We understand that equipment is an operational cost on the farm, not a profit driver. However, keeping your farm machinery in peak operating condition certainly plays a role in meeting tight production deadlines. The last thing you need to deal with is downtime caused by unexpected equipment failures and costly repairs. To avoid this, we recommend creating a farm equipment inspection checklist to guide daily machine walk-arounds prior to operation. Adhering to this kind of checklist not only helps you catch small issues before they become larger problems, it also promotes safety and helps prevent accidents on the farm.
First Order of Business: Go Digital.
We also recommend ditching the clipboard when performing these daily inspections. Adding manual paperwork to your daily task list just isn’t feasible. Not to worry. Mobile data collection solutions, like Device Magic, can be used as an equipment inspection app. This allows you to build custom inspection reports and checklists that you and your employees can easily access out in the field, even when they’re offline.
The problem with using a cookie-cutter inspection checklist is that it probably won’t cover every type of farm machinery that you use, and won’t address specific issues that are important to your operation. A custom-built mobile form; however, allows you to easily create checklists tailored specifically to your needs. Additionally, the ability to access your equipment inspection reports through a mobile app can improve efficiency and help ensure accurate recording of critical information.
What To Include On Your Farm Equipment Inspection Checklist
As we mentioned, checklists will vary depending on your operation. But there are several areas you should always include on a comprehensive equipment inspection checklist. So let’s take a look at these items.
Regardless of the type of machinery you are using, checking the electrical systems is essential. This includes a thorough check of the engine compartment and all of its features. When inspecting your equipment electrical systems:
- Check the front and rear lights
- Test back up alarms
- Ensure battery is connected and charged
- Confirm belts and hoses are connected properly
- Inspect covers and guards in the engine compartment to ensure they are properly installed
Knowing how to stop a heavy piece of equipment is just as important as knowing how to make it go. The brake systems in some of this specialized equipment can be complicated and multi-faceted. This is why a thorough inspection is crucial for peak machine performance and field safety. When inspecting your equipment brake systems:
- Check for air and fluid leaks
- Perform brake system diagnostic tests
- Identify any hardware or valves in the braking systems that need to be replaced
- Test the parking brake
Operator Cab Inspection
The interior cab of most heavy machinery should be inspected regularly. It should be clean, organized and inspected for safety hazards:
- Ensure all steps, handrails and grab bars are secure and safe
- Check the undercarriage for any loose parts or debris
- Inspect all windows and mirrors to ensure you can see all around you at all times
- If the machine has wipers, check that they effectively clear the windshield and the wiper fluid is topped off
- Check that the seatbelt, safety harness, and all corresponding elements are working properly
- Test the horn
- Make sure all gauges and switches are working
- Check the control panel for any warning lights
Wheels & Tracks
Whether you’re operating machinery with wheels or tracks, it’s critical to keep these components in good condition. Especially to avoid ground or field disturbances. Here’s what to look for on wheeled machines:
- Nails or other forms of debris in the tires
- Excessive wear
- Visible damage on the rims
If you operate track machines, it may be harder to identify and diagnose issues with the undercarriage. If you suspect issues with the steering or material handling, it is recommended to call your equipment dealer. Regularly inspect the items:
- Idler wheels
- Shoes and links (for metal tracks)
- Tension and torsion axles (for rubber tracks)
An important part of preventative maintenance is checking all fluid levels. Looking for puddles around the equipment will help you quickly spot an internal problem. Some fluids that should be inspected and topped off regularly include:
- Hydraulic oil
- Fuel tank inspection
- Engine oil
- Engine coolant
Create Custom Inspection Reports with Device Magic
If your farming operation relies on heavy machinery and specialized industrial equipment, you need access to customized and thorough inspection reports. With a simple drag-and-drop interface, the Device Magic platform makes it easy to build inspection checklists and forms with all the features you need. Additionally, our mobile forms app works offline, which is a key benefit for rural operations with limited internet connection.
Sign up for our free trial and start building your custom farm equipment inspection checklist today.