As technicians who repair and service equipment part of our job is educating our customers on why regular maintenance and servicing is important.
We commonly hear: “Why do I need to spend several hundred dollars servicing my mower or tractor every year when it’s running just fine as it is, and I don’t use it that much anyway?”
Even if your machine isn’t being used, the oils still accumulate a small amount of moisture every week, meaning by the end of the 12 month period their quality will be degraded (in fact, it can be more detrimental to leave them sit than to use them regularly – which will help ‘burn off’ this accumulated moisture). That’s before we examine the fluids completely draining to the bottom – when you first start it after an extended period sitting it takes time for the fluids to circulate and fully lubricate (read protect) your moving surfaces from wear, and if not used gently until full protected very bad, long-term damage can be done to your machine.
Then there are all the paper parts that rot (filters quite often use paper as the filtration media). Rats and mice not only love paper (chewing up air filters to take the media back to their nests) but they also love to chew on the soft insulation on all your wiring – meaning when you get in and apply 12V it can lead to many areas shorting out, random voltage surges (which can kill electronic controls which are used more frequently these days) or to a no-start situation – turn the key and it does… nothing.
Not checking fluid levels and checking for leaks if fluids are down / topping them back up regularly can lead to accidental damage. This means more than just a cursory glance at your dipstick and inside the radiator for the presence of expected fluids, but actual analysis – is the fluid level right, does it smell as expected, is there anything there that shouldn’t be there?
Many moving parts that aren’t fully contained use grease as their lubricant – grease is slowly lost over time requiring refilling via the various grease nipples to ensure things will keep moving.
Why is all this maintenance required? The alternative is to let the machine run down in overall condition (which decreases its value as an asset), then components (often critical ones) begin to fail/seize and before you know it the estimate for the repair is several hundred dollars (or for a tractor several thousand dollars).
Please don’t forget, that’s just for what we can see on the outside using our intuition, we don’t have X-ray vision and often encounter a case of once we have it apart we discover more is damaged than initially thought.
In simpler terms – you buy a new car then wash & vacuum it frequently, have the mechanical services done on time – all to maintain it in good condition and retain value in the future – an investment in an asset.
It’s the same principal with lawn-care or agricultural equipment, or indeed any other form of mechanical equipment – regular maintenance will help keep it in good condition, retain its value as an asset longer and also provide early warning of any heavier maintenance/larger expenses we can foresee in the future that may be required – like worn belts/blades/pulleys on ride-on mowers for example, or hydraulic hoses/fittings that are ok for now with a repair to cure that minor leak but will need replacement as the parts wear further on tractors.
Here at Greg Lynch Mobile Farm Service we always try the inexpensive repairs first before we move on to the more expensive things, we always discuss with our customers anything extra required before we proceed and we are happy to provide estimates on the extra work.
For larger jobs, or even simply where requested – we are happy to also provide a written estimate and email it to you so you can consider it and feel confident you know exactly what you are up for.
If you would like to speak with us regarding servicing or repairs of your equipment please contact us, we look forward to hearing from you.