Here are 6 tips to make this application season and all upcoming seasons a bit smoother.

  1. Even if they seem redundant, inspections are necessary. “Pre-season inspections are needed, even if the crew serviced the machine before they put it away for winter,” says Paul Haefner, product specialist with AGCO application equipment
  2. The key to inspections are the details, even with the fundamentals. For example, on a floater, if one tire’s pressure is off 10 PSI, when doing a GPS steering calibration, the resulting AB line will not be straight.
  3. Check all components, parts and systems. Haefner reports the item most commonly overlooked on yearly or seasonal inspections is the carbon filter for the cab. Specifically for application trucks, Haefner suggests checking the air brakes this time of year.
  4. Calibrate sprayers and spreaders. “One repeatable thing I hear every spring boils down to calibration,” says Case IH application equipment marketing manager Mark Burns. “Do a sprayer tip catch test. Make sure whatever volume the control system thinks the sprayer is putting out matches what is actually coming out the spray tip. How the calibration is performed is how the machine is perceived. If the machine does a poor job, it was doing what it thinks is right.”
  5. Machines with Tier 4 engines require extra consideration. “It’s important to follow the storage requirements for DEF. To maximize DEF shelf life, it is best to store DEF above 12 F and below 86 F,” Burns says.
  6. Keep track as things come up in the field—it’ll give you a place to start for post-season repairs. “Each operator makes a list for the machine they run,” says Tony Kornder, an applicator with Genesis Grower Solutions in Le Sueur, Minn.  “Most of the time, if something is wrong, we take care of it. But at the end of year, there may be notes like there’s a hitch on the right side of the boom as it folds out.”