Clean agricultural machinery: Five steps to a clean machine

With large investments, such as are often necessary for agricultural machinery, value retention is a major issue. Dedication, employee protection and occupational safety should not be forgotten in this context. Effective cleaning helps to meet all these requirements and avoid costs for breakdowns and repairs.

Tractors are key machines on farms. Cleaning the tractor should be done as needed to ensure operational readiness and to uncover damage hidden under dust and dirt.

Machine care with the high-pressure cleaner: cold or hot water?

Over the years, the high-pressure cleaner has prevailed for cleaning the outside of agricultural machinery. All major dirt can be removed quickly and effectively. If you use a cold water high-pressure cleaner, a suitable cleaning agent can be used to help you achieve a good result quickly.

Hot water high-pressure cleaners work more effectively: The high temperature increases the cleaning performance. Better results are achieved in less time, reducing water consumption compared to cold water pressure washers. In addition, the drying time and thus the amount of work are reduced (up to 40 percent). With this method, oils and greasy residues dissolve better.

This is what matters when it comes to exterior and cabin cleaning

For all work, the pressure and water volume depend on the object and the degree of soiling. The distance should be about 20 to 30 centimeters from the surface in order to achieve the greatest possible cleaning effect and at the same time to avoid damage.

Cabin cleaning is often neglected, especially during the season. But it should also be cleaned regularly. Small dirt particles in the cabin space are removed regularly and thoroughly with a vacuum cleaner. Alternatively, this can also be done with a broom or hand brush.

This avoids damage to the electrics, electronics and hydraulics as well as costly repairs caused by dust, dirt and moisture. Don’t forget: clean the cabin filter to prevent the spread of mold spores or mycotoxins.

Cleaning windows: Ensure a clear view

Clean discs ensure higher work quality and more efficient work. If the discs are not clean, this can result in the working width of the attachment being misjudged.

In addition, poor visibility increases the likelihood of damage or accidents in the yard, on the road or in the field in many cases.

How often does the agricultural machine have to be cleaned?

You don’t think you can earn money with machine cleaning during the season. However, costs can be saved by avoiding unnecessary repairs and working safely and efficiently.

The following recommendation for cleaning work therefore applies:

  • External cleaning: Always after hard periods of use (e.g. sowing or harvesting) or when a machine is to be used on another farm. The frequency can vary. One measure at the end of the season is often sufficient for soil cultivation and sowing technology. Crop protection equipment, fertilizer spreaders and liquid manure tanks that come into contact with very corrosive substances should be cleaned after each phase of use.
  • Interior cleaning: Cabins including windows are to be cleaned as often as possible – even during the season. If necessary, daily.

After the season, plant protection equipment should be cleaned and stored away from frost. Read our five tips for cleaning and storing field sprayers.

Five steps to a clean machine

Cleaning the preparation and cabin: Position the working device in a suitable cleaning area. Dry clean the cab interior – including windows and cab air filters, screens and pre-filters.

Rough cleaning and soaking time: First remove coarse dirt mechanically or with the compressor. Then open the flaps of drives, cooler packages, etc. and moisten all components with water so that the dirt is soaked and can be removed. If necessary, detergents can be used.

Cleaning with hot water: Before you reach for the high-pressure cleaner and start Kärcher, put on protective equipment. Sensitive components may only be treated gently or indirectly. Finally, check all covers and maintenance flaps. If you discover dirt spots: rinse.

Drying time: To reduce the time, residual water can be vacuumed off or blown away. Check the clean machine for damage.

Care measures: Work through the manufacturer’s maintenance plan, process maintenance points according to the operating instructions, e.g. grease. Preservatives are applied where necessary.