Keep It Cranking With This Tractor Maintenance Checklist

To get the most power, economy and trouble-free operation, go over these points prior to field operation.

CHECK FLUIDS: The lifeblood of any engine is motor oil. Make sure your filter is good and your oil is topped off and not in need of a change. Check hydraulic and transmission oil levels and color. A milky color indicates that water has gotten into the system and you will need to drain and replace these oils.

RADIATOR NOTES: It’s a good idea to drain the radiator and block and refill with new antifreeze and water. If the radiator hoses and clamps look old, put new ones on to prevent water loss, overheating and engine damage.

BEWARE THE BOOT: Replace the rubber gear-shift boot if it looks suspect because rainwater follows the gear shift lever down and contaminates the transmission oil.

TIRED TIRES: New tires can be very expensive and sometimes a good, used tire that has a cut or break can be saved by boot- ing the inside of the tire. Sometimes large cuts will call for the use of two boots. Place the larger boot down first with a second and smaller boot on top. Doing so will strengthen the problem area. A tire that is in otherwise good condition will last and wear normally without a problem, once the cut is repaired this way. Any good tire shop can accomplish booting if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself.

EXHAUST SYSTEM: A quiet muffler makes the tractor more enjoyable. Look and listen to determine whether any exhaust is escaping between the head and the manifold. If it is, replace the manifold gaskets to prevent any possible carbon monoxide poisoning.

GIVE IT AIR: Replace the dry air cleaner or, if your tractor has an oil bath air cleaner, replace with new oil.

GIVE IT FUEL: Replace the fuel filter regularly on gasoline or diesel models.

SPARKY NOTE: If your tractor runs on gasoline, replace the spark plugs, distributor, rotor and points and plug wires if any of them look old.

It can be frustrating to be sidelined by a tractor breakdown when you need to get a job done. Good maintenance is the key to profitable and enjoyable tractor operation.

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