Servicing at regular intervals will reduce the risk of unexpected breakdowns, keep the cost of expensive emergency repairs down in the future, and help you avoid unnecessary downtime during the peak growing season.
Regular maintenance will also ensure that your machinery operates at peak efficiency throughout its life, and well-maintained equipment always retains more value, helping you to extend the life span of your investment and maximise resale values too.
Why post-harvest is the optimal time for servicing
Post-harvest, your machinery usage is generally lower, which means that downtime is minimal and servicing won’t interrupt your schedule as much as it would through spring and summer.
If you’ve had a busy season – and let’s face it 2023 has been a pretty mega harvest – then a winter service will allow for early detection of any issues. Wear and tear or damage incurred over the year can be addressed and fixed before they turn into bigger, more costly problems.
It also means that you’re ready to get started in the New Year straightaway and it’s the perfect opportunity to get your equipment ready for the winter months.
Preparing tour tractors and machinery for winter
As the temperatures start to drop, it’s essential to prepare your tractors and machinery, particularly sprayers, for the harsher winter conditions.
Antifreeze is a must. Ensure that your engine’s cooling system is flushed and filled with fresh antifreeze to prevent the engine from freezing, which can lead to costly damages.
Cold weather can be harsh on batteries too, causing starting issues on cold mornings. Ensure any external equipment is unplugged and not draining power. Simple things like an ignition or lights being left on will also cause more problems now the tractor won’t be working so regularly.
The winter can also be detrimental to sprayers. Thorough flushing out of chemical will ensure harmful residues do not build up which can cause breakages and blockages throughout the system. It is also essential to run through some antifreeze to prevent pumps and lines freezing, which then causes cracking or splitting of parts.
Proper lubrication of all moving parts will prevent seizing and corrosion during the damp winter months and cleaning will prevent debris and dirt from causing rust.
National Sprayer Testing Scheme Tests
Another great job to get ticked off the list at this time of year is your annual sprayer test. We are an official National Sprayer Testing Scheme (NSTS) registered centre and our team of qualified NSTS examiners normally advise carrying out a pre-test sprayer service to ensure your sprayer will pass.
The service is incredibly comprehensive; designed to cover all application components of the sprayer, we inspect the control systems, hoses and pipework, nozzles and nozzle control systems, filters and more to ensure the sprayer is working correctly, efficiently, and safely and will work in a satisfactory manner ready to pass the test.
The NSTS is the legally recognised standard for testing sprayers in the UK. It is essential to ensure your sprayers comply with the latest legislation and are working efficiently to effectively distribute pesticides, herbicides, and fertilisers.
Servicing your vineyard tractors and machinery annually, especially post-harvest, is not just about preventative maintenance, but it’s also an investment in your farm’s productivity and profitability.
By preparing your equipment for winter and ensuring compliance with the NSTS, you are setting the stage for a successful year ahead.
Don’t let the cold months catch you unprepared. Our team of highly skilled, regularly trained engineers and technicians can perform in-depth services using comprehensive checklists and the latest computer diagnostics to assess the electrical components alongside the usual wearing parts.
We also offer service and repairs of the Felco, FelcoTronic and PowerBlade electronic secateurs in time for pruning season.
Contact us today to schedule your service and NSTS test, and enter the winter season with confidence in your machinery’s performance., please phone the NP Seymour office on 01580 712200