As input costs continue to increase throughout the agriculture industry, ensuring you aren't wasteful and hurting your operation's bottom line is an important consideration. This includes fuel costs. Implementing simple practices can help improve your fuel efficiency to keep fuel costs down during prime seasons.
How can I save money on my farm by improving fuel efficiency?
Fuel efficiency is simple. Operating equipment mindfully reduces fuel consumption, increasing fuel efficiency. Increased fuel efficiency means lower fuel costs.
What changes to the way I operate farm equipment will reduce fuel costs?
A few simple changes can add up quickly when it comes to fuel costs. Productivity is vital in any operation. These suggestions can help reduce fuel costs without decreasing productivity.
Use the right size tractor for the task.
While it might be easier to use the same tractor for various tasks throughout the day, it's not always the most efficient for fuel usage. Making sure you use the correct size tractor for each job allows you to maximize fuel efficiency. Be conscious of the equipment’s horsepower compared to the load or task. Using a tractor too small for a job overloads the engine and makes it burn through more fuel to get the job done.
Turning and overlapping within fields can add up quickly and reduces fuel efficiency. By taking the time to lay out each field when starting, you can not only increase fuel efficiency but also increase productivity.
Plan your road travel accordingly. Road travel and turning are most likely inevitable in any operation. Make sure you take the most efficient routes between your fields when possible.
If your equipment’s engine is running and no one is in it, you are wasting fuel and costing yourself money. Extended idle times not only burn extra fuel but can negatively impact the life of the equipment’s engine. If you will be out of the cab longer than just opening a gate, it's better to shut the equipment off.
Gears and throttles.
Does the load require less than 70% of the equipment's horsepower? If so, an excellent fuel-saving tip is to shift to a higher gear and lower the engine speed (rpm). You can still move at your desired speed, but this combination allows the engine to work less and consume less fuel. Newer equipment will show the operator fuel consumption information. Use this information to help you decide the best gear and throttle combination to get the job done and remain fuel efficient.
How can proper maintenance of my farm equipment improve fuel efficiency?
Not only is proper maintenance key to maintaining the overall health of your farm equipment, but it also helps improve fuel efficiency.
Be aware of the environment you will be working in, and ensure your tire pressure is correct for those conditions. Lower tire pressure reduces fuel waste in a wet or muddy environment by limiting wheel slip and improving traction. For dry environments, low tire pressure increases fuel waste.
Engines need proper air to operate efficiently. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations in the equipment manual for air intake filter maintenance and replacement. While taking these filters out and hitting them with your hand or against a tire to get the dust out may seem like the right solution, it is not and can cause damage to the filters resulting in them not functioning properly.
Engine oil, hydraulic oil, axle oil, rear axle oil, and greases should be checked regularly to ensure they meet the manufacturer's requirements. When equipment runs low on vital lubricants, it must work harder to cool the system down during operation, resulting in unnecessary fuel use.
Where can I get my farm equipment maintenance done?
Trust the professionals at Koenig Equipment for all your farm equipment parts and service needs. Schedule your service online with the link below.
What farm equipment upgrades are available that will improve fuel efficiency?
Upgrading your equipment to include new precision agriculture technology can help improve your operation’s fuel efficiency. When looking at machine fuel consumption, John Deere CommandCenter™ is a great place to start. With the CommandCenter™, you can quickly review fuel consumption, identify any issues that might be increasing it, and quickly adjust to improve.
Additional technology upgrades could include a system like JDLink™. JDLink™ allows you to see your machine health in real-time, anytime, anywhere. Knowing your machine's health will enable you to make more informed decisions for your operation. Another upgrade option is AutoTrac™. Adding AutoTrac™ to your machines ensures you cover the ground adequately without overlap. Not only does limiting overlap help your fuel costs, but it also helps lower seed or chemical input costs and increase productivity.
Where can I find solutions that save fuel when operating farm machinery?
At Koenig Equipment, you can find the latest John Deere has to offer for precision agriculture technology. Our Precision Specialists will help set you up with systems for your operation to help ensure you get the most out of your equipment, including fuel usage. Contact your local Koenig Equipment today to learn more about ways to increase fuel efficiency around your operation.