Agricultural machinery is extremely common in the United States. The United States Agricultural Machinery Market foresaw a 4.7% increase in farming equipment used during the 2020-2025 period. That means this popularity is only increasing as our farming needs grow as well.
If you’ve been using farm equipment, there’s undoubtedly been a situation where you needed to focus on repairs. This is especially the case when you’ve had equipment long enough that mechanical wear and tear has begun. Read on for some of the causes, as well as three excellent fixes for mechanical wear on agricultural machinery.
What Causes Mechanical Wear and Tear?
There’s no one issue that causes mechanical wear and tear in the average agricultural machinery. In fact, it’s usually a combination of many different factors. These three are the most common causes of mechanical wear.
As with anything else, time will eventually cause your agricultural machinery to begin to wear down. These machines are massive, and even if you were to cover them up and never use them, they’re going to need some maintenance eventually.
Time wear and tear might be in the form of water causing rust, corrosion, or general obsolescence. Either way, as time goes on, you’ll want to look into agricultural machinery maintenance.
The second most common cause is, unsurprisingly, usage of the machine. Heavy agricultural machinery is under a great deal of stress, and farm environments are full of hazards. While these machines are generally rugged and sturdy, they’ll eventually succumb to use as any vehicle does.
You can slow this down, but you won’t be able to stop it. Agricultural machinery wear and tear continues with every harvest, load transported, and any other use you can think of. Keep your maintenance up to slow it, but be ready for repairs when the time comes.
One cause of mechanical wear and tear that is entirely in your hands is caring for your machine. If you never do any vehicle maintenance, your agricultural machinery will fail much quicker. Taking care of farm machinery is a full-time job.
Clean your equipment regularly, from your smallest cart to your biggest tractor. Keep up general vehicle maintenance for your machines and do your best to keep things in working order. You can also take some pre-emptive fixes to make sure things are cared for as well as possible.
Heartland offers some excellent services to prevent wear, for example. Staying on top of machine maintenance can help to keep away issues like corrosion and let your machinery work at full efficiency for as long as possible.
Mechanical Wear Fixes
Eventually, wear and tear will set in for your machinery. Even the most thorough and rigid mechanical wear routines won’t stop the inevitable. Once that wear sets in, consider these three fixes for your worn-down agricultural machinery.
Refurbish and Replace
One of the simplest – though often most expensive – is to simply replace whatever machine you’re having difficulty with. Vehicles especially will eventually reach a point where they won’t function properly anymore. Obsolescence will eventually kick in as well, forcing a replacement.
That isn’t to say that a single issue means spend the money to buy a whole new tractor, of course. Keeping up maintenance on machinery will likely show you exactly what’s failing and what needs replacing. For example, you may find yourself with a vehicle with a failing belt.
In such a hypothetical, all you’ll need to do is replace that belt or other faulty component. Upgrading and performing piecemeal maintenance like this can keep your machinery running for a great deal of time. These repairs are part of general agricultural machinery maintenance, so expect to do so with relative frequency.
Sometimes replacing something is out of the question – or completely unnecessary. One technique that we at Heartland Repair and Coatings employ is cold spray, which you can read more about here. While still somewhat uncommon, the cold spray technique is growing more popular every year, and we’re happy to practice it today.
Also known as supersonic particle deposition, cold spray propels particles of metal powder onto a surface. This is done using a high-pressured gas like nitrogen or helium. The particles deform and bond with the surface they’ve struck.
This is fantastic for repairing small cracks and holes in metal equipment especially. Cold spray can be used to repair assets quickly and efficiently rather than having your agricultural machinery be out of commission for weeks or months. Contact Heartland Repair and Coatings for more information on our cold spray technique to use on your equipment.
Machinery Welding and Repair
While cold spray is incredibly useful, it isn’t a universal fix. Some problems might require something that takes more equipment or needs a larger amount of maintenance. It’s likely that this sort of mechanical wear can be fixed with welding and repair.
A large break in a metal surface may need to be welded back together. Heartland Repair and Coatings can help with this if you need assistance or lack the training. Welding is complex and dangerous and not recommended for an untrained individual. The risk of severely damaging equipment and one’s own person is high without proper training and experience.
Mechanical wear and tear is an eventual guarantee. While agricultural machinery maintenance can help to keep it away as long as possible, you will eventually need to put in the three fixes we’ve listed above. Whether you’re welding, using cold spray, or just replacing your agricultural machinery, do everything you can to keep your farm in working order.
If you have more questions or concerns about our methods and suggestions, please feel free to contact us. Our informative blog also has more information on Heartland Repair and Coatings, our methods, and our services.