Three minutes with Ray Bohacz.May 13, 2020
For more than a decade, Ray Bohacz has been tailoring his mechanical experience as an automobile engineer to help farmers with their own equipment.
He operates a podcast and website dedicated to explaining how machinery works and how to diagnose it. Progressive Dairy Editor Walt Cooley recently interviewed him for Progressive Dairy’s podcast to learn more about his background and to introduce him to readers. Bohacz’s machinery columns will begin to appear in Progressive Dairy in the Equipment Hub section of the magazine.
What are a couple of things you’re big on promoting that would prevent a lot of machinery issues?
BOHACZ: There’s actually three things that I would recommend. The number one is to implement a very inexpensive fluid-testing program on your farm. Fluid testing is a great predictor of what is happening with your machinery. I recommend farmers test their coolant, engine oil and hydraulic fluid at least once a year, possibly twice a year. It’s a good predictor of what is happening with your machinery. And then you need to keep those test records on file.
Second, and people often laugh at me for suggesting this, when you’re done running a piece of equipment, let it idle for 30 seconds to a minute before turning it off. Then open the hood after you turn it off. In engineering, we call that a thermal excursion. Because the cooling system is no longer functioning, a thermal excursion deteriorates everything underneath the hood. It’s probably the biggest killer of things underneath the hood.
I tell people: Put a note inside the cab to remind yourself to open the hood and let that heat out. That’s something that will pay dividends over time.
The third preventive maintenance thing that I would recommend is properly additizing your fuel with a product that has at least five to seven modes of action. You want something with cetane booster, anti-gel, lubricity, fuel stabilizer, injector cleaner, water dispersant and sludge remover.
Those three things are the three biggest things you could do with minimal investment that will be the most effective at making machinery reliable.
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