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Tune up your tractor for fuel efficiency

You know it’s important to keep your tractor clean, but did you know doing regular maintenance is essential to help the fuel efficiency? Maintenance is also essential for energy and financial savings. Read these tips from the Iowa State University Extension to make sure your equipment is in the best shape.

You may not realize when your tractor needs a maintenance check because it’s possible that a tractor to operate below peak performance without noticeably affecting field performance. By completing scheduled tune-ups, it insures that your engine will function efficiently.

By completing scheduled tune-ups, it insures that your engine will function efficiently. Research shows that gas consumption is reduced with a complete tune-up. Tuning tractors can also increase the maximum horsepower obtainable. Don’t forget to change the oil, fuel, and air filters regularly as well.
 
Field implements are important, too as they must be kept and maintained. Adjust equipment to reduce friction and lubricate as recommended by the manufacturer. 
 
The biggest implements to worry about are tillers, planters, and harvesting equipment. If these are not lubricated and kept properly, the bearings, dull blades and cutting edges, and loose drive belts require more power and energy to complete tasks. For tillers, replace the worn surfaces like plow shears, chisel points, and disk blades. Check the tiller disks for worn bearings and missing scrapers.  On planters, make sure disk openers on the planter turn freely and that the scrapers are adjusted properly. Also check to see that the seed dispersal mechanism works correctly and clean seed drop tubes.
 
As for harvesting equipment, about 40 percent of the energy it uses is consumed by the cutterhead. That means dull knives and worn shearbars can effect fuel efficiency quite a bit. Dull knives need more energy to cut forage. To ensure your best forage, sharpen all blades.
 
Your tractors are the workhorses of farming. Taking care of them will not only lengthen the machine’s longevity, it will also increase fuel efficiency. 
 
For more information, visit www.extension.iastate.edu
 

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