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Tips on how to run your tractor more efficiently

Whether you use your tractor to manage a small acreage or support minor construction projects, optimizing your tractor’s fuel consumption and engine performance can help improve efficiency on resources and time.

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Your TYM operator’s manual is the best source of information to optimize your tractor’s settings, and should always be consulted first. It contains valuable and model-specific tips on tire pressure, weight distribution, fuel density and consumption, and engine operation to improve overall tractor performance. Here are the key points to take into consideration:

  1. Adjust tire pressure
    Over-inflated tires can cause excessive slip and require more engine power to compensate for the lost grip. On the other hand, an under-inflated tire will have too much contact surface area, generating significant resistance and requiring more engine power.

    To avoid any of these from happening, check the owner’s manual of your tractor to see the recommended width per load requirement.

  2. Gear up and throttle down (GUTD)
    A tractor engine operates more efficiently under maximum or near-maximum load. Therefore, when a task requires only 70% or less of your tractor’s power, consider doing GUTD. This fuel-saving practice is done by shifting to a higher gear and slowing engine RPMs while maintaining your desired speed. 

    To test the settings, start running your tractor at the desired speed and throttle setting before quickly opening the throttle. If your engine speeds up immediately, that means the settings are suitable for a GUTD. If your engine remains unresponsive, try shifting down a gear or increasing the engine speed until you reach an optimum balance.

    Operating in GUTD reduces tractor PTO speed and hydraulic reaction time, so be sure to leave enough power for your attachments.

  3. Consider fuel density
    Fuel density can affect your engine’s performance. Since fuel suppliers change their products to match the seasons, you need to plan ahead and make sure you have enough fuel to cover summer or winter.

    In case you run out of winter fuel supply, using summer fuel as an alternative during cooler temperatures can have adverse effects on engine performance. This is because summer fuels are comparatively denser than winter fuels. 

    To optimize engine performance and fuel efficiency, check your tractor operator's manual for the recommended fuel density for summer or winter.

  4. Adjust weight distribution
    Some tractor operators practice over-ballasting to get extra traction, but doing so won’t necessarily mean getting more work done. In addition, going over the maximum weight of your tractor puts a strain on the drive train, which can result in rollovers and a decrease in engine reliability. Ideally, operators should aim for a 50-50 weight distribution between the front and the rear axle.

  5. Optimize fuel consumption
    Every second your tractor spends on idle is a second spent unproductively, not to mention how it increases operational and maintenance costs from the unnecessary fuel consumption. For example, if you are running an older tractor model, your machine might require a few minutes of idle time to warm up but keeping it idle for more than 10 minutes is a waste of fuel.

    The Environmental Protection Agency recommends limiting idle time to up to five minutes, which is more than enough for your machine to warm up. And to cool down your tractor after a workday, two minutes is enough for your engine to reach optimum shutdown temperature.

To learn more tips on how to run your tractor more efficiently, reach out to your local TYM dealer. They have a wealth of information and experience to maximize your tractor’s power and capabilities. Find the nearest dealer today.

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