Secrets to Maintaining Your Classic Tractor
By Tom Seest
At ClassicTractorNews, we help classic tractor lovers keep up with the latest news for classic and vintage tractors.
Tractors are essential tools for farmers and landowners, yet require regular upkeep for optimal operation. Learn how to repair and maintain your tractor so it will serve you for many years to come!
Drew Hanna doesn’t need extensive training to successfully replace a damaged flywheel on his John Deere tractor. Instead, the Greenwich resident finds great joy in fixing equipment he owns himself and takes part in local parades with restored machines he owns.
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Like any machine, tractors require proper care and maintenance in order to operate at their optimal levels. While some work may be completed at home by an average mechanic, bringing the machine into a dealership service department will guarantee its proper completion quickly while saving both time and money over time – as professionals are trained to spot problems that an amateur might miss or worsen over time due to negligence.
Regular inspections can detect potential problems before they become major issues for tractors, such as oil leaks that need fixing quickly or dirty air filters that strain engines without being regularly maintained and cleaned out. Regular checks on your tractor could save you both time and money by detecting these potential problems before they turn into bigger issues. For instance, an oil leak may seem minor at first glance but could quickly lead to major engine trouble if left untreated for too long. Likewise, an air filter that becomes dirty over time may strain its engine, leading to costly engine damage; regular checks on its maintenance may save both.
Tractors require not only fuel and oil for proper operation, but they also need various other fluids like radiator fluid, engine coolant, hydraulic fluid, and transmission fluid as part of the regular maintenance schedule. Checking and topping off these fluids, such as radiator fluid, engine coolant, hydraulic fluid, and transmission fluid, should all be part of any regular check-up schedule – maintaining an appropriate coolant level can prevent internal damage or blockages while having fresh fluids will ensure the smooth running of both your tractor and attachments.
Engine belts and rubber hoses must also be inspected regularly for signs of wear or damage since these components spin essential engine components such as the alternator, radiator, and hydraulic pumps – so it is imperative that they remain flexible and functional.
Consider inspecting other parts regularly, such as the operator’s platform area (to make sure it’s free from debris and tools) and controls (to make sure they work as intended). It is also a good idea to have a fire extinguisher ready in case of emergencies and check that your seat belt is working as it should. Check your lights and flashers are working properly and that the handbrake can easily engage/retract. Greasing chassis points every six months or as recommended in your manual is also highly recommended to help make smooth movement across difficult terrain – check with the manual for advice!
Classic tractor owners need to stay abreast of recalls affecting their vehicles, and one effective way is through regularly visiting NHTSA’s website and entering your VIN number for alerts on issues reported for that model year and brand of tractor. It’s the quickest and easiest way to stay informed on any news that might affect them.
As mentioned above, it’s also crucial to ensure your state registration is up-to-date, as manufacturers use this to send recall notices. Without an updated registration status, recall information could take more time to deliver.
As soon as a problem has been identified, the company that manufactured the product typically forms a recall team to investigate any potential issues and come up with solutions. They will also determine the scope and methods of any recall action taken; reaching out to suppliers or component manufacturers may also be required. Reimbursement plans must also be determined prior to starting any recall action; reimbursement amounts could include replacement purchases.
After correcting the defect, companies that produce defective vehicles often provide either a refund or a replacement vehicle as part of a recall campaign. Refunds typically come back in cash or credit, while loaner cars may also be provided during recall campaigns.
Recalls should always be dealt with quickly and effectively to reduce risk and ensure maximum safety; otherwise, serious injuries or deaths could occur.
Staying current on recall repairs for your vintage farm machine shouldn’t be a complex process with the right tools and expertise, although recall repairs themselves tend to be relatively straightforward. Staying informed on recall announcements will enable you to avoid potentially hazardous situations in the future.
Repair shops typically only stock parts to quickly replace what needs replacing; ordering parts takes time and will force technicians to wait for it. By buying replacement parts yourself, you can avoid such delays and get your tractor back much sooner.
Restoration of classic tractors can be both rewarding and fun, yet challenging if you lack the necessary equipment or skills. Restoring vintage or classic tractors requires patience, hard work, and dedication, its aim being to return them to the condition they were in when they were first out of production (if possible better!).
Kuhn’s Equipment Repair in Oxford, NY, in Leatherstocking Country, specializes in the repair and restoration of farm equipment as well as vintage tractor restoration. Over time, they have earned themselves an impeccable reputation for honesty and good work, which has resulted in a strong customer following. Their services cover everything from excavation to landfill construction and more.
Farm incomes may not be rising fast enough to afford new equipment, so many owners of older tractors are opting to repair rather than purchase. Some repairs can be expensive, but farmers are willing to spend because they want their tractors working again. Unfortunately, this puts immense pressure on repair shops and dealerships across the country, who often struggle to meet this demand for service.
One Michigan farmer, Tim Merrick of Marne, revealed to 13 ON YOUR SIDE that his John Deere 806 tractor had been out for months due to botched work by a local shop. Tim expressed extreme frustration as it had been returned three times by that same shop for repairs, which only cost more money each time it was returned for servicing.
The problem is that dealerships and repair shops are having difficulty meeting demand caused by the pandemic, with many becoming ineligible to service deliveries for weeks or even months due to backlog. One local New York dealership that sells heavy machinery such as backhoes reported having industrial backhoe orders that had originally been scheduled for March delivery now being delayed until September due to this pandemic backlog.
Reports of delayed tractor repairs across the country have surfaced, prompting dealers and repair shops alike to stop working on certain tractors that don’t match certain color criteria, while others must turn away customers in need. Bob Kuhn, owner of Leatherstocking Country dealership in rural New York State, notes his business has been “crazy busy,” with farmers seeking his assistance for fixing equipment made by different manufacturers.
Farmers should take precautionary steps in order to be ready for these kinds of problems by compiling a list of questions they can pose to dealers when buying used tractors and also creating an estimate for repairs – websites may help with this, though always consult a qualified mechanic prior to having work performed on any equipment as estimates for repair costs can differ widely.
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