4 essential lubricant tips for winterizing farm equipment

Farm equipment sitting in storage

By Jon Woetzel, Manager Technical Services, Energy Lubricants, CHS from the Cenexperts blog

Harvest is tough. Once you’ve made it through some of the hardest weeks of the year, both you and your equipment deserve some R&R. But before your machines take a long winter’s nap, it’s important to get them ready for sitting dormant in the cold.

Even when your equipment isn’t running, lubricants play an essential role in keeping it protected. That’s why, as part of your yearly winterizing routine, you’ll want to assess your equipment’s fluids. Use these four lubricant tasks to protect your rigs all the way to spring.

1. Get a used oil analysis

Throughout harvest, your machines work overtime to meet the grueling demands of a farm’s busiest time of year. By the end of the season, all that wear and tear can take a toll on an engine, and seemingly small issues at this point can lead to bigger problems come spring.

A used oil analysis is an easy way to catch early warning signs of major issues that could be brewing inside your engine. This is because oil is the lifeblood of your equipment, touching nearly every part inside the engine.

Used oil analysis works by detecting any trace elements present in a sample of used oil from inside your rig. Based on the elements that turn up, lab technicians can identify a number of issues that may be waiting to happen in specific areas of your engine. Fix any issues before putting your equipment away, and you’ll set yourself up for success come time for planting. To get started, you can purchase a used oil analysis kit from your local CHS energy specialist.

2. Replace the engine oil

Once you’ve performed a used oil analysis, you may also want to consider an oil change before you put your machines away for winter. This is especially true if the results of your analysis reveal any traces of wear. After you make any repairs recommended by your analysis, give your machines some fresh, clean oil so you don’t leave acids and contaminants festering inside your engine for months on end.

Even if your used oil analysis comes back clean, you may still want to consider replacing your oil before winter. Remember, the longer an oil has been used, the less effective it becomes at protecting against rust and corrosion.

If you’re getting close to your change interval, it’s best to replace oil this season instead of waiting until spring. Just be sure to run the engine for at least 10 minutes before storing your rig to allow the oil to circulate. For protection all winter long, try a high-quality engine oil from Cenex such as MAXTRON® ENVIRO-EDGE® synthetic diesel engine oil, engineered for maximum lifespan and excellent protection against corrosive wear.

3. Top off your hydraulic tank

Another lubricant tip for winterizing your equipment is to top off hydraulic tanks. To function properly, hydraulic systems need to breathe, but since they’re not airtight, they’re prone to letting in moisture as equipment sits all winter. Condensation inside a hydraulic system is bad news due to the harmful corrosion it may cause.

The best way to prevent condensation in your hydraulic system over the winter is to minimize the airspace inside. The less opportunity air has to get in, the lower the chance that moisture will collect. Check your hydraulic fluid level, and if it’s not full, go ahead and top off your tank. Be careful, though, not to overfill. To further minimize condensation, you may also want to consider switching to a hydraulic fluid designed to prolong the life of your system’s seals, like MAXTRON® THF+.

4. Grease up moving parts

Finally, once you’ve taken care of your machines’ other fluids, complete the job by greasing any moving parts. Even though they’ll be sitting still all winter, moving parts can still corrode.Not only will a fresh coat of grease keep your equipment from rusting through the winter but it will also get it moving again easier come spring. For superior protection against rust and corrosion, try a Cenex grease such as MAXTRON® FS.

When the hard work of harvest is over, it can be tempting to overlook details like winterizing your equipment. But the period right after harvest is a valuable opportunity to take care of maintenance tasks that can fall through the cracks during busier times of year. Give your machines some TLC now, and you can both kick back soon for some well-deserved hibernation.

The Importance of Premium Quality Tractor Hydraulic Fluids

Today’s agricultural equipment is expected to work harder than ever before—covering more acreage and running for longer hours to get the job done. With the amount of stress equipment must handle, a high-quality lubricant is crucial for protecting metal components from extreme field conditions. 

Using a premium quality tractor hydraulic fluid (THF), provides users with the peace of mind that their equipment is protected from the beginning of harvest to the end. But what does the term “premium” really mean?

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Co-op ownership opens a world of opportunities

A farmer and CHS employee holding a tablet standing together in a wheat field discussing cooperative ownership

When you choose to do business with CHS, you are connected to a world of opportunities powered by local experts.

As the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative, CHS creates connections that help its owners build their operations and their communities.

In celebration of National Co-op Month, we dug deep into the cooperative model to reveal seven benefits of being an owner of CHS. Benefits that extend far past the field. Watch a video on the benefits of cooperative ownership.

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Cenex® Gift Cards for Gallons Starts November 1

Starting November 1, 2019 through February 28, 2020, end-user customers can earn one $50 VISA® gift card for every 125 gallons of lubricant and grease products purchased.

