Running a farm is hard work, but a lot of tasks are made easier by the tractor. Your authoritative and versatile go-to agricultural workhorse proves its value every day as you plough and seed your fields, apply fertiliser, and harvest crops.
Because the tractor is so busy, it gets dirty pretty quickly. And yet it’s essential to maintain a regular cleaning routine for your machine. Leaving it covered for too long under a layer of dirt and grime can make the eventual work of cleaning much more difficult. In the meantime, all that mud can obscure any warning signs that need attention; you could end up looking for new hydraulic kits for sale instead of a few hours’ clean-up jobs.
Here are four steps to thoroughly cleaning your tractor with as little fuss as possible.
You might be tempted to just step in right away with a hose and start dousing the entire vehicle with water, but it’s better to start by manually removing debris such as twigs or leaves. The flow of water, especially if you use a pressure washer, can be unpredictable or hard to control. Sometimes, it can end up pushing leaves and other debris into inaccessible nooks and corners of the machine, where they can build up and rot. You can use a leaf blower, or a long-handled scrub brush to carefully scrape loose debris.
Wash and rinse the exterior
It helps to start washing on a rainy day, so take advantage of the weather if you can. This helps soften the dirt so that it comes off more easily with water. You can use a pressure washer, or apply snow foam if you want, but some care should be taken with these methods to protect your paint coat. A simple garden hose, towel rag, and soap will get the job done as well. Just see to it that the engine isn’t hot and you don’t get any electrical connections wet.
Your cab can get surprisingly dirty in a rather short amount of time. If you take a flashlight inside you’ll see how much dust and grit can sneak in. Clear out the interior of tools and litter, and then vacuum thoroughly. Don’t forget to take out and wash the rubber mats as well.
Wipe surfaces with an appropriate cleaning agent for the material – leather or vinyl, for instance. There are many commercially available products for car interior detailing which are also suitable for this purpose.
Dry and wax
Allow the tractor to air dry, or wipe it dry with micro-fibre cloths. You can also use the leaf blower to speed up the process. Now you can go over the exterior and check if the surfaces are in need of a protective finish. This will preserve the paint coat, and help repel water and debris. Most mild car wax products can also be applied to your tractor’s exterior and typically last up to 3 or 4 months, though you can certainly try more specialized or professional products to get a more durable protective finish.
Even with all the other tasks that keep you occupied day-to-day on your farm, cleaning the tractor shouldn’t be neglected – it can really make the difference when it comes to long-term efficiency and an extended life cycle for your most useful machine.