Prepping High Tech Stuff For WInter
Nov 13, 2015
Most of us are used to getting farm equipment ready for winter--we check antifreeze, we add diesel fuel anti-gel to fuel tanks, etc., etc. High technology has added a few items that may not be on our winter prep radar. Such as:
-if a machine uses Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) and you're putting it in storage where it won't be started regularly, read your owner's manual about how to handle DEF during storage. Some manufacturers want it drained out; some don't care. Make sure you do what your manufacturer wants, to avoid problems next spring or summer.
-some high-speed planters use electric motors to drive the seed units, and some of those planters use banks of 12-volt batteries hidden on the planter to drive those motors when planting. Because those batteries sit idle for 10 months out of the year, it's important to keep those batteries charged in storage. Plan on disconnecting all the batteries from each other and using a "gang charger" to charge each battery individually, but at the same time.
-if a combine, sprayer or tractor has a main battery disconnect switch that "turns off" the batteries, make sure you use it once the machine is in storage. Modern machinery seems to always have a mini-computer or controller hiding in the system that creates a constant draw on machines even though the key switch is off. Battery disconnect switches solve that problem.
-spend the money to buy enough RV antifreeze to completely winterize every inch of the plumbing on sprayers, from the solution tank to the farthest tip on the both ends of the booms. Put enough of that pink product in the solution tank so that you can spray until EVERY tip is spraying "pink," and then run it for an extra 30 seconds to completely winterize every valve, drooping hose, and filter body. The cost of the extra RV antifreeze is cheaper than the frustration and cost of replacing ice-broken valves, fittings and hoses next spring.