Prepping the Shop for Fall

As fall weather sets in, Dan Nyberg, Sales Trainer for Morton Buildings, offers tips for farmers to “tune up” their farm shop to prepare for the off-season.

“Examine the weather stripping around your larger overhead and hydraulic doors as well as walk doors and windows. Damage from routine use, age and weathering can lead to brittle weather stripping, causing leaks that can result in higher than necessary fuel bills. Consider adding to your attic insulation if it’s not up to acceptable levels. R38 or R49 are considered the recommended levels for most ceilings in the central to northern areas. And give your heating system a checkup. Lubricate any motors and bearings. Check belts for wear and cracking. Inspect the ductwork. Determine if controls are working properly. Check to see if burners need to be cleaned or replaced, if the heat exchanger is cracked and needs replacing, and if the flue or exhaust is leaking.” 

Nyberg also recommends minimizing the need to move equipment around once it’s stored.

“Many shops now are a tight fit. When you begin to move equipment into the storage space you have, give some thought to which projects you will attack and when – and try to keep that equipment juggling to a minimum. Don’t overlook your need for winter equipment – snow removal specifically. Do a quick once-over on all your winter equipment so that it can be easily accessed – and it’s in good condition to perform. And come next spring, you will want your spring tillage right in front, so it is easy to access.” 

He says it’s also important to prioritize winter maintenance projects.

“Begin by getting your equipment washed and ready to put away before freezing weather hits. Take a very good look at each implement or tractor as you clean it to determine what’s needed to be “field-ready” come spring. Then, make two lists: First, which projects and specific equipment need work. And second, the parts you will need for each. With some older equipment, finding parts could require some research and /or shipping time. Prioritize your projects, making sure you take care of critical repairs or maintenance first. And. Sad to say, projects often take longer than expected and you’ll want to be sure the really important equipment is repaired or tuned and ready to go before spring.” 

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