Today's agricultural machinery costs up to several hundred thousand dollars and maintaining that equipment to ensure availability is critical for optimum productivity and profitability. Mark Betner, product manager for Mystik Lubricants, offers these tips on lubrication for agricultural equipment:
- Consider using an oil analysis program. Oil analysis can catch conditions that threaten component life and can be used as a tool to optimize lubricant life. You can also use the oil analysis history to improve the resale value of equipment when it comes time to sell.
- Don't think that you are saving money by buying the cheap lubricant deal. Lubricants are only 2 percent of the maintenance budget and believing you are saving money by cutting corners on the lubricant while risking a huge investment does not make sense.
- Evaluate your lubricant options. Most suppliers have multiple performance levels and choices. For example, there are greases available that will last three times longer while providing much greater wear protection.
- Consider your equipment goals. Do you plan to keep the equipment for a long time and avoid component repair or replacement as much as possible or do you have a short trade cycle? If you plan to run the equipment as long as possible, carefully consider your options and contact your lubricant supplier for the best solutions.
“Choosing a higher performance product may increase value by saving on long-term costs, such as a longer lubricant service life, longer component life, and in some cases, fuel or energy, reducing overall maintenance costs,” Betner says. Preventative maintenance prior to busy seasons can minimize downtime and save money in the long run.