Properly maintaining equipment helps farming businesses prosper in a number of very important ways.
First, well-maintained machines are ready to go to work when you need them. In an agricultural business, where timing is everything and nature reliably unpredictable, machine failures at the wrong time can seriously disrupt operations or bring them to a standstill.
Second, well-maintained machines are capable of working longer and harder than equipment in poor condition. This preserves capital for other important business investments, and improves the efficiency and profitability of operations.
Third, well-maintained machines command a higher trade-in value, helping you acquire high-quality new equipment at the lowest possible price.
Fourth, well-maintained machines are far less likely to require major repairs — repairs that not only drain cash but also, as mentioned above, may force you to scale back operations or temporarily shut down, perhaps at the worst possible time.
Fifth, and perhaps most important of all, well-maintained equipment is safer to operate. Machine breakdowns, rush emergency repairs in the field, or even dried-out debris caught in a machine that catches fire, expose machine operators and crews to injury. This is where an ounce of preventive maintenance is truly worth a pound of cure.
The infographic below, 13 Farm Equipment Maintenance Tips, is an extremely helpful guide and reminder that covers simple but important steps for keeping tractors, trucks, harvesters, cultivators, plows and other agricultural equipment in peak condition — whether they have been in service for a year or more than a decade.
Many of the tips mentioned in the infographic are quite simple and routine, such as regularly changing oil and washing equipment down after use. The problem with routine maintenance issues — not just in the agriculture business, but in any business — is prioritization. Especially when business is good and people are scrambling to get 20 hours of work done in a 12-hour day, it’s easy to overlook or consciously set aside these simple but sometimes time-consuming tasks. Doing so, however, usually comes back to haunt you — which is why posting a printed copy of this infographic in a prominent spot as a reminder might pay off in a big way.
Storing equipment indoors, another tip from the infographic, makes a great deal of sense even if it involves building new structures or modifying existing ones. Particularly in harsh climates, indoor storage shields equipment from the elements, extending equipment life and improving its trade-in value. Indoor storage may also reduce the cost of equipment insurance, not an insignificant thing.
For more information about farm equipment maintenance, please continue reading here.