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Gear Up Throttle Back to Save Fuel – Ag Matters

Kubota Tractor
Matt Cardy/Getty Images

If you think about it, there’s some real quirkiness to farming.  For instance you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on equipment; then look for ways to shave nickels off operating costs.  Cornell Cooperative Extension has some tips on shaving some of those nickels off fuel costs.

In an article written by Cornell University’s R.K. Koelsch, to achieve maximum fuel efficiency you would need to match every piece of equipment with an appropriately sized tractor.  Obviously that doesn’t work unless you have one tractor for every piece of equipment.  What does work is running in a higher gear with less throttle.

For any situation where a tractor is not heavily loaded,it is possible to improve fuel economy by reducing engine RPM up to 20 percent and shifting to a higher gear.

That doesn’t work when operating equipment using Power Take-Off.  The size of load also has an effect on the “Gear Up – Throttle Back” philosophy.  But a 20% reduction in RPM’s can translate into a 15% to 30% reduction in fuel costs.

Get more do’s and don’t on fuel economy, including debunking some myths about proper practices here.

SOURCE: Cornell Cooperative Extension R.K. Koelsch

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