Preparing For Winter
Preparing For Winter
With a Massey Compact GC Series Tractor
When you work in the agricultural business, there is quite a bit of maintenance you need to keep up with on a daily basis. As winter rolls around, your chore list becomes a bit longer. Fortunately, Rathbone Sales has got your back. We’ve put together this helpful guide that’s full of information on how you can prepare for winter. A big part of preparing for winter comes directly from the proper maintenance of your equipment all year long. You’ll feel a lot less overwhelmed when winter arrives knowing you’re fully prepared for the season.
If you’re interested in learning more or you’d like to check out some of our equipment, give us a call or visit Rathbone Sales in Moses Lake, WA today. We’re conveniently located between Othello and Ephrata.
Preparing Your Equipment to Work Hard All Season Long
With any piece of equipment, the first thing you should do after purchasing is read the owner’s manual. It might not be fun but it will definitely be informative. You’ll learn the inner workings of your machine and may even get some tips you weren’t familiar with. Another thing to do is try out the equipment and get comfortable with how it handles. When performing any maintenance, service, or repairs, you should always refer to the owner’s manual for recommendations. If you land yourself in uncharted territories, it’s best to leave the work to a professional. Once you’ve started using your equipment regularly, you should make it a habit to perform periodic inspections, especially before and after jobs that call for extended and heavy usage.
Some basic maintenance you should always keep in mind is checking the fluids, like the engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, and so on. These fluids are essential to keep your machine running so you don’t want to neglect them. Check for leaks around the hydraulic lines, radiator hoses, oil lines, fuel lines, and cylinders. When you check the tension on the belts and chains, you should also check for cracks in the belts. The air filter will need to be checked regularly, too. Don’t forget to check the tire pressure as well. As a general rule, you should always listen for any sounds that are out of the ordinary. The same goes for odd scents. Your fuel filter should be changed at least once a year. You should be greasing your equipment on a fairly regular basis, which includes lubricating cables and chains. You’ll find that much of your maintenance can be taken care of during the offseason but repairs should be handled as soon as possible.
Harvesting With Efficiency
Efficiency is crucial when you’re harvesting for many reasons. If you aren’t careful in your process, you can end up spending a lot of time unproductively and no one wants that. The most unproductive time is usually spent turning around at the end of wide, short fields and overlapping tillage operations within a field. This results in a much higher fuel consumption per acre than is necessary. In order to reduce turning time, you should attempt to make your fields long, large, and narrow through the elimination of ditches, fence rows, and other obstructive barriers. One solution is attaching larger implements that match your tractor size. This can be much more field efficient because the larger implements require fewer turns. As for tillage direction, you can save fuel by tilling off the corners when you’re tiling diagonally.
Prepping Your Gravel Drive
Many farmers use gravel for roads and lanes throughout their property. Gravel is an excellent material because it’s not only affordable but it’s also aesthetically pleasing. Of course, it does require regular maintenance to keep it looking nice. Fall is a wonderful time to get your gravel in shape and prevent ruts and potholes from forming due to the changing of seasons. Tractors are ideal for this type of work, especially those that have a loader attachment and a rear grader blade or box scraper. You’ll use this to move the material and shape the surface of the lane while you fill holes and ruts as you go. Rathbone Sales has a wide variety of tractors that would be a great match for this, such as the Massey Compact GC Series and the 1700 E Series.
Feeding Cattle and Reducing Waste
Statistics show that winter feed alone comprises more than half of the annual cost to keep a beef cow in some parts of the country. Now, that’s a lot of money! There are many techniques for maximizing the feeding value as well as minimizing the waste in the harvested feed. For example, hay that’s stored outdoors usually experiences more spoilage during storage and lower palatability than hay that’s stored inside. Research supports this notion, showing that the least amount of loss was with hay stored in a barn. As for minimizing waste, choosing to feed hay in small amounts or in a feeder is a big help because cattle have less time and opportunity to soil and trample the hay. Remember to feed hay in areas that are well drained. Hay that’s been stored outside should be fed to cattle before the hay stored inside.
We hope that these tips are helpful in preparing for winter. If you need to stock up on equipment or gear, or maybe you’re interested in checking out that Massey Compact GC Series and the 1700 E Series, stop by Rathbone Sales in Moses Lake, WA today! We’re located between Othello and Ephrata.