Running a farm take lots of hard work and the right equipment, and while your work vehicles operate almost non-stop during the busy season, they must be housed properly when not in use. Your tractor needs a home to live in when the harvest is over and must be ready to go when called upon, so there needs to be adequate housing for it and all its implements and attachments.
Do you have a place to put your farm vehicles so they are sheltered from the weather? Here are some great tractor storage ideas.
Idea #1: Prepare Ahead of Time
If your farm season is slowing down and you must put your tractor away for an extended period, you can’t wait until the last minute. There needs to be some planning ahead of time to consider:
- Storage options
Putting together a prep list for the off-season will make your tractor storage plan much smoother and save you time and money. Plan ahead and then implement when ready.
Idea #2: Storage Options
Depending on your farm or homestead size, you may already have a dedicated structure to house your ag equipment. If not, consider putting up a pole barn or shed so your tractor can be out of the elements, especially over the winter. You want protection from rain and snow, wind and even the sun, and a plastic cover isn’t the best option because it can trap moisture and restrict circulation.
Investing in a barn is great for your tractor, tools and equipment, animals, feed and seed. If you have the funds, build a barn, but until then, find an area with at least a roof for your farm vehicle and use a tractor cover or canvas tarp.
Idea #3: Perform End of Season Maintenance
Your tractor has worked hard, assisting you in your farming operation from soil prep to harvesting, and before you store it away, it needs some maintenance.
Start with a deep clean to wash off all the accumulated mud, dirt and debris. A portable pressure washer will save you some back-breaking work in those hard-to-reach areas. Mud can trap water on the machine and cause corrosion, so get off all the caked-on debris. Scrub down with soap and water and spray everything off, keeping the water away from electrical components and the instrument panel.
Idea #4: Check Up on Oils
Now it’s time to check and top up all fluids, including oil, hydraulic fluid and fuel. You can change out the oil filter and add a fuel stabilizer to the fuel system for good measure. Remove the battery and store it in a cool, dry place so it doesn’t drain itself while hooked to the tractor over the winter.
It’s also a good idea to put blocks under the frame to take the pressure off the tires. A tractor is a heavy vehicle; prolonged storage can cause flat tire spots. Place the blocks underneath and let out some air in the tires so the blocks take some of the weight. Complete tractor lubrication, protecting all fittings and exposed metal parts.
Idea #5: Make Repairs
During your inspection, you may encounter issues that must be rectified. You may also have had issues during the operation you planned to repair when the farming season slowed. This is that time, so make your repairs before you cover the machine for storage. If you are handy and can take on any mechanical issues, you can save some money, but getting a mechanic to fix bigger problems may be best.
Now that you have your tractor all cleaned, repaired and housed away, don’t ignore it for the rest of the year. Go out and have a visit every few weeks, start it up and let it run for 5-10 minutes. You want to ensure it is ready to go when you need it, and this is a way to address any problems that may arise before you put it back into service.
Idea #6: Get Rid of Critters
You also want to deter unwelcome critters from residence while your tractor is in storage. Place some rat and mouse traps around the vehicle and put some mothballs in the cab and around any exposed wiring. You don’t want an expensive repair bill hitting you in the face when you are ready to use your tractor again.
These are practical tractor storage ideas that everyone can benefit from, regardless of the size of your operation. Follow these tips so your machine will be put to rest comfortably and ready to spring into action for the next farming season.