Tips for reconditioning tractors after a flood

Tractors should be re-conditioned after a flood.
Tractors should be re-conditioned after a flood.
After this past week's extensive flooding in Fargo, North Dakota State University issued some advice for farmers on reconditioning tractors and other farm equipment submerged by floodwater.

Farm machinery like combines and tractors should be reconditioned as soon as possible after the water recedes, advised John Nowatski, the school's agricultural equipment specialist.

"Water and grit from the floodwater can cause corrosion in electrical systems and the engine and drive train," Nowatzki said. "How much of the equipment was submerged in floodwater determines what needs to be done to get it back into operation."

Nowatski advised thoroughly cleaning the equipment exterior; overlubricating plain and antifriction bearings with grease fittings to flush out dirt and water with fresh lubricant; removing wheels and cleaning and repacking wheel bearings; and applying a rust preventive coating to the exterior.

Tractors that were submerged up to the engines and power trains require extensive work, but flooded tractors, trucks or cars should not be towed.

"Engines and power train components should be completely disassembled for cleaning by a competent mechanic," Nowatzki said. "If the equipment is covered by manufacturers' warranties, consult with the dealer to make sure reconditioning services don't void warrantees."