Spring Tillage Maintenance Tips

Before heading to the field, be sure to check your equipment is ready to go

With warm weather just around the corner, many growers are bringing their equipment out of winter storage and getting it ready for the spring planting season. Although many growers clean and perform maintenance on their equipment before putting away in winter storage, it is always a good idea to run a routine maintenance check on all equipment before it hits the field again in the spring.

Tillage equipment often gets overshadowed by planters or drills when it comes to spring equipment preparation. But overlooking even the slightest issues can lead to costly repair bills and time wasted. Here are 4 areas equipment owners and their employees should check before taking that spring tillage tool out to the field.

  1. Overall machine walk around- it is always good to walk around the whole machine for inspection. Here are key things to do/look for:
    1. Grease all marked grease points
    2. Run hydraulic system and check for leaks
    3. Check the single point depth control to ensure it did not seize up
    4. Check for loose bolts
    5. Check lights
    6. If using a different tractor, adjustment of the draw bar height may be needed
  2. Wheels, tires, and axles- these are important parts of the machine and often get overlooked when running maintenance.
    1. Check walking tandem axles- grease with synthetic grease for best results
    2. Ensure wheel hubs are not loose- tighten if necessary
    3. Repack wheel bearings
    4. Check tire pressure- recommended pressure is typically 75 psi, but always check the operation manual
  3. Disks, disk gangs and Dura-Reels®- These soil engaging components are crucial to making sure the machine preforms best to give the grower the best seedbed.
    1. Check diameter for wearing- After about 3” of wear, replacement is encouraged
    2. Check disk scrapers- it is recommended these are 3/8th of an inch or closer
    3. Tighten gangs if needed
    4. Check bearing and bolts
    5. Spin Dura-Reel to check for bearing hang ups
  4. Finishing configurations- The last component to ensuring the perfect seedbed, finishing configurations also need to be maintained properly
    1. Check rolling basket down pressure- baskets should budge when stepped on, once machine depth is set
    2. Spin rolling baskets and Spur-Till to check for bearing hang ups

Following these tips will help growers maintain their equipment properly, helping the machine run better in the field and giving them a perfect seedbed for their planters. It is always important to read the operators’ manual for specific measurements and any other points of maintenance to look out for. McFarlane Ag has a team of tillage experts available to answer any equipment maintenance or performance questions.

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