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Fall Farm Equipment Inspection Tips

Top Ten Things to Inspect on your Equipment to Keep it Field Ready this Fall

As summer winds down, farmers across the country start looking ahead to their fall plantings of small grains and cover crops. Ensuring your equipment is ready to go before the season begins can save time and hassle. We have compiled a list of 10 equipment checks you should be doing on your equipment to have it field ready.

  1. Blades and Spinner Dishes: On a dry spreader, the blades and spinner dishes can get worn or bent. Inspect these items to see if any replacement might be necessary.

  2. Bed Chains: The dry spreader bed chains can stretch like a belt. It's important to check the chains because you might need to tighten or adjust them or replace a damaged link.

  3. Calibrate: Retest your dry and liquid spreaders for accuracy and re-calibrate if necessary. Testing the spread or spray pattern and calibrating accordingly will help ensure a uniform dispersal of product.

  4. Vehicle Maintenance: On both dry and liquid spreaders, check the engines, tires, fluids, etc. It's a good rule of thumb to check all moving parts of your equipment.

  5. Spray Tips: On liquid applicators, the orifices of the spray tips can become damaged either as they go across the field or as a result of improper cleaning. Inspect the tips for any damage before use.

  6. Booms, Hoses, Nozzles, Screens: Make sure the booms and hoses are in proper working order on liquid applicators and replace them as necessary. You should do this with all parts that could potentially wear down. Look for any damaged screens and nozzles as well.

  7. Pump and Valves: Make sure to examine the pumps for any cracks or leaks. The valves should be free of leaks or loose seals also.

  8. Greased and Lubricated Parts: Spreaders with metal parts have to be sprayed with lubricants after every use so that those parts do not rust. Check that your equipment is rust free and well lubricated.

  9. Clean Tanks: Follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to clean out the tanks between each use. Clean tanks help avoid cross contamination so it's a very important step.

  10. Support Equipment: Don't forget about your other equipment you use in the fall. Secondary equipment usually sits longer out of use, so giving it a check beforehand is worth your time. With a nurse trailer, for instance, inspect the motors and have the applicators cleaned before taking it out on the field. 

Give yourself ample time to check all of your equipment before you need it. Plan ahead of time and give yourself a 30 day window prior to starting the season. With the equipment maintenance done early, you are set for a smooth and easy start.

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