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Spring machinery prep checklist

As farmers get ready for spring, preparing machinery should include checking or repairing anything that may affect the safety of the operator (if not already done so).

Keeping machinery properly maintained is not only good for your equipment, but also the safety of you and others as well. Although it may not be a very exciting activity nevertheless, it is something that needs to be done.

Make sure flashers and turn signals work properly, additional amber flashers and turn signals may be applied if desired. The emblems should be clean and bright so they reflect to their fullest potential to oncoming traffic. If reflective emblems are worn down, it is wise to replace them immediately. Another way to enhance visibility is to add reflective or fluorescent tape. 

Shields and guards are there for your safety. Broken or modified guards can be compromised. Make sure to check your PTO drive-line shields so they turn freely and independently of the drive-line. The drive-line shield, tractor master shield, and the corresponding shield on the implement must all be in place to provide maximum protection.

Hydraulic systems and mechanical locks are important to make sure everything is in working order. Check all hoses, fittings, and seals to assure they are in great condition – replace the worn pieces immediately. When checking leaks, use a piece of paper or cardboard instead of your hand. High pressures can inject hydraulic fluid through the skin.

Make sure to check wheels and tires properly so they are ready to carry loads and road travel. An under-inflated tire and poorly lubricated bearings can fail unexpectedly with serious consequences. 

When checking a sprayer or a planter, check the hoses, valves, fittings and other components so there are no leaks. If there’s a liquid chemical accident, it’s wise to keep water available for emergency hand washing and cleanups. Always remember to keep proper PPE (personal protective equipment) such as gloves and chemical goggles in a convenient place. Also, make sure to have tight covers on tanks to prevent spills.

Other things to check over are locking hitch pins for tractors and implements. Also, remember to keep platforms and steps clean to prevent slips and falls. By following these practices, you are sure to keep yourself and others safe this spring.

Source: Agriculture & Natural Resources a University of Wisconsin-Extension

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