As a modern-day farmer, you utilize different types of equipment to help your farm run smoothly. Your equipment must be adequately maintained. Oil changes are one of the easiest ways to make sure your equipment runs at its optimal condition.
Your tractor is an essential piece of equipment on your farm. It is the trusty workhorse, safe, sturdy, and dependable. Without your tractor, many tasks would be impossible. In the article “Tractor Maintenance,” Colleen B. Litof interviewed Temple Rhodes of Temple Rhodes Excavating and Colin Campbell of Campbell’s Services regarding their tractor maintenance practices. Temple Rhodes advised that regularly checking the oil and other fluids was the most important step to keeping his equipment in great condition. How often you check your oil varies depending on your hours of use. All tractors should have an hour or Hobbs meter on the dash. This meter logs how long your engine has been running and helps you track your oil checks. Mr. Rhodes also explained that the seasons dictate the frequency of your oil checks. During the summer, he checks the oil daily because the equipment usually runs 10 to 15 hours a day. When the tractor is used one to two hours a day, the oil check is once a week. During the winter, he checks it every 20 hours. He uses 15W40 oil in his tractors and synthetic oil for vehicles like farm trucks.
Checking your oil is essential, but changing it is just as important. Just like in your car, your tractor will not run properly and will suffer significant damage if you don’t schedule your oil changes on time. The frequency of your oil changes are also determined by how many hours your tractor is used. Colin Campbell recommends you should change the oil after the first 50 hours of use and every 100 hours after that.
The key to maintaining optimal oil levels and changing your oil on schedule is tracking the number of hours you are using your tractor. You must check your Hobbs meter daily and create a chart to track the readings. Your chart can be handwritten or on a spreadsheet, whatever works best for you. Please put it in a prominent place and include logging into your daily task list.
The expert recommendations shared in this article are valuable, but it’s necessary to consult your owner’s manual for the specifics regarding your tractor. Every manufacturer and model are different and require different maintenance schedules. What’s most important is that you are mindful of the needs of your equipment and maintain them correctly.