Navigating Winter Challenges: Expert tips on farm machinery maintenance in cold weather

Properly caring for farm machinery as this winter produces more challenging conditions than normal requires proactive maintenance by producers, according to a machinery expert from T&H Custom Ag.

As winter storms grip the nation, the challenges of farm machinery maintenance become increasingly critical for agricultural operations. Thursday morning on the Market Day Report, we spoke with Tyler Heinen, owner of T&H Custom AG LLC in Imperial, Nebraska, to discuss the importance of winter machinery maintenance and glean some of his expertise regarding the primary challenges faced by farmers during the colder months.

“Thorough preparation is key to overcoming the challenges that winter brings, especially when it comes to equipment reliability,” Heinen explained.

According to Heinen, ensuring the seamless operation of essential tasks during winter is paramount for those relying on farm machinery daily.

Top Machinery Challenges in Winter Weather

When temperatures plummet, farmers encounter various challenges that demand proactive solutions. Here are some of the T&H Custom Ag’s expert outlines as key challenges for farmers using machinery in extreme temperatures:

Keeping Equipment Running

“The harsh winter conditions can pose a threat to the functionality of machinery,” he said. “Regular checks and maintenance routines are essential to keep everything running smoothly.”

Treating Fuel Correctly

Cold temperatures affect fuel quality. “Farmers need to ensure that fuel is treated correctly to prevent issues with machinery performance,” he explained.

Ensuring Readiness

Proactive measures, such as plugging in equipment, are vital. “This ensures that machinery starts and operates efficiently when needed.”

Effective Troubleshooting in Cold Weather

According to Heinen, urgent issues during wintertime require and even more swift and effective troubleshooting approach for producers to ensure they protect the longevity of their vital machinery.

Be Proactive

“Relying on equipment for daily tasks requires a proactive approach,” he said. “Regularly check and maintain machinery to address potential problems before they escalate.”

Heinen advises farmers to keep in mind that batteries and components are susceptible to the cold. He also acknowledged the unique challenges faced by smaller-scale farmers and provided tailored advice.

“Smaller operations should plan and have everything in order long before the snowfall starts.”

Anticipate Issues: Pre-Plan to Prevent Problems

“Farmers should anticipate potential issues and take preventive measures to ensure equipment reliability.”

That means, not waiting until the last minute.

“Waiting until the day of the storm is not an option,” Heinen said. “Pre-plan and practice preventive measures, adhering to the adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

While making sure your fuel source is treated correctly for cold weather. When it comes to smaller operations, securing that vital input is just as important.

“Securing fuel treatment and other necessities should not be left until the last minute,” he said. “Proactive planning is crucial for a smoother winter operation.”

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