basic pretrip inspection
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    Mainetractorboy's Avatar
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    basic pretrip inspection

    Like the title states, what are some peoples pre trip inspections? If you guys do one?
    I am fairly new with this expensive tool and don't want it to prematurely break. Or carelessly over look things that could of been prevented.
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    the owners manual will indicate a pre start up inspection to be performed every time. Along with that, it will also indicate hourly inspections and service intervals. for example: check at every 10 hours, or service at every 50 hours.
    If you don't have the owners manual, one can be down-loaded from John Deere's website.
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    fdmars's Avatar
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    I think there is a sticker under the hood with some things to check and when
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    Lots of good resources for what to look for before use, and what Deere says you should look at.
    Does everyone do all that? Nope.

    I look at tires, fuel, etc, basically a very quick once over, but Im on mine about every day or every other at the longest, and while Im on it, its second nature for me to be looking for issues or things out of kilter while Im using it. Lots of times I just hop on and go.
    Some people develop a pretty good feel for a machine and just know when something isnt quite right, maybe lots do, but thats how I am with it.

    The biggest thing to me is the maintenance.
    Keep things greased, keep oil changed with good oil and filter, etc.
    Follow their maintenance schedule and you shouldnt have any issues.
    So many people slack off on that stuff and you can certainly tell on well used machines if they were well maintained or not.

    Incidentally, Im also sort of a clean freak too with my equipment, so I dont let them get too dirty. Cleaning them is a good way to see a lot of the machine you otherwise would overlook. Plus, who wants a dirty Deere anyway?

    Just my .02...YMMV.
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    Mainetractorboy's Avatar
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    Thanks guys
    I also do a quick over view of the tractor with fuel, tires but have not gone to the extent of checking dipsticks. I am going to make a new mental note to do a little more.
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    47" John Deere 2 stage snow eater
    48" Titan forks

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    I generally check dipsticks about once a week or so unless theres a leak somewhere. When I fill up a reservoir, I fill it so that the fluid level is in the middle to 2/3rds of the way up the dipstick to account for expansion (so it doesn't overfill) and contraction (so its never under filled)
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    Dipsticks

    Quote Originally Posted by Mainetractorboy View Post
    Thanks guys
    I also do a quick over view of the tractor with fuel, tires but have not gone to the extent of checking dipsticks. I am going to make a new mental note to do a little more.
    LOL, our Dad taught us to check the engine oil before the first start of the day every time. To this day, I find it hard to get on a tractor without checking engine oil. With my 790, that means pulling a side panel which also means the coolant overflow and the air filter restriction indicator are visible so those get checked as well as the fuel filter. Once a month or so, I'll let a couple of ounces of fuel out of the bottom of the fuel filter/water separator just in case there's water or trash in there I can't see.

    I'll also usually pull the hydraulic dipstick and less frequently the front axle dipstick. I always check for obvious leaks and if it's new, try to figure out what's going on.

    A walk around lets me look for tires that appear low. The rears are fluid filled so I also look for any wet spots on them. I take a look at any implements on the back to make sure pins are in place. Implements usually get greased after every 8 hours so that's another chance to eyeball shields, wear items etc. It's also a chance to make sure out dog isn't sacked out behind or under equipment or that some other item is in the way.

    A checklist, even a mental checklist for pre-start items is a good thing. The biggest item that I need on the list is to get my mind right to operate the equipment. A few seconds thinking about what needs to be done, how I'm going to do it and clearing my mind of other issues is a big help to operating the equipment safely. This is really important for me if time is tight and I'm rushing to get something done. I need those few seconds to review proper operation of the mower, baler, rake, chipper or whatever happens to be behind the tractor so I don't screw something up or get hurt.

    When connecting equipment I take a good look at the connection points. Hitch pin or lift arm pins in place? Top link pins in place and is the top link support where it should be- out of the way. Hydraulic connections secure and hoses secure? Electrical or other connections in place? Equipment tongue stands or other support removed and stowed?

    When disconnecting equipment, I've tried to always, always take one last look before pulling the tractor away from the equipment. A couple of times this has saved me from doing something stupid like pulling out from a drawbar hitched piece of equipment before the jack stand is down or forgetting a control rope is still tied to the tractor. (Yep, we still have a couple pieces of equipment that actually use a rope. It's old school but they work so what can I say?) It's taken me a very long time to develop better habits and the older I get the more necessary they are because my reflexes aren't as quick and I have less interest in having to fix something because I was in too much of a hurry to do it right the first time. I have to be especially careful if I get interrupted in the middle of connecting or disconnecting equipment by a phone call or visitor. It's too easy to skip a necessary step after an interruption.

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    I always do a walk around before I start or get on my tractor. I check for leaks under it looking at the concrete surface but so far not a drip of anything has come out of it in 258 hours. Now it's time for my oil change and it has used no oil/water/hydraulic fluid yet! I also grease it often don't want no wear on those friction points. I carry extra pins and some tools that may be needed. Of course a good fire extinguisher and shovel incase of a grass fire or engine fire is handy and hope I never need it!
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    I used to teach pre-trip inspections on heavy equipment and trucks along with their operation. The key is to have a set method. Start at one same place each time and work your way around - don’t get to jumping back and forth or you will miss something. Once you get a routine or pattern down it will take you less than 1 minute.

    Students were tested on both operation and pre-trip and was weighted 50/50 for their final score. So in other words the pre-trip inspection is just as important as the operation - to the higher up state officials anyway.
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    If you're all OCD about this, make yourself a checklist, laminate it and keep it on the tractor somewhere.

    Al
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