Five Fall Tillage Tool Maintenance Tips

Save time, money, and headaches by checking your equipment before it heads to the field

Harvest is here, and you are preparing equipment for another fall in the field. While the focus is on combining and yields, it is never too early to start thinking about prepping your seedbed for spring planting. Fall tillage gives you a head start on preparing the perfect seedbed for planters in the spring. But before heading out to the field one last time this fall, make sure your equipment has been properly maintained and checked over.

When it comes to your McFarlane Ag tillage tool management, a little goes a long way. Proper maintenance and regular checkups on tillage equipment can be the difference between minor tune-ups or costly repair bills.

Here are 5 quick tips to do before heading to the field this fall.

  1. Do a full machine walk around, checking for leaks and cracks on the frame of the machine as well as the hoses and bearings. Be sure to also check the grease points (refer to your manual for a list of grease points and the recommended greasing intervals) Neglecting these important steps could lead to much larger problems and bigger repair bills down the road. The Incite® Universal Tillage™ comes standard with TILLXTREME™ 7-lip seal trunnion style bearings to reduce maintenance and greasing.
  2. Check the tires and tire pressure. Look for cracked or flat tires and make sure all tires and hubs are tightened all the way onto the machine. All McFarlane Ag tillage equipment come standard with radial tires. Radial tires are designed to have more flotation and hold up better on highways because they can support more weight. Pressure should be around 75 psi but can vary depending on their location (check manual for proper tire pressure guidelines).
  3. Check all soil engaging components, including disk blades, chisel shanks, baskets, and harrows. Waiting too long to replace parts like these can lead to poor machine performance and more passes needed in the field. Here are a few examples:
    1. On the Incite, move the hydraulic Dura-Reel® up and down to ensure it doesn’t hit any hoses.
    2. 20” Cobra™ disk blades and 22” Incizor® should be replaced after 3” of wear. Be sure to check the operator’s manual for replacement recommendations on all soil engaging parts.
  4. Ensure the gang angles are adjusted correctly for the fall season. Before heading to the field, actuate the gang angle hydraulic circuit from least aggressive to most aggressive, making sure the gang tube comes into close contact with the stop tube on either end of the range. When using a piece of vertical tillage or Universal Tillage equipment such as the Incite or Cobra be sure the gangs have been adjusted aggressively enough to manage heavy residue.
  5. Check the drawbar height when hooking up to a new tractor. This one may seem obvious but make sure everyone working with the equipment understands this step to avoid breakdowns and damage to the equipment or tractor.

Click here for more tips on Universal Tillage adjustments once you're in the field.

Always read or reread the operator’s manual to ensure all maintenance is done properly before heading to the field.

Here’s a quick link to the operator’s manual for a couple popular McFarlane Ag products:

Incite Universal Tillage Operator’s Manual

Cobra Universal Tillage Operator’s Manual

It is also important to go over all the maintenance steps with everyone involved in operations on the farm. Keeping everyone on the same page promotes better communication and can save time and money and headaches down the road.

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