Last week, I said I was going to post about a new project I’ve been working on, or there would be another tractor maintenance post. Â We got the tail end of Tropical Storm Nicole on Thursday and Friday, and the storm won. Â More on that soon.
If you end up with a front end loader at some point, you will get more life out of it with the following tips:
1. Â Buy, read, and understand the manual for your loader. Â If you purchased your tractor new or from a solid source, you probably already have one. Â If not, there are several sources available online. Â Follow that manual, it will tell you about the required regular maintenance.
2. Â Check to make sure the attachment points are locked down. Â I have to hand tighten a wedge nut and lock nut on either side of the load frame, and two more on the front of the tractor. Â I check these out of habit before I take the tractor out and use it.
3. Â Check the bucket for damage. Â The corners of this bucket need some serious repair, and the bucket is looking pretty tired overall. Â I’ll have to do something about that.
4. Â Every 10 hours, grease every zerk/fitting/nipple on the loader. Â Make sure toÂ clean the old grease off the zerk first, and leave a dab of fresh grease on it when you’re done. Â Use the type of grease specified in your manual. Â Pump the grease in until you see fresh grease coming out of the joint like in this picture.
Both ends of a hydraulic cylinder should have a zerk. Â Every pivot in the loader should have a zerk as well. Â You might have to lift the tractor to get access or even see all of them. Â If a zerk snaps off don’t panic, but make sure to replace it ASAP. Â Bigger fancier (newer) tractors might have centralized greasing systems, but mine doesn’t. Â For now.
Make sure to check out the gallery and links for more detailed pictures! Â See you next time!