By Mimi Falkman, senior marketing specialist, CHS Lubricants
Planting season is always a busy time of year on the farm, but it can be especially tight when winter overstays its welcome. A short spring means there’s even less time than usual for farmers to complete some of the most important work of the year.
During a condensed planting season, equipment is under added stress because it needs to work overtime to meet demands. To keep machines protected and operating at peak performance during a shorter spring, farmers can set themselves up for success by preparing their equipment and fluids while the fields are still wet.
Here are three ways you can prepare your equipment’s lubricants before it’s time to hit the field.
1. Perform a used oil analysis.
Throughout the winter, the lubricant inside your equipment can get contaminated by moisture, dirt and other elements — even if your equipment has been sitting in storage all season. Performing a used oil analysis is an easy way to find out if your equipment’s oil is fit to handle spring planting.
A used oil analysis can also reveal early warning signs of larger problems that may be brewing inside equipment. Lubricants touch all the moving parts inside a machine, so their condition can provide a valuable look at what’s going on under the hood. By catching smaller issues now, farmers can prevent bigger problems later on that could cause equipment failure during one of the most important times of the year.
Performing a used oil analysis is easy. All you need is a LubeScan® Used Oil Analysis kit, which you can purchase from your local CENEX® LUBRICANTS DEALER. Using the kit, you’ll collect a small sample of used oil and send it for analysis to the ALS global testing lab, where technicians will give your equipment a custom diagnosis. Cenex recommends starting this process about three weeks out from when you’re aiming to be in the field.
2. Prepare your equipment and fluid supply.
While you’re waiting for the results of your used oil analysis, utilize the time to perform other proactive tasks, like preventive maintenance on your equipment. Just because your equipment was working when you put it into storage, there’s no guarantee it’ll still be working when you take it out.
Long winters make for wet, muddy springs, creating an increased risk of contaminants getting inside equipment. Check for any exterior damage to make sure your machines are ready to handle sloppy spring conditions.
Along with performing preventive maintenance, use pre-season downtime to stock up on any fluids you’ll need. Time is precious during planting. Save yourself from an unplanned trip and visit your Cenex lubricants dealer ahead of time. That way, you’ll have all the fluids you need on-hand so you won’t lose valuable time in the field later on.
3. Choose quality lubricants.
As the saying goes, you are what you eat, and that applies to your equipment too. High-quality synthetic fluids like the MAXTRON® FAMILY OF LUBRICANTS from Cenex provide superior protection for your machines.
Enhanced with powerful additives, each Maxtron formulation is engineered for maximum performance. What’s more, thanks to new EnduroVis™ polymer technology, MAXTRON ENVIRO-EDGE® and MAXTRON DEO are some of the most durable diesel engine oils on the market, keeping your equipment protected longer and on the field where it belongs.
Good or bad, what happens during planting can set the tone for your operation all season long. That’s why, when facing a shortened spring, it’s crucial to plan ahead so you can make the most of your time on the field. A strong start in the spring can create valuable momentum throughout the growing season.