A tractor has long remained an essential farm vehicle. It’s a multipurpose machine that can be used to perform a wide range of different tasks. When it comes to a tractor’s operating costs, fuel is by far one of the biggest expenses. Here are some ways to fix your tractor for improved efficiency on your family farm.
Regularly Inspect Tire Pressure
Develop a habit of checking the tire pressure daily, especially during the colder months. Low tire pressure can noticeably lower a tractor’s fuel efficiency. Because there’s more friction against the ground, the tractor’s engine is forced to work harder. Remember, it’s difficult to detect a loss of pressure simply by eyeballing a tire. To obtain the most accurate results, you need to use a digital tire pressure gauge.
Keep the Radiator Clean
A radiator’s sole purpose is to help cool the tractor’s engine. This is why it’s important to keep the radiator as clean as possible. If the cooling fins become blocked by crud, fuel efficiency and engine power will be reduced. Fortunately, cleaning a radiator isn’t a difficult task. The safest way is to blow out dirt and other debris using compressed air. Pressure washing the radiator could damage the rather delicate cooling fins. Make sure to regularly do this maintenance and your tractor will be in prime condition.
Keep Your Tractor Properly Maintained
Routine tractor service will definitely help promote a more efficient performance. Research shows that a tune-up can improve fuel economy by up to 15 percent. Ideally, the spark plugs should be replaced at least once per season. It’s just as important to regularly change the air and fuel filters. If you happen to notice black smoke coming from the exhaust, this is a telltale sign the fuel injectors need to be cleaned. Do not let your tractor fall behind on maintenance that it needs to perform properly. Be sure to regularly perform whatever maintenance it might need.
Always Use Top-Quality Products
In an attempt to save money, some farmers opt to use generic products. Unfortunately, lower quality fluids can lead to a loss of fuel economy. The motor oil should also be formulated for your specific model. While too thick of a grade will place unnecessary strain on the engine, thinner oils put the engine at a greater risk of experiencing premature wear and tear. Being sure to use the right oil in your tractor will keep it running for years into the future.
Limit Idling Time
Idling wastes a lot of fuel. Even on cold days, it only takes around three minutes of idling time for the engine’s fluids to properly circulate. Remember, excessive idling can also cause twice the amount of wear on internal engine parts.
With the cost of fuel being so uncertain, it’s more important than ever to maximize your farm tractor’s fuel economy. A little extra upkeep will go a long way towards improving efficiency. You stand to save a lot of extra money.
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