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Post-Harvest Care

These maintenance tips will help reduce downtime and costly repairs while increasing resale value.

By Susan Fotovich McCabe

MF7497

MF7497

Markus Reinke is known for keeping his Massey Ferguson® tractors “resale ready.” That’s thanks to the care he takes to winterize them at the end of each growing season—steps that prevent costly downtime in the spring.

Reinke’s MF5455 and MF7497 tractors get a full workout on his 500-acre crop operation near Concordia, Mo. A Massey Ferguson customer since 1965, Reinke trades his tractors after 1,000 hours—or every 5 to 6 years.

“A lot of folks ask, ‘When is Markus going to sell his tractor?’ because they’re interested,” chuckles Reinke. “I’ve found that taking time to do a few things at the end of the season keeps me from having downtime in the spring and improves my resale value.”

Reinke’s tips include pressure washing the tractor’s exterior to remove dirt and crop debris, changing the oil and filter, filling the fuel tank to reduce condensation, and making a list of other things that might need repair and attention before he pulls it out in the spring.

Doug Vahrenberg, owner of Vahrenberg Implement in Higginsville, Mo., praises Reinke’s actions. “Farmers work long days, so they want to sit back and relax when they’re done. I say relax for a day and then get the tractor ready for spring,” says Vahrenberg. “You can do it in a day, which might save you multiple days or even a week of downtime in the spring.”

The Checklist: Clean After Harvest

Consult operators manual for full details.

Whether you store your tractor during the winter or other times of year, a little cleaning can save you money and prevent downtime. Massey Ferguson Dealer Doug Vahrenberg, owner of Vahrenberg Implement in Higginsville, Mo., recommends the following:

• Clean tractor exterior and interior. Start with an air compressor to blow away dirt and crop debris inside and out. This helps remove unwanted seeds that can transfer to other fields where they don’t belong. Also, debris attracts rodents that can damage electrical components. Follow up with a pressure wash to remove stubborn dirt and grime. Then wax to restore paint shine and provide protection from UV rays and chemical residues.

• Touch up scratches and bare spots with AGCO Parts Paint Products. They’re designed to precision match and protect against UV rays and harsh chemicals.

• Clean the radiator, condensers, and coolers with compressed air and water. Always blow the opposite direction of air travel to remove dirt and debris. Vahrenberg says, “As little as 1/8 inch of grime on a cast iron exterior can act like two inches of insulation, which interferes with the cooling ability and performance of the engine, as well as transmission and hydraulic systems.

• Take care of the interior. Increase comfort and reduce fatigue by replacing or repairing worn seats. Also repair or replace damaged upholstery panels in the cab to insulate and reduce noise.

• Check weather stripping around doors and windows to ensure a snug fit. These help improve climate control, and help prevent dust and chemical vapors from entering the cab.

• Changing oil and filters prior to storage will prepare equipment for the next season. Tip: Operate at low idle for five minutes to warm oil for more complete removal of contaminants in the lubricant.

Lubricate all grease fittings and exposed metal surfaces that slide in and out of seals to prevent rust and corrosion.

• Remove twine or plastic wrap from wheels. New wheel seals for Power Front Assist Tractors can cost $100-$200 each, plus labor to replace if damaged.

• Check cooling system protection level for your climate, replacing coolant if needed. Also, to protect against corrosion, check supplemental coolant additive (SCA) level and add if necessary for your model.

• Fill the fuel tanks to prevent condensation from warming and cooling temperatures. In cold weather environments, use winter blend fuels or add AGCO Parts DMax Winter Fuel Conditioner that provides anti-gel protection.

Keep your equipment running throughout the season with AGCO’s PM360 Preventative Maintenance Program. Learn more at agcopm360.com.

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