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How to Prep Your Tractor: What You Need to Know Before You Sow

John Deere tractor ready for a days work

As warm weather rolls around, we begin to prep for farming season. Along with the other equipment, getting your tractor out of the barn and cleaned up is essential, especially if you live in a colder climate. As the growing season arrives, knowing how to prep your tractor will help you avoid issues and help you get the job done without headache. Here’s a list of basic items you should address before you head out to the fields.

A Quick AdjustmentA tractor plowing a field on a farm.

Over the course of a season’s use, the steering, clutches and brakes on your tractor can fall out of their proper settings. Make sure to inspect all of these, and adjust them accordingly to get them back to the manufacturer’s specs in your owner’s manual. Starting off the season with everything set correctly will ensure that you have a smooth start to your spring.

Go with the Flow

As your tractor sits through the winter, condensation can build up and get into oil and other fluids, including your differential and transmission. In conjunction with a thorough oil change and radiator flush, check and change (if needed) your transmission and hydraulic fluids. New fluids all around will keep things clean and flowing properly. While you’re checking these, make sure to also inspect your hydraulic fittings for any leaks and damage.

Igniting Issues

To haul the heavy loads, your tractor’s engine needs to be running in top shape. Check the ignition system and battery, and replace any parts that aren’t producing the best spark possible. This is also a great time to start the season with a fresh air filter. Inspect the exhaust for any leaks and repair them.

Check for Cracks

While we’re focusing on engine performance, now is a good time to inspect all rubber hoses, belts, pulleys and fans. Also make sure that the belts are tensioned properly to reduce slippage and wear. Something as simple as a belt or hose failure can bring your workday to a halt, so catching something before you head out is very important.

Heavy Metal

Finally, inspect the shields and guards on all intakes on grain augers, and make sure the shields are back in place on your power take-off units, if you took them off in the fall. Making sure that all of your equipment is back in working order will save you time when you’re ready to head out.

Preseason maintenance on your tractor will not only keep you away from costly repairs down the line, but it will also keep you working all day long and free from breakdowns.

Check out all the tractor parts available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on how to prep your tractor, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

Erich Reichert View All

Erich Reichert has been an editor and on-air personality in the radio control car hobby for 12 years. A certified car nut since birth, he has written for internationally published titles such as RC Car Action, RC Driver and Xtreme RC Cars, as well as Stuff Magazine, Road and Track and Super Street. He's covered everything from product reviews and tech articles to high-profile lifestyle pieces and celebrity interviews. Erich found his passion for writing after a successful career as an art director, working with brands such as Pepsico, NASCAR, MTV, Nintendo, WWE, Cannondale Bicycles and HBO. He's also a father, an avid hockey fan and an FIA race license holder who enjoys hiking, playing drums and movies.

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