According to an AgPro online poll, 82% of respondents do not think all the scheduled tillage and fertilizer applications will get done this fall before winter. This only adds to the dogpile of acres that didn’t have timely tillage or application passes in the fall of 2018 or spring 2019.
The backlog of acres to cover in an unknown but likely tight time window is the first reason that the team at New Leader is encouraging machine operators to do proper pre-season maintenance now.
Having a well-maintained machine is the best way to be ready for crunch time and prevent downtime.
Additionally, as a second reason to do maintenance now, machines are more complex with more technology.
“Technology on these machines has ramped up, and it makes the spreader easier to use, but it does require specific maintenance to make sure the machine can function,” says John Rathjen with New Leader.
One aspect that should not be overlooked is calibration.
“You can map down to the foot and everything can be so precise in your application, but if you haven’t calibrated, the product is not going where it should,” Rathjen says. “Maintenance will improve your accuracy and machine performance.”
A third reason to prep now for application season is labor shortages.
“We know that with tight labor resources, less maintenance is being done in general,” Rathjen says. “So we want all of our operators to prioritize maintenance to maximize their personnel resources.”
Here are the top 5 tips for pre-season spreader maintenance from New Leader:
- Change hydraulic and gear case oil, and hydraulic filter.
- Clean rust from spinner fins or install new fins with powder coating removed.
- Check to see the conveyor is adjusted, moving freely and that the oiler works.
- Check to see the fan frame moves freely and takes grease.
- Check controller operation, spreader constants/CFR’s, and pan test your spreader to verify the spread pattern.