The tractor. Whether you run one or several of them around the farm or lovingly maintain a classic machine that you keep under wraps in the barn until show season, it is one of your most valuable and cherished possessions.
If you are a farmer who wants to keep your pride and joy in sparkling condition, protect it from degradation and conserve the value of your prize asset, then read on.
Leading paint protection specialists, Ceramic Pro, have developed a ceramic coating proven to keep rust, scratches and UV fade at bay for much, much longer than would otherwise be the case. Unlike wax or polymers, the coating seals the micropores on paint, metalwork, plastic, rubber and any other substrate, to maintain a hydrophobic, high gloss look, long after it has left the showroom.
The technology, originally developed by Ceramic Pro to protect offshore oil pipes and rigs from corrosion, has since been expanded to cover a wide variety of industrial, automotive and marine applications. And now the agricultural sector is set to benefit, not just from the aesthetic and protective properties afforded by this advanced coating, but also and perhaps most importantly, from the commercial perspective of owning an asset which, when the time comes, can be sold more quickly and command a higher price. This is a trend that Ceramic Pro claims has been evident across many products in different industries.
What are Ceramic Pro coatings?
Products developed by Ceramic Pro are made up of the world’s most advanced nanoceramic ingredients. These have been specifically designed for the usage application, as opposed to generic ‘white label’ products that have not benefitted from end to end R&D, manufacture and installation.
This ensures the best possible protection is provided, so that tractors and other farming machinery can stay looking ‘as new’ for as long as possible.
The clear liquid nanoceramic coating forms a hard glass shield – 2.5-times stronger than paint – as it cures. Unlike sealant or wax it will not deteriorate or break down over time. Instead it forms a permanent bond with the target surface, removable only by abrasion, penetrating and filling miniscule micropores to stop rust-causing oxygen, water, salts, fertilisers and other contaminants touching the paintwork or metal below. These pores are formed by solvent gas that is released as the paint cures, creating a labyrinth of tiny tunnels that eventually let the elements in.
Fading of the paint, plastic trim and decals is also reduced because the product contains UV filters, and the increased gloss reflects the rays. In addition, the coating makes the surface hydrophobic, so you’ll save a lot of time on general washing and the equipment will stay clean for much longer.
Be aware however, that the coating is only a few microns thick and can still be damaged by stones and rock-hard clods. The treatment is also preventative, not restorative, so it won’t do much to stitch up the scars and reverse any UV fade on battle-worn equipment. Ceramic Pro do, however, offer a range of PPF (Paint Protection Films) under their Kavaca brand. This transparent, high performance polyurethane film, pre-coated with Ceramic Pro, forms a strong barrier to protect painted surfaces against environmental attack, abrasion, corrosion and physical damage from pushing past hedgerows or an errant flying stone coming off a wheel and hitting the paint. The industrial version is 180 microns thick and small scratches can self-heal with a bit of heat.
How are Ceramic Pro coatings applied?
Machinery has to be extensively cleaned, degreased and some areas polished before the coating is sprayed on or applied manually with an applicator. It is a skilled job and must be performed by a Ceramic Pro Approved Installer trained and certified by Ceramic Pro to work on agricultural machinery. Particularly vulnerable areas may require extra layers or a special product which provides maximum thickness and can operate at 750C all day, without breaking down.
How much does it cost?
The cost of the treatment really depends on the size of the tractor and any associated equipment plus the level of application required. Typically, however, for a full-coverage tractor application including the chassis, the body, wheels, cab, cab trim and leather seat, you would need to budget for anything between £2000 and £7000. This could be money well-spent if the company’s estimates of 12-15% higher trade-in values are realised.
Where can I get it and how long will it take?
At the moment Ceramic Pro coating services are only available through AGCO dealerships and can therefore be offered on brand new Fendt, Valtra, Massey Ferguson and Challenger machines as well as used equipment.
The process can take anything between three and seven days depending on the amount of product applied and preparation required.
A maintenance product is also available to keep the coating in tip top condition. You can apply this once or twice a year after washing down your equipment.