It might seem like it’s a little late for spring cleaning, especially if you haven’t quite gotten around to brush hogging that back lot or to rip up that new garden plot. It’s never too late to make sure your tractor is up to snuff, including having a well-stocked toolbox. Fortunately, most of what that you’d likely need in your tractor toolbox are things that you already have in your garage.
Back to Basics: DIY Garage to Tractor Toolbox
If there is one constant in tractor operation, then it’s vibration. Things are bound to get loose after a long time in the field. Loose components can suddenly become lost components, so a good set of wrenches and sockets can come in handy to take care of the problem before it gets out of hand. For larger bolts, if you don’t already have huge sockets, then channel-lock pliers are a good addition to your toolbox. Vise-Grip pliers and a couple different screwdrivers can also come in handy, depending on your needs.
Many tractor accessories, such as mowers or rakes, have rotating parts. Anything from tall grass to a stray piece of barbed wire can get tangled up in the works. Pry bars, diagonal cutters, needle-nose pliers and a good knife all come in handy to remove foreign objects from rotating parts so they can work smoothly again. If extracting wire, don’t forget leather gloves and eye protection in case something lashes out at you under pressure.
If something doesn’t move but should, you need a lubricant. If something moves, but shouldn’t, you need something to hold it still. No tractor toolbox should be without a can of spray oil and a roll of duct tape, not to mention a roll of mechanic’s wire. Some spray lubes, such as WD-40, are exceptional at degumming that carburetor or fuel filter that’s been sitting idle all winter.
Other essential tools you should consider could include a sledgehammer, come-along, heavy-duty transport chain, extra nuts and bolts and a fire extinguisher.
Don’t Forget the Operator!
With high summer here, operator health is another concern needs to be addressed. While you may not put these things in your tractor toolbox, consider having them somewhere on your tractor. Water bottles keep you hydrated, and sunblock protects your skin; both of these are suggested to prevent heatstroke.
Just in case, always have a first-aid kit on board, because even a minor cut can become infected. If things really go wrong, then consider duct tape and superglue as part of your first aid kit. The same thing that keeps your stuff together can keep you together.
Pro Tip: ALWAYS shut down power equipment before attempting to tighten bolts, remove foreign objects or make any other adjustments. It may seem like “it’ll just take a moment” to fix, but one false move could make that “moment” last a lifetime.
Of course, this is just a basic list of things that you should include on any tractor outing. Depending on what you’re doing, it might make sense to pack a universal V-belt, extra clevis pins, other spare parts or a bastard file. Taking a few minutes to organize your tractor toolbox, right now, could save you hours and headaches, later on, particularly if something breaks down in the field.
Check out all the tools & equipment
Photo courtesy of Flickr
Ben has been taking things apart since he was 5, and putting them back together again since he was 8. After dabbling in DIY repairs at home and on the farm, he found his calling in the CGCC Automobile Repair program. After he held his ASE CMAT for 10 years, Ben decided he needed a change. Now, he writes on automotive topics across the web and around the world, including new automotive technology, transportation legislation, emissions, fuel economy and auto repair.