Compact Tractor Maintenance Schedule — Down to the Hour

posted on Friday, September 20, 2019 in How To

Compact Tractor Maintenance Schedule

Nothing runs like a Deere. But even a John Deere tractor can slow down when it’s overworked and care is overlooked.

Staying on top of your daily maintenance tasks helps keep your tractor in tip-top shape. Every now and then your machine requires a more extensive health check.

That’s where routine service intervals come in. One of the many helpful resources within your owner’s manual is your John Deere tractor’s routine maintenance schedule, which tells you exactly when and how to keep it running at peak performance.

Servicing a New Compact Utility Tractor

You expect a brand-new compact tractor to be in prime condition. And it is. But there’s a breaking-in period. As soon as you put that machine to work, parts are moving and facing real-world applications for the first time. Things get a little loose.

It’s a great time to get in the habit of running through your daily maintenance checklist. You can catch issues early on and contact your dealer for repairs for problems that may be factory-related. 

Once you hit 10 hours, check the torque on the wheel bolts. If you have a cab, check the mounting hardware on the cab rollover protection system and the windshield wiper arm. Inspect it all again after 30 hours. 

After your tractor’s first 50 hours, you need to give your machine are more thorough check. In addition to checking the parts you inspected before the 50-hour mark, you should:

  • Change the hydraulic oil and filter.
  • Clean the suction screen.
  • Check the hose clamps on the radiator and air filter.
  • Gauge the pressure in your tires.
  • Clean the battery and check the charge.
  • Check the oil level in the front axle.
  • Lubricate the joints and fittings.
  • Clean cab air filters or replace them if they’re dirty.
  • Check the belt tension on the alternator.

After 50 hours, you’re out of the breaking-in period and moving onto routine maintenance. Every tractor’s a little different, so you should always read your owner’s manual first for the maintenance schedule specific to your tractor. If you’ve misplaced yours, you can find quick reference guides or view tractor manuals online.

Periodic Maintenance of a Tractor

Farm work is hard. That’s why you invested in a compact tractor in the first place. While your John Deere tractor is rugged and powerful, the demanding, dirty conditions on your acreage or farm can take their toll. Performing periodic maintenance ensures that your machine is up to the task every day for years to come. 

Follow this tractor maintenance schedule template to stay on top of all your machine’s needs at every hour of its life. Depending on your usage, you may have to do some things more or less regularly.

Every 10 Hours

Compact tractors aren’t as heavy-duty as their bigger cousins. So you don’t spend nearly as much time in the operator’s seat on a normal day. Even though you might only use it for a couple of hours at a time, you still may want to complete these five maintenance tasks daily. At minimum, they should be performed every 10 hours.

Every 50 Hours

Do the same thing you did after the initial 50 hours during your compact tractor’s break-in period.

Every 200 Hours

Your compact tractor’s workload is on the lighter side. You might only get 75 percent of the way to the 200-hour mark in a year. Even with lighter usage, you should still aim to complete the 200-hour check-up every year.

  • Change the engine oil and replace the oil filter.
  • Adjust the alternator and fan belts — and the air conditioner compressor belt, if you have one.
  • Check wheel bolt torque.
  • Test the air restriction indicator sensor.

Every 400 Hours

The annual rule applies to 400-hour maintenance as well. While you won’t hit that mark in a year, complete these items anyway:

  • Change transmission oil and filters.
  • Replace the primary and final fuel filters, as well as the water separator.

Every 600 Hours

It might be four to five years before you put 600 hours on your compact utility tractor. At that time, remember to add a few more bullets to your maintenance to-do list:

  • Check the air filter element, intake, hoses, and clamps and replace them as necessary.
  • On the front axle, change the oil and check the torque on the thrust bolts.
  • Check the brake adjustment.

Every 1,000 Hours

At 1,000 hours, you need to contact your John Deere dealer to check the engine valve clearance. This is more of a process than most other maintenance items, so your local service team can take care of it for you. 

It’s also time to flush and replace your engine coolant. This should be done every year, even if the hour meter on your machine hasn’t increased much.

Every 2,000 Hours

Every 2,000 hours or every two years, whichever is sooner, you need to service the fuel injection nozzles.

Annual Tractor Maintenance

As your tractor hits each additional milestone, your maintenance checklist becomes longer and longer. And at the end of the year, you’re inspecting every part, nook, and cranny of your machine.

An annual maintenance plan can help take the load off. In addition to a second set of eyes looking after your machine, an annual maintenance plan with your local TriGreen dealership can help control the cost of ownership and even extend your factory warranty.

But, most importantly, annual and periodic maintenance ensures your John Deere compact utility tractor keeps running like its name implies.

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