MISSOURI – Cenex Harvest States, commonly referred to simply as CHS, is a farmer-owned cooperative and a Fortune 100 company. The company serves as gas stations, and a major producer of lubricants such as engine oil, gear lubricant, and transmission, hydraulic and brake fluid.
In an interview with KMZU’s Ashley Johnson, Brand Product Manager for CHS Inc., Todd Monroe, gives a tip to farmers and anyone with equipment that many people are not aware of; the oil that is best for your machinery in the summer, may not be the same oil for equipment used in the winter months.
Many farmers have equipment that won’t be in use during winter months and will most likely sit in the shed until spring. This equipment needs to be winterized, which typically includes changing the lubricating fluids and making sure there is no fluid in lines that could potentially freeze and bust.
Monroe explains that an important factor of winterizing farm equipment is changing the engine oil. But for the best protection, Monroe says by using an oil analysis program farmers can identify potential mechanical problems with their equipment before storing. An oil analysis can determine if there is any dirt, water, antifreeze, metal fragments, fuel, etc. Monroe says the added bonus of finding these potential problems when winterizing in the fall, is that farmers are aware and have until spring to get the issue fixed and under control.
There are some items of machinery farmers can’t put away for the colder months, these are items that must stay in use all winter, even during the most frigid temperatures. Monroe says many farmers use an oil with a veracity of 15W-40, which he says may be fine during the summer months, but in winter temperatures that thicker oil can’t get to all the moving parts in time, causing damage. Monroe says you can tell if you’re not using the proper oil because when you turn the key to start your engine you may hear some sounds that you didn’t hear in the winter, such as banging, clanging and pounding. Also, the temperature gauge may not rise as fast as it should, even if the outside temperature is cold. Follow this link to look up engine oil information for specific pieces of equipment.
Another important thing to think about in the winter months is the proper blend of diesel fluid to run your equipment, from tractors to trucks. Diesel fluid is a blend of diesel fuel, the number one fuel and the premium diesel additives; and different temperatures have an effect on the blend you should be using. Follow this link to look up diesel fluid information for specific pieces of equipment.
Cenex Harvesting States believe these maintenance tips have an added importance with the lowering commodity prices. Keeping equipment running longer and to the best of it’s ability is essential.