–Karline Jensen, High Rocks, Hillsboro, WV We have had our Grillo for four years now, and it has tilled a lot of gardens. This year we have had to take it in to Ivan at Small Equipment Service Center in Union, WV, for some repairs, as all the use has finally started to wear on it.

Since we are waiting so impatiently to get it back so we can finish tilling gardens before June 1, I thought it would make a good blog topic to share our maintenance checklists. We try not to loan the Grillo out to too many people, but every year when we figure out who is going to do all the tilling we end up with a couple new people to train, and even those who have used it for several years need reminders. We have to make sure we always take good care of it so it will be running well when we need it and not off in the shop getting fixed.

We have a training checklist, a daily checklist that needs to be observed each time the Grillo is operated, and a year-end checklist that we hire someone to complete before winter.

The Training Checklist — Operator must be able to:

Understand when you might lock the differential, how to use the handle brakes for steering, how to raise and lower the handlebars.
Engage gears and the PTO smoothly without grinding the clutch.
Understand all items on the daily checklist.


Daily Checklist:

Are you wearing jeans, gloves, boots, safety glasses, and ear plugs?
Are the safety devices functioning properly? (Kill switch, reverse PTO prevention nut, guard bars)

Are the implements sharp and without mud, weeds, etc.?
Are the tires properly inflated? (22 PSI)
Are all nuts and bolts tight? (Especially the ones holding the implement to the PTO)
Check engine oil and gearbox oil.
Is the air filter clean?
Check the slack in the clutch cable. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SAv8eE7ytiY
Check fuel level.
Record starting and stopping times, percentage of time PTO was engaged.
Put it in neutral before starting.
Throttle down before changing gears, engaging or disengaging PTO, or reversing.
Always disengage the PTO before lifting the implement to maneuver to a new starting position.
Throttle up after engaging the PTO before releasing the clutch.
Always store under roof when not in use. Never leave in the field covered with a tarp even if you don’t think it will rain. The tarp will draw up moisture from the ground. Over years this will result in the controls being more difficult to work.
Let it burn off the fuel in the carburetor by leaving it in neutral and closing the fuel line.

Close the choke and leave the clutch engaged when not in use.
Tell us if you notice anything unusual or not right so we can fix it before it gets worse. A stitch in time saves nine!

Year end checklist:

Add fuel stabilizer or drain fuel tank and carburetor.

Clean entire machine and engine thoroughly.
Change engine and gearbox oil.
Sharpen and oil blades.
Check all bolts.
Clean fuel tank and filter.
Oil any areas that may rust.

Happy tilling!

Kale Seed Crop

Kale Seed Crop