There are countless factors outside farmers’ control: commodity markets rise and fall, weather cooperates or doesn’t, consumers make purchase decisions that affect supply decisions. But even with all these variables, there’s one thing over which every farmer has total control: their level of preparation.

One of the key ways to prepare for harvest and beyond is to examine your lubricants and grease programs ahead of time. Using a high-quality product, investing in an oil analysis and enrolling in a warranty program are all key ways to control what you can control this season. 

Control the quality of your fluids 
First-class lubricants begin with better base oils, which are crucial for providing a strong foundation. Quality lubricants stand apart from the rest thanks to the technology behind their complex additive packages.

  • A premium oil resists oxidization more effectively than low-quality "yellow bucket" blends, meaning it provides better protection, lasts longer and needs replacing less often - even with constant exposure to air and high temperatures. 
  • A premium oil also provides more consistent durability, meaning you have less shear and viscosity breakdown during heavy-duty cycles and a better ability to combat water. 
  • Premium oils also contain better detergents and dispersants to keep critical moving parts cleaner and prevent dirt and soot from causing excess wear.

Think of your equipment as an athlete — marathon runners don’t rely solely on water to hydrate. Instead, they consume drinks designed to replace the nutrients they’re using, ultimately improving their performance. In a lubricant, stronger additives and better base oils do the same thing for your equipment.

In the short term, better-quality oils help reduce operability issues in agricultural equipment, such as brake chatter and other disruptive stickiness that can take place in hydraulic pumps. In addition, premium lubricants minimize wear on the yellow metals that form critical components of today’s high-tech equipment, allowing for efficient operation in the field.

Control what you know and when you know it 
The key to prolonging the life of your equipment is consistent maintenance, specifically through regular used oil analysis. Just a small sample of used engine oil can help determine the amount of wear and tear on your machinery — and warn you of any impending issues before they become disastrous. 

Conducting an oil analysis is straightforward:

  1. Purchase an oil analysis kit. Many Cenex® brand dealers and CHS cooperatives sell LubeScan® used oil analysis kits, which contain everything needed to run an analysis. 
  2. Interpret your results. All LubeScan kits are sent to ALS, a global testing service, where experts use the oil sample to assess the health of your equipment. 
  3. Oil analysis can easily fold into your regular maintenance schedule. Results are best used when they can be compared to multiple samples from the same machine. We recommend analyzing diesel engines every 250 to 300 hours, and gasoline engines every 3,000 miles. 

Control for the unknown 
Another important way to protect your equipment and prepare for the unknown is to enroll in a warranty program. To help farmers keep their equipment in top condition, many warranty programs include maintenance schedules with guidance for oil analysis and other checkups. The CENEX TOTAL PROTECTION PLAN® warranty offers coverage for both new and used equipment. Eligibility requirements are simple — just conduct required oil analysis and use premium Cenex fuel, and if anything happens, enrolled equipment is covered in full.

If you have any questions or want to learn more about quality Cenex lubricant products, used oil analysis or the Cenex Total Protection Plan, contact your LOCAL CENEX DEALER.

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