By now you have probably read an article or watched a news story about beating the summer heat, staying cool and tips to avoid heat exhaustion, but did you know your tractor or heavy equipment needs the same attention in this heat?
One of the key factors preparing your equipment for the dog days of summer is performing routine cooling system maintenance. This starts with making sure your cooling systems gets proper airflow by removing any dirt and debris from the radiator, air conditioning evaporator and any other components mounted at the front of the machine that could block the air flow through the radiator.
With the machine off, engine cooled and a freshly cleaned radiator now is a good time to inspect the cooling system for any visible signs of leaks, excessive rust and proper coolant level. This is also a good time to check your maintenance records to see if it is time to drain and flush the cooling system. Many manufacturers like John Deere recommend flushing the cooling system every 3000 hours /3 years for COOL-GUARD coolant, or every 2000 hours/2 years for regular coolant. Please refer to your owner’s manual for your manufacturers’ maintenance interval recommendations.
Flushing the radiator not only keeps the radiator flowing freely, the new coolant also replenishes the nitrates and other additives in the coolant that break down over time and are required to protect the system from cavitation and erosion.
Last but certainly not least is the radiator cap. Make sure the bottom of the cap is clean and fits tightly to the radiator filler neck. Also, check the rubber bottom for swelling, cracks and tears. If the cap has any of these visible signs it should be replaced before operation.
Hopefully with these tips both you and your equipments can stay cool during these hot summer months.