2. Lubricate – Consult the operating manual and lubricate as recommended. Grease unpainted metal parts to protect them from the weather elements. For your Man Saver Post Driver™, we recommend 20-weight hydraulic oil. Air tool oil is too thin, and it will prevent the driver from continuously cycling, as it’s meant to do. Always ensure that your driver is getting plenty of oil by putting three to four tablespoons down the compressor end of the air hose before use, and again every 1.5 to 2 hours of use.
3. Repair Damage – Fix any damage that occurred this past season. This prevents broken parts from further degrading or rusting during the winter. It also ensures no-fuss access to equipment when it’s needed next spring or summer.
4. Clean – Remove visible dust and debris from both inside and outside of farm equipment. Change oil and fluids, and check tire air pressure. Protect air inlets and exhausts from humidity. Lower each linkage fully to avoid pressure buildup in hydraulic rams. If possible, slacken the engine accessories’ belt tensioner. Remove the battery and store in a dry location.
5. Storage – Storing equipment in a barn or garage is the best way to protect it, but this is not always possible. Alternatively, equipment left outdoors should be covered, while taking special care to protect computerized mechanisms. Using water-resistant products such as wax can further protect equipment from rust and premature wear.
Farmers and ranchers work hard no matter the season. By taking a few preventative steps this winter to make sure your equipment is in tip-top shape, you’ll be able to rely on it for years to come.
Man Saver Post Driver™ by Rohrer
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