Why tractor engine tuning makes more sense than ever

Why tractor engine tuning makes more sense than ever

Driven by the optimism surrounding the Covid-19 vaccination programme and the very real prospects for economic recovery, it comes as no surprise that the price of crude oil is on the rise.

The slump in oil prices, which hit a low of $17.66 (£13.61) per barrel in April 2020, is now a distant memory. The markets continue to recover, climbing to $54.38 (£39.88) per barrel in January 2021 according to the latest AHDB Fuel Prices analysis, and are currently gaining extra momentum following the recently proposed US stimulus package. And although farmers paid, on average, 52.47 pence per litre (ppl) for red diesel in 2020, a 16.4% reduction compared to 2019, the trend is definitely upwards.

It seems only a matter of time before increasing oil prices translate into hikes in the price of red diesel and prices at the pump. In addition, suppliers and buying groups are warning that the Government could well announce an increase in fuel duties in the March budget.

A growing number of farmers are looking at the option of forward-fixing red diesel prices for harvest and autumn this year. However, the premium on ppl to do this varies widely depending on different suppliers’ market analyses. In addition, once a contract to forward-fix has been entered into, fuel deliveries must be taken as agreed, even if all the fuel is no longer needed. So, accurate budgeting, both in terms of financial allocation and projected fuel usage, is key.

Forward-fixing and taking upfront deliveries at spot prices may help control costs in the short to medium term, but these options are not without risk and come with no guarantees. Over the longer term, the most reliable and sustainable way to reduce your fuel bill is quite simply to use less, not by reducing the number of hours operating your tractor, but by using fuel more efficiently.

Time to get leaner, cleaner and greener

Whilst the very latest tractors are fitted with engines that are cleaner and more efficient than ever, there are thousands of tractors out there working in the fields every day that are burning more fuel, and ultimately more hard-earned profit, than necessary. If you think you are the owner of one or more of these tractors, there is a solution. Engine tuning!

 The Optima tractor engine tuning system from Lynx POWERtech can slash your fuel costs by as much as 20%, reducing fuel burn for cleaner, cooler running. It can also increase your tractor’s power and torque, enabling you to haul more and work faster. Optima is purpose-designed for your tractor make and model and is set up by your Lynx dealer to achieve the efficiency and performance improvements you require. There is no intervention with the tractor’s Engine Control Unit (ECU). Your tractor’s error code detection program stays intact ensuring that the ECU will protect your engine at all times.

Reducing fuel consumption also reduces your carbon footprint and Lynx offers other ways to help you save money while doing your bit for the environment. For example, if you run larger tractors or harvesters our Flexxaire reversible cooling fan technology is well worth a closer look. The Flexxaire system delivers only as much airflow as required, resulting in impressive fuel savings compared to conventional cooling packages. In reverse mode, Flexxaire fans purge dust and debris from radiators helping to ensure they are kept clean and operational at all times.

Often overlooked when looking to maximise efficiency and cut diesel cost is the question of weight. Getting the ballast right for your tractor can pay real dividends. The minimum requirement is applying enough weight for the tractor to pull the implement. The slower the pull, the more power required and the more ballast you need. However, using a heavily weighted tractor for light applications or road work simply wastes fuel. Lynx offers a wide range of weight packages and easy to fit ‘add-ons’ to ensure you get the perfect match for your tractor and the task at hand.

There are of course a number of other steps you can take around tractor operation and maintenance to maximise fuel economy. Good engine maintenance is key, particularly around oil and air intake filters. Always use the correct tyre pressure for the job in front of you. Try to avoid using full-throttle; most modern tractors these days have transmissions which offer automatic shifting with speed-matching, as well as Eco and Field modes, to achieve the right balance between performance and fuel economy. When the tractor is not in use or between jobs, always turn off the engine. Leaving the engine to idle unnecessarily wastes fuel. Finally, always use the most appropriate tractor for the job; do not use 300hp when 140hp will probably do.

Lynx engineering -

All Loaded up and on her way home. We had a great time at the Ripon Farm Services Show with many reminiscing stories and plenty of compliments about our 6800 and attachments. It makes all of those long hours from the team restoring her worthwhile.  

Lynx engineering - @Lynxengineering

We had a great time at the Ripon Farm Services Show, with many reminiscing stories and plenty of compliments about our 6800 and attachments. The main question is, where to go next for the 6800?