While it is always recommended to perform regular maintenance on your tractor throughout the year, once the seasons start to change and the temperature drops, tractor maintenance becomes more important than at any other time during the year.
Seasonal changes to colder temperatures, coupled with less frequent use, introduces your tractor to new demands and challenges. Giving your tractor some much needed TLC can pay dividends in performance and decrease the likelihood of unexpected downtime.
Whether you’re stowing your tractor away for the winter or plan to keep it in operation, here are some tips to get you ready for the cold season:
1. Familiarize yourself with your tractor
When was the last time you read through your tractor’s operator’s manual? The operator’s manual should be the first place you look when you have questions about your tractor. If you no longer have your operator’s manual, visit your local dealer to get a replacement. The operator’s manual is invaluable in providing you with specific information for your model of tractor.
2. Make sure your tractor’s maintenance is up to date
As anyone who has owned a tractor for any period of time knows, maintenance is key to healthy operation. If it has been a while since the last time you checked your fluids, now is a great time to do so. Clean engine oil and transmission fluid provides better lubrication and helps your tractor reach operating temperature quicker. And be sure to use recommended oil, hydraulic fluid and lubricants, such as SUPER UDT2 or UDT HD for M7 tractors, which are listed in your operator’s manual. Additionally, ensure you have proper coolant levels and keep your battery charged.
3. Follow these easy operation tips
- Familiarize yourself with the appropriate warning lights that appear on the dash such as frozen DEF fluid.
- Pre-heat the engine, allowing the glow plugs to warm up before starting.
- Allow tractor to warm up at an idle in extremely cold temperatures.
- Let the tractor continue running during small breaks in work.
- Avoid using liquid ballast that can freeze in tires, your local Kubota dealer offers cast rear wheels, wheel weights, and ballast boxes that allow you to avoid using liquid ballast in your tires.
- Install/Use block heater in extremely cold temperatures.
- Store DEF fluid in an area where it will not get too cold or too warm, that can lessen the shelf life of the DEF fluid. Store between 40° and 80° F (5°-27° C) for optimal shelf life.
- Ensure you are using fresh, clean fuel.