This autumn’s wet conditions have left many farmers worried. Across regions in the Midwest and other areas of the country, heavy rains continue to leave wet, soggy fields that pose a special challenge during harvest. Too much rain often forces farmers to delay their harvest activities, meaning more has to get done in a shorter amount of time once equipment hits the field.
While waiting for fields to dry out, don’t forget to think about your hydraulic fluid. Harvesting wet fields puts extra stress on your equipment and lubricants degrade quickly under the high heat created by this stress. However, these strenuous conditions can present an opportunity for farmers to learn more about their equipment performance and better prepare for future fieldwork next season. Consider the following suggestions for conducting not one, but two oil analyses this harvest season.
- Pre-harvest oil analysis: Most wheat and small grains have been harvested, leaving some downtime before corn and soybeans are ready. It may seem counterintuitive, but now is the perfect time to conduct a hydraulic oil analysis. While you might not get the results back before you hit the fields later in the season, it provides valuable information once coupled with a post-harvest oil analysis.
- Post-harvest oil analysis: After harvest, be sure to pull another hydraulic oil analysis as you prepare to store or winterize your equipment. Once you receive the results from the second test, you can compare it to the pre-harvest analysis. These two tests will provide invaluable information on what equipment needs extra attention and preventive maintenance during the winter. The best tool in your toolkit is a solid understanding of how your equipment is holding up to difficult operating conditions.
Even if pulling two oil analyses isn’t in the cards for this season, it may be time to consider switching to a premium hydraulic fluid. A small investment in higher quality lubricants can pay dividends over the life of your equipment, providing better protection against the increased heat and pressure generated by today’s modern engines and larger implements.
Matron® THF+ is a workhorse for your equipment. As a full-synthetic hydraulic fluid, Maxtron THF+ is designed to provide optimum transmission and hydraulic operation, even in extreme temperatures, and protects vital engine components even in the most difficult conditions.
Contact your local Cenex dealer to get an oil analysis kit for your equipment and to learn more about Cenex premium lubricants.