A service now will save time
Ahead of the silage season, it more than pays to prepare your baler with some basic preventative maintenance
With just a month until the kick-off of the 2014 silage season, now is the time to be getting balers and mowers ready for action.
Time spent on preventative maintenance and preparation now can save an awful lot of angst and irritation when it comes to gathering up the grass and popping out nicely-formed round bales.
Doing the simple things right goes a long way, like checking the drive chains for correct tension, giving the machine a good clean inside and out, and making sure the baler is lubricated with the correct fill of the right oils and greases.
A lot of contractors will hold on to the machinery they have for another year.
This approach is completely understandable – but usually one of the side effects of longer replacement policies is more frequent breakdowns. A good maintenance programme is therefore essential.
All machines should be serviced and any broken parts from last season replaced with new parts.
Now is a good time to be ordering parts from your local dealer because, like everyone else, dealers will also be flat out come May and June with call-outs for broken down machines.
It is better for all concerned to get organised now when there is a bit of time available.
To give an idea of the things to watch out for, in this feature we run through some pre-season service essentials for the McHale Fusion baler-wrapper.
While this guide isn't definitive, it's a good general overview. It's worth booking the machine in with your local dealer for a thorough service, but act early and get the baler in now rather than waiting.
More and more dealers are offering an out-of-season service and repair option of machinery. Talk to your dealer about this option, both in terms of the timing and cost.
You can arrange a deal that ensures machines are ready for work when needed.
For those who do their own maintenance, ensure safety is the number one priority.
It goes without saying that before starting any maintenance or repairs, the pto drive should be disengaged – preferably disconnected altogether – and the tractor engine stopped.
Be sure, also, to properly secure the open tailgate by closing the hydraulic tap on the lift circuit.
In next week's issue we will be profiling the first of the three contractor finalists battling it out for the Farming Independent/Zurich Contractor of the Year prize.
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