Below is an overview of the service you should perform on your compact utility tractor. Service periods are dependent on hours used, so be sure to follow the recommendations in the operator’s manual to ensure you are performing service as needed.
Check Your Engine
Closely monitor your engine oil level, air filter cleanliness, fuel/water separator, and coolant level. Look for any debris or leaks in the engine compartment, and address any issues before operating your machine. Top off fluids as needed.
If you do not reach the recommended service interval, change your engine oil at least once per year. Replace with new oil that meets your manufacturer’s requirements. As you drain your oil, look for any water or contaminants. Also, change the filter to ensure the inside of your engine will stay clean.
Monitor Your Coolant Level
Annually check your engine coolant level and coolant freeze point, refilling with the correct solution per the maintenance manual if necessary. It is best to use a pre-mixed coolant instead of a concentrate so that you don’t have to mix it. If you choose to use a concentrate, only use distilled water to dilute it to the correct mixture, as tap water can damage your engine.
Give Your Machine a Once-Over
Look over your entire machine often, making sure that the smaller parts such as valves, belts and hoses are in good condition. Follow your service guide for instructions on how to adjust the alternator/fan belt and check the wheel bolt torque. Add grease to the critical joints on a regular basis. Lastly, examine all hoses and clamps, looking for anything that may need to be tightened or replaced.
Regularly inspect air and fuel filters, as they directly impact power. Clean or replace as needed. Each time you do, examine the air intake system hoses and connections.
Carefully remove and install the air filter to make sure you do not get any dust or dirt into the engine. If clogged and you choose to clean the filter, use compressed air and only blow from the inside out to avoid pushing dirt deeper. If your tractor has a secondary filter, it can usually stay in place while you clean the primary. If the second filter is dirty, always replace it with a new filter.
Look at your fuel filter and water separator regularly and change out as needed. Remember to drain any water or sediment from the sediment bowl.
Maintain Your Tires
Inspect your tires as a part of your daily walk-around, looking for any damage, worn tread or flats. As temperatures change, so will your tire pressure. Check your tire air pressure and add air as needed, particularly in colder months. Always be sure your tires are properly inflated before lifting or towing heavy loads.
Compact utility tractors are a versatile solution for any landscape contractor. With regular maintenance, your machine can power through any job and make your business more productive all year long.
Insights from Jared J. Lowe, Product Marketing Manager - Compact Utility Tractors for John Deere - Augusta, Georgia.