British winters are renowned for being cold and damp and this can be bad news for our vintage tractors, particularly in a year when even a social tractor run seems to be off the cards!
There are several things we can do to reduce the effects of winter storage of classic tractors and here are our ‘Top 5 Tips’.
1. TOP UP ANTI-FREEZE
Every tractor stored at Tamar Vintage Tractors is topped up with anti-freeze during the winter months. This simple task will give you peace of mind should the temperature drop.
2. CHECK THE BATTERY
It is good practice to check the battery level intermittently, or even remove the battery entirely if left in long-term storage. If a battery is left unused for an extended period, then it’s important to disconnect the earth lead to prevent parasitic loads which can lead to sulphation.
If a battery is left to deplete its charge entirely the performance will be seriously reduced when you go to put the tractor to work in Spring. Starting the tractor intermittently will help, however it may be worth investing in a solar trickle charger which works sufficiently year-round to keep the charge topped-up.
3. PROTECT FROM THE ELEMENTS
Surely a condensation free garage is on every tractor owners wish list, but that’s not always possible. If you are storing your tractor under cover, ensure adequate ventilation to reduce the effects of a damp environment.
If you’re storing your tractor outside, fitted covers are available to offer some protection from the elements although we would recommend removing the cover intermittently on a sunny day, to reduce a build-up of condensation.
4. MAKE IT SHINE!
An accumulation of oil and grease can be particularly damaging to rubber parts, causing them to become brittle, so a little time spent cleaning these areas before storage would be time well spent.
WD40 is also a great product for repelling water, we use this fairly liberally over electrical areas, distributors and spark plug leads as well as a good spray over the paintwork!
5. TAKE IT FOR A SPIN
Who needs an excuse to take a tractor out on a crisp winters day?!
Nothing can beat regular use of our old treasures, so if you are able to, crank it over and take it for a spin. Yes, it will reduce the risk of the tractor ceasing up, but from personal experience, you will also be guaranteed to return with a huge smile on your face!
Join the conversation. We’d love to hear your tips for long-term storage. Feel free to comment below.