Compact Tractors are designed to simplify jobs around the home, farm or jobsite. Working at optimum efficiency, one can save time and money while getting a multitude of jobs done quickly.
One thing the owner/user doesn’t need is unscheduled downtime, especially due to a bit of couch potato creeping into what otherwise would be a pretty simple daily service routine. According to KIOTI Technical Support Supervisor Joel Hicks, “An apple a day, keeps the service doctor away.”
With just a little extra effort daily, even the busiest of homeowners, farmers, contractors and other end users can extend the life of their compact tractor while avoiding the downtime that we can all do without. Let’s face it. The guy or girl who runs one of these machines the better part of the day to make a living or simplify chores around the house or farm, is a tired person by sundown.
So the first part of the new day is probably the best time to perform some quick and easy preflight servicing of the tractor. Once accustomed to this practice, these chores can be performed in 10-15 minutes, giving the operator comfort in knowing that the machine is in tip-top shape and ready for the day’s work.
Hicks’ argument is that a short and sweet inspection today can circumvent that long and not-so-sweet and far more costly repair tomorrow. And the service histories of many different products made by many different companies have proven this to be the case. “Once you become accustomed to working with the same machine every day,” says Hicks, “you get to know it better and know right away on a routine daily check when things just don’t look, sound or feel quite right. When this happens, use sound judgment and take your inspection to the next step.” Here’s Hicks’ Apple-a-Day service checklist to keep things running smoothly for you:
- First and foremost, buy your diesel fuel from a reliable source. Sounds quite simple, but how often do we really think of that? Contaminated fuel can raise all kinds of operational havoc and some permanent damage along the way too.
- Use a good additive like KIOTI’s Diesel Power. Most manufacturers offer this type of product to eliminate any moisture or condensation, increase the cetane to improve starting and mimimize damage to injectors and pumps.
- While you’re having your second cup of coffee, perform a visual inspection of your tractor. Be aware of loose, damaged or missing hardware, worn hoses, cracked belts
and the like.
- Check fuel filters for water or sediment and the radiator screen for debris. Monitor the air cleaner for service life and possible damage.
- Check belt tension, tire pressure and other components requiring periodic adjustment.
- Check the ROPS, brakes, seat belts, safety shields and other safety features to ensure they are working properly.
- Inspect the three-point hitch for abnormal signs of wear and tear or missing parts.
- Last and surely not least, check the levels of engine oil, hydraulic fluid and coolant for proper fill. Grease as necessary.
Okay, so these all sound like pretty common sense things to do, but according to Hicks, “People are busy and just don’t find the time to do them on a consistent basis and that can lead to problems down the road. Our dealers remind their customers constantly to spend a few minutes each day to avoid problems in the field and on the job.”
The people who design these machines put lots of emphasis on making them easy to own, easy to operate and easy to maintain, so that they last a long, long time. Tending to a simple daily checklist will help them do just that.