3-step spring equipment checklist

March 23, 2021
Mimi Falkman, premium lubricants expert for CHS, discusses what farmers can do to avoid equipment downtime during the spring season.

The calm before spring planting isn’t just for coordinating agronomic inputs. Another piece of prep work will help ensure equipment is ready to meet the demands of the season. Mimi Falkman, premium lubricants expert for CHS, discusses three things to do now to minimize equipment downtime.

“First, do a visual equipment inspection to ensure everything is in place, nothing is damaged or broken and there’s no debris in the equipment from the previous fall,” she says.  Taking care of small signs of wear and tear now can avoid headaches later.

Second, check oil and greases and consider how equipment performed through the harvest season. “Were there issues with bearings or were expectations for lubricant products not met? If so,” says Falkman, “talk with your cooperative energy specialist to identify a better lubricant for this spring to help improve efficiency.”

“One of the best ways to see what’s going on inside equipment is to perform a LubeScan® used oil analysis on the oil that’s been sitting in equipment over the winter,” says Falkman. “Simply submit a sample of engine oil or hydraulic fluid into our ALS program to receive a report indicating problems to address prior to getting into the field.”

Finally, Falkman recommends stocking up on quality lubricant products to eliminate concerns about having the right replacement lubricants on hand.

Falkman recommends choosing lubricants that have these qualities:

  • Meet American Petroleum Institute specifications, which are currently CK-4 or FA-4, depending on engine or OEM requirements
  • Are synthetic products engineered to withstand severe conditions and operating elements
  • Have low shear stability index number, reflecting the type of polymer technology used a low shear stability index means the lubricant can stand up to intense pressures and shearing, which can prolong both life of the oil within the drain interval and the engine

“Lubricants need to withstand intense pressure and heat inside the engine, as well as dusty, dirty, wet conditions outside,” says Falkman. “Many elements can degrade a subpar lubricant, so it’s important to use a high-quality product that meets OEM recommendations and current specifications.”