Post-harvest equipment storage tips for winter

When harvest season comes to an end and the colder days start to set in, it does not mean that your entire farm’s production should go into hibernation mode. You might not be planting for a harvest but you certainly need to maintain your harvesting equipment and store it in a safe place during your off months.

The reason why you need to clean and store your equipment is to prevent it from rust, corrosion, liquid freezing and many other factors that may affect its future performance. Here are a few of the most important tips to consider when maintaining your equipment before you store it:

Do a thorough service check on your tractor

One of the first service checks you need to do on your tractor is to change the oil to a lubricant that is lighter and to fill up the tank. The reason for this is because your tractor is likely to be sitting without action for months, so this is done to avoid engine corrosion during storage. Make sure that you clean or replace air filters, fuel filters, and lubricate bearings and joints at the same time. If you’re making use of antifreeze in your engine, be sure to look at the expiry date of yours as these products have a lifespan. As for your tyres, deflate them when stored, and try to keep the entire vehicle out of direct sunlight.

Clean your farming equipment

Next up, clean your farming tools such as your tillage equipment, spreaders and rotary cutters. To clean these units, you will need to make use of a compressed air or pressure washer to get rid of any hay, soil or dirt build-up left on the equipment. Because you won’t be making use of this equipment for quite some time, you will need to ensure that each unit is properly cleaned and dried to avoid rusting. Note that build-up can attract rodents which will eventually lead to the electrical wires being eaten.

Clean tools will ensure consistent performance throughout the new harvesting season. As you know, agriculture implements are extremely costly. Be it feed mixers for livestock farming or farming equipment for harvesting, it is important to look after each piece of equipment, especially if you want to receive the return on investment you want when you advertise your farming equipment that is available for sale.

Perform maintenance on any equipment damages

Again, if you wish to sell older units and sell your farming equipment, you will need to take some pride in fixing any damages that could affect your asking price. The same goes for general equipment maintenance and simply caring for your equipment. Repaint any areas which are chipped to avoid future corrosion. Make a note of any repairs that you cannot physically do yourself, and send your equipment to be fixed during this time. When your equipment is stored post-harvest, you can afford to send your units for maintenance checks because this off season will not affect your production.

Remove batteries once equipment is stored

It is advised that in areas that experience snow, you should remove batteries from units to avoid batteries from deteriorating or leaking into the overall unit. Often times, extreme weather conditions can also cause batteries to freeze. If a battery does leak and is left unnoticed, the chemicals released can cause corrosion. So, during the winter months, it is extremely important to remove your batteries and store them somewhere where you can constantly monitor them, perform periodic charging and clean connections.

Final thoughts

Equipment should always be stored away from any conditions that could affect each unit’s performance. If your storage area is not completely sheltered, invest in some additional cloth covers for further protection on each piece of equipment. The way you maintain and look after your equipment will determine the resale value whenever you choose to sell your units and upgrade to more advanced options.