Accidents involving vehicles is the most common cause of death and serious injury in agriculture, and many of the worst accidents take place during the cold winter months. Winter servicing your tractors and farm vehicles can help to reduce the risk of accidents occurring, which is why we believe the following checks are absolutely crucial for anyone whose livelihood, and that of their family, depends almost entirely on their ability to work the land.
Glow Plugs & Spark Plugs
Though they are not exactly used for the same thing both are essential to the running of their respective types of engine. It is in no way necessary for you to replace your plugs every winter, but it is wise to check them and ensure that they are clean and working well. If your spark plugs or glow plugs have become worn, you should take steps toward replacing them as soon as possible.
You should check the condition of your fuel filter regularly as it is, but when the weather is cold you may want to do so more often. You may want to replace it if there is too much of a sediment build up, and we would recommend that you always have three or four spare filters in reserve at all times, just in case.
You cannot truly claim to have serviced your tractor or any other farm vehicle without having checked the tyre pressure and topped it up if needs be. Tyre pressure affects vehicles in a number of ways, including the distance they travel whilst breaking and their consumption of fuel. The breaking distance of a tractor can increases by up to 10 times depending on how icy the conditions, so keeping your tyre pressure at the right level can make all the difference.
We recommend keeping rear tyres at between 12 and 20 PSI, whilst front tyres could probably do with having between 30 and 32 PSI.
Your tyres will heat up whilst in use and rapidly begin to cool the moment they stop. Extreme temperature change can cause your tyres to crack, if your tyres are already worn and have become weakened due to long-term use. Once they reach this point it is only a matter of time until your tyre blows, so keep an eye open and quickly change them if any sign of wear become apparent.
If your tractor has one of these, make sure it is cleaned regularly and kept clear of debris and plant matter before use.
Ensure that brake linkages are well lubricated and don't have any ice built up on or around them which might diminish their effectiveness.
Without a charged battery your vehicle will not start. Cold weather will encourage batteries to lose their charge, especially if they are old, which is why when servicing your tractor or any other farm vehicle during winter you should always check the battery to see how well it's holding its charge.
To reduce the likelihood of any damage occurring to your tractor when not in use, you should always keep it in a sheltered enclosure that is warm and dry. Make sure that during the winter months your shelter does not become damaged and fall into a state of disrepair, and believe us when we say that any money or time you spend sprucing it up will pale in comparison to how much you might have to shell out should anything happen to your vehicle.