Pre-Harvest Farm Equipment Repair
By Chris Downs
You have worked hard preparing for the upcoming harvest. You prepared the soil or your beds after the harvest last year. You planned for the upcoming year through routine and corrective repairs on your equipment during the winter.
You spent the time to plan and purchase all of the items that you discovered that you will need to improve your crop output and increase quality produce for your customers and your family.
Now you are watering, if needed, weeding if needed and looking forward to the harvest. If you are in the middle of the drought, you may be overcoming the challenges of how to minimize your loses this year. My hope is that you are actually looking to maximize your harvest and that you want to take a look at your pre-harvest farm equipment repair needs.
As you know, no matter the size of your Farm or Garden, harvest is a time of hard work but also full of joy and excitement! You are getting ready to bring in the products that you have been growing and caring for over the last 8, 9 or even 10 months when you consider planning, starting, prepping and book keeping tasks.
This is the time to celebrate and seeing the fruit of your labor, literally! But it is also the time that you use your equipment heavily, so now is the time to prepare and take the time to do some preventative and corrective maintenance before the harvest is due.
What things do you look at when preparing your equipment?
- Broken or bent tools
- Oil leaks from motorized equipment
- All attachments clean and free from damage and well lubricated
- Drive train maintenance completed
- Spare parts on hand for items that wear out during harvest
- Extra equipment on hand in case of emergency needs.
- Help lined up to harvest and get in to storage
Choosing how to complete the maintenance
Now is the time to decide if you are going to complete the maintenance yourself or hire it done. The questions to consider for your best answer to the cost issue is as follows:
- How much is your time worth per hour?
- What is your budget for equipment maintenance and repair?
- Can you trade or barter for the maintenance that you need to have done?
- Do you have friends or family that you can trade with for maintenance?
So if you have the ability to outsource all of the maintenance, then your time is spent on your other duties. If you do not have the money to outsource, Bartering or trading is a very economical way to trade for the farm equipment repair and maintenance that you need.
Harvest time is a time of long hours and great expectations. I have worked on farms that always got their harvested crops in the barn or silos on time before any rain or other storms damaged their crops. The hours were long, and after a 24 hour day of harvesting, the joy and relief of being completed was tremendous.
I have also talked to other farmers that treated their equipment and harvest schedules like a 9 to 5 job. They always seemed to have loses each and every year. It is the grit, the work to be complete to honor the circle of life.
Your mindset is a way to create the life of your dreams. To have the positive mindset that creates the environment of accomplishment. As a farmer and a gardener, that is the strength of your passion and your purpose. Do you ever have doubts? Sometime I do, but I remember my passion and move toward my purpose. I have friends and family that continue to lift me up and remind me of what my dream is for my life and that of my family.
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