Best Practices For Storing Farm Equipment During Off-Seasons Or Periods Of Low Usage

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Farm equipment is a significant investment for any Ontario farmer. To protect your investment and extend the life of your equipment, proper storage during off-seasons or periods of low usage is crucial. Implementing best practices for storing farm equipment will help prevent damage, reduce maintenance costs, and ensure that your machinery is ready for use when you need it. Here are some tips to help you store your farm equipment effectively:

1. Clean and Inspect

Prior to storing your farm equipment, thoroughly clean it to remove any dirt, debris, or chemicals that may have accumulated during its use. Pay close attention to areas that are prone to rust or corrosion. Once cleaned, inspect the equipment for any signs of wear, damage, or loose parts. Address any necessary repairs or maintenance before storing the equipment.

2. Properly Lubricate

Lubrication is essential to prevent rust and keep your farm equipment in optimal condition. Apply lubricating oil or grease to all moving parts, such as bearings, joints, and hinges. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the appropriate lubricants and intervals.

3. Fuel and Fluid Management

Before storing your equipment, consider the type of fuel and fluids it contains. If possible, drain the fuel tank or add a fuel stabilizer to prevent the fuel from deteriorating and causing engine damage. Check the oil levels and top up if necessary. Remember to follow proper disposal procedures for drained fuel and fluids.

4. Protect from the Elements

Shielding your farm equipment from the elements is crucial for its longevity. If feasible, store the equipment indoors, preferably in a clean and dry building. If indoor storage is not available, use tarps or covers to protect the machinery from rain, snow, and direct sunlight. Ensure the storage area has adequate ventilation to prevent condensation and moisture buildup.

5. Secure Storage Location

Choose a secure storage location to prevent theft or unauthorized access to your farm equipment. Lock the storage area or invest in additional security measures like surveillance cameras or alarms. Regularly monitor the storage area to ensure the equipment remains undisturbed.

6. Battery Maintenance

If your farm equipment has a battery, take proper precautions to maintain it during storage. Clean the battery terminals and ensure they are tightly connected. Consider using a battery maintainer or trickle charger to keep the battery charged and prevent it from losing power or freezing during the off-season.

7. Regular Maintenance Schedule

Even during periods of low usage, it’s important to adhere to a regular maintenance schedule for your farm equipment. Perform routine checks, such as tire pressure, fluid levels, and belt inspections. Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage or breakdowns.

By following these best practices for storing farm equipment, you can significantly extend its life and reduce the likelihood of expensive repairs. Proper storage and maintenance ensure that your machinery remains in top condition and ready for use when the farming season resumes.