Farm tractors quite possibly top the list of machinery that sees the most dirt in its lifetime. Between working in dirty, dusty fields and crawling through mud, making a mess of your tractor is unavoidable. Getting it clean, however, is vital to the health of your tractor and is something that should be embraced just as much as any other aspect of tractor care.
A simple rise will go a long way. If you\'ve had a long day in the dust, taking the hose and giving your tractor a squirt will help rinse away some of the accumulation. You can also blow your tractor off with an air compressor. Your tractor will not come squeaky clean with water alone, but it can help disperse loose dirt particles. Even a quick rinse that only removes surface dirt is useful as the dust that is rinsed off is dust that cannot find its way into your zerks and creating a whole new set of problems.
Pressure washing your tractor is one of those things you do at your own risk. Some people pressure was their tractors on a regular basis and stand by doing so while others feel that pressure washing is inviting water to make its way deep into places where water should not be. If you do pressure wash your tractor, only do so on the lowest setting, and understand the risks you are taking even in doing that. Pressure washing is probably best reserved for tires only just to be on the safe side.
Degreaser is useful in washing away excess grease and grime that has found its way onto your tractor. When you grease your tractor, you should wipe away excess immediately, but sometimes grease still manages to linger, especially if you are overzealous with the grease gun. To remove grease from places it should not be, spray on the degreaser of your choice. Foaming degreaser is useful as is spray degreaser. Simply apply, let sit for a few minutes, then rinse off and the dirty work is done for you.
For the overall washing of your tractor, dish soap or standard vehicle soap works fine. Pair your soap with a cloth or brush and start scrubbing. Dish soap as well as vehicle soap also have oil and grease removing properties, so they will help remove excess gunk and buildup as you wash, but will take a little more direct effort than foaming or spray degreasers. If your tractor has a cab, wiping windows with glass cleaner and a piece of newspaper will give you streak-free windows, but clean inside the cab with the door open to fumes are able to escape.
When washing your tractor, be careful to avoid areas such as the instrument panel. You do not want water to get in there and cause malfunctions or short anything out. Also keep in mind that while washing your tractor may seem like an unnecessary chore, it gives you an opportunity to look for signs of mechanical trouble, broken parts, or other sources of damage. Remember that washing your tractor can wash away all the excess grease you do not need but it also washes away some of the good grease. Be sure to re-grease your tractor zerks after a thorough washing to maintain lubrication of moving parts and you will be ready to get back to work with a clean machine.