Eligible lubricant products include:

  • Irriflex®
  • Maxtron® DEO
  • Maxtron® Enviro-EDGE®
  • Maxtron® GL
  • Maxtron® THF+
  • MP Gear Lube
  • Qwiklift® HTB®
  • Superlube 518®
  • Superlube TMS®

Eligible grease products include:

  • Corn Head Grease
  • HD Moly Xtreme
  • Poly-Xtreme®
  • Maxtron® EP
  • Blue Gard® 500+™
  • Fluid Gear Grease
  • Molyplex 500+
  • ML 365®
  • Red Protect XT®
  • Maxtron® FS

If you are enrolled in another program, you are ineligible for Gift Cards for Gallons. Other restrictions may apply; contact Harold Weniger, Certified Energy Specialist, for additional information.

CHS Prairie Lakes supports hometown community

Pictured, left to right: Steve Gorder, CHS Prairie Lakes Energy Manager; Jerry Moore; Brad Manderschied, CHS Prairie Lakes General Manager; Paul Hippe; Todd Johnshoy, Fire Chief; Doug Noyes; Scott Ogdahl

Starbuck, MN (September 5, 2019) – CHS Prairie Lakes announced today a $10,000 grant to Starbuck Fire Department. The funds will help replace the fire department’s wildland fire protective clothing, which is used during the spring, summer and fall months to fight grass fires. 

“As a former fire chief of the Starbuck Fire Department, I understand the need for this lighter weight protective gear,” says Steve Gorder, CHS Prairie Lakes Energy Manager.  “Traversing the rough terrain encountered wildland fires is a challenge, and regular gear is too heavy and cumbersome in those situations.  I’m proud that CHS and CHS Prairie Lakes are funding this initiative and supporting our local fire department.”

Of the $10,000 grant, half is contributed by CHS Prairie Lakes. That contribution will be matched dollar for dollar by a CHS Seeds for Stewardship grant, which helps cooperatives grow their impact locally. Jointly, $10,000 will benefit the Starbuck Fire Department.

“Cooperatives were founded on the principles of education, community involvement and cooperation,” says Gorder. “By combining resources, we are providing double the impact to our local community and demonstrating the cooperative spirit.”

Providing products and services in the agronomy, energy, and grain markets with locations in the communities of Elrosa, Glenwood, Hoffman, Long Prairie, Lowry, Park Rapids, and Starbuck, CHS Prairie Lakes is here to supply for your needs. For more on the company and to learn about other ways CHS Prairie Lakes gives back, visit www.chsprairielakes.com.

Hearts & Hands Food Shelf Received Donation from CHS Prairie Lakes

Amy Perreault, CHS Prairie Lakes Community Funds Administrator & Shirley Zempke Hearts and Hands Food Shelf Coordinator

Starbuck, Minn, Hearts & Hands Food Shelf received a donation of $882.00 from CHS Prairie Lakes. Back in March, each CHS Prairie Lakes location did a fundraiser to raise money and collect non-perishable food items to support the company’s Harvest for Hunger program. The funds and food were donated to our local food shelves to support our local community.

Providing products and services in the agronomy, energy, and grain markets with locations in the communities of Elrosa, Glenwood, Hoffman, Long Prairie, Lowry, Park Rapids, and Starbuck, CHS Prairie Lakes is here to supply for your needs. For more on what’s new and to learn about other ways CHS Prairie Lakes gives back, visit us at www.chsprairielakes.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

New app puts CHS activity at your fingertips

farmer loggin in to MyCHS

Time. We never seem to have enough of it.  And every new tech tool seems to just add another online destination with a singular purpose. But not for CHS patrons. With a simple single sign-on, producers can see their CHS business activity all in one place, even if they have multiple accounts. Contracts, bookings, prepays, scale tickets, payment history and more for agronomy, energy, grain and seed business can be viewed, sorted – even downloaded – from anywhere, anytime. All from one, web-based app: MyCHS.

The biggest advantage? Saving time. CHS transactions are a touch away – whether in front of a laptop in a farm office, on a tablet in the field or on a phone in the tractor cab.

“I can customize what I can see,” says Lucas Goodwin, Minnesota farmer and MyCHS user. “Filtering is easy. And navigating between all the separate components, like the contracts and the settlements, is logical and quick.”

Lucas was among a group of CHS customers picked to give app feedback in small focus groups and then as a beta user, comparing the new MyCHS with the former Customer Resources tool. Getting customer feedback early and ongoing during the development process was critical to making sure the web-based app fit the way today’s farmer wants to use technology.

“It’s a nice upgrade,” he concludes of MyCHS. He was a user of the former application. The recent upgrade provides all producers doing business with CHS with the data they need to make timely, information-rich decisions.

“Our CHS producers have continued to advance and look for ways to become the best they can be in some of the toughest markets they’ve experienced,” says Megan Schmit, director, Grain Procurement for CHS Country Operations division. “Even our producers who may not have called themselves tech savvy are using more and more tools to better their operation and MyCHS is giving them access to their total business with us, not just grain.”

Megan was part of the CHS team helping connect with farmers and finding out what would serve their information needs.

“I’m excited that we’re not stopping here,” she adds. “We’re going to continually take feedback from our producers and employees to keep improving and enhancing this tool for years to come.”

MyCHS is a free web-based app, available to any farmer or rancher doing business with CHS. It’s easy to register here and start seeing what MyCHS can do to help you.

© 2019 CHS Inc.