You know your trusty tractor works hard, but what about your fuel? As you know, in farming, every dollar counts, and the money you'll save from stretching fuel further can really add up over time. In fact, the agriculture experts at Michigan State University Extension (MSU Extension) estimate that poor tractor performance in this country wastes 150 million gallons of fuel every single year.
Here are some tips for getting more bang for your buck, from the oil and gas experts at Cenex:
- Change filters: Regularly changing your fuel and air filters can help your tractor work more efficiently, meaning you won't have to fill 'er up as often. "On average, research shows that the simple act of replacing a tractor's fuel and air filters results in an immediate 3.5 percent increase in engine power output," Iowa State University Extension agriculture engineer Mark Hanna says in a news release.
- Check your tires: We've mentioned before on this blog how the wrong air pressure can damage your tires, but did you know they can also lead to fuel waste? That's because the more resistance your wheels experience, the more energy it takes to move the machine forward. One Oklahoma study found that only 45 percent of tractors had optimally inflated tires! Make sure that yours are properly filled for the job and load at hand, ensuring that you're not watching wasted money go up in exhaust fumes.
- Choose the right tractor: For light loads, use smaller tractors to use up less fuel. However, it it's a big job on deck, opt for your bigger machine. Burden a small model with too much weight and you'll actually end up burning more gas.
- Don't be idle: MSU Extension's agriculture researchers remind us not to run tractors idle to avoid wasting fuel and contributing to carbon build-up in the injector spray holes and valves. If you don't already have cattle guards, consider installing them since even the time spent stopping to open and close gates adds up.
- Gear Up, Throttle Down: You've probably heard this phrase before, but it's worth repeating: Gear Up, Throttle Down (GUTD). GUTD is a method of saving fuel by shifting the tractor to a higher gear and lowering the RPM. It's believed to decrease fuel waste by as much as 13 to 20 percent. Just be sure not to overload your engine or GUTD during a heavy load operation.
- Have a strategy: If you are able to limit the the number of tillage passes and turns, you'll ultimately save money, since these maneuvers burn up fuel particularly quickly.
- Store your fuel: Did you know that a 300-gallon fuel storage tank can lose as much as 120 gallons per year to evaporation? It is possible to reduce that loss to just 15 gallons annually, according to the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. Keep your fuel tanks in the shade, paint them a light, reflective color and regularly check for leaks.
When you are in need of replacement tractor parts to keep your machine running efficiently, don't waste time and gas driving too and from area dealers just to try and find what you need! You don't need any fuel to search our easy-to-use online database, which instantly searches millions of records for reputable sellers who have the exact item you are looking for. You can place your order in a matter of moments on your computer or smartphone, and have the replacement part shipped right to your door!
Are you wasting fuel when you run your tractor? Changing a few habits could save you big bucks.