Idle tractor or turn off?

RoyJackson

Epic Contributor
Joined
Nov 17, 2001
Messages
22,532
Location
Bethel, Vermont
Tractor
John Deere 4052R Cab,, Deere 855D UTV, Z920A Zero Turn Mower and assorted implements
I'll let it idle for maybe 5 minutes or so...if longer then that, I shut it down. Winter...probably longer idling to keep the engine and cab (hot water heater) warm.
BTW, when I write "idle", it's idling at 1500 RPM...I never idle the engine at less then 1500 RPM.
 

brown40

Gold Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2010
Messages
493
Location
Maine
Tractor
JD 3520
Wet stacking and degrading the lubrication and cylinder-piston sealing of an unloaded, cold running engine is the biggest concern I know of. The emissions stuff is newer than my experience. I don't know that 5-10 minutes running cool between harder use be a concern. Until the unit is up to temperature I will run it. I shut off the unit when I have handwork on the forks or in the bucket--My ears and lungs can't take the fumes and banging working around the FEL (exhaust is right there).
 

Turbys_1700

Elite Member
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
3,382
Location
Balls Creek, NC
Tractor
New Holland t4.75
I guess that I am in the 5 minute category give or take. I don't know how the different emissions engines will react to prolonged periods of idle. I would hope that 5 minutes here and there would not be a concern but we really don't know what the long term effects may be.
 

RjCorazza

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2000
Messages
1,412
Location
Maryland
Tractor
Kubota L4060 Cab, ZD1211, ZD326
Tier4 and old school diesel operation has been a tough learning curve for me... old habits die hard.
I generally shut down the tractor if not being used for 5-10m. For brief idling I keep the engine at 1500rpm or so.
For my particular machine I set the throttle at 1500rpm, and let the auto throttle increase rpm's from there.
 

PJSprog

Elite Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
3,857
Location
Trenton, IL
Tractor
LS XR3135HC
I've been letting mine idle if the out-of-cab work is 5 minutes or less. More than that, and it gets shut off. No point prematurely filling the DPF.
 

bspeedy

Platinum Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2012
Messages
953
Location
Upstate SC
Tractor
Kubota L4330, Ford 1700, JD 2210, Takeuchi TB135 Excavator
I'm in the 5 minute club. Longer than that wastes fuel and tractor hours. Starters and batteries are easy and fairly cheap to replace. Also, when I'm doing something like bucking wood, the idling engine would be somehow 'pressuring' me to hurry and get back on the tractor. I don't want to be hurried when cutting.

My dad shuts his tractor off almost any time he dismounts it. He has a 1982 Ford 1900 with around 2000 hours. No starter issues, doesn't eat up batteries any quicker than my tractors. No problems with his methods over the last 35 years. I think he leaves his big tractor running, however. Likes to keep the air con cooling...
 

Spindifferent

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2010
Messages
437
Location
Central Texas
Tractor
JD 3520, JD X584
Interesting question. From my 2005 JD 3520 Operators Manual:

---

Idling the Engine
NOTE: Allowing engine to idle for long periods of time will waste fuel and cause carbon build-up.

1. Adjust hand throttle lever to set engine speed at slow idle speed.

2. Lock the park brake.

---

Not sure what "long periods of time" means, but I'm in the 5-10 minutes club with many others. :) :turtle:
 

N80

Super Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2005
Messages
6,378
Location
SC
Tractor
Kubota L4400 4wd w/LA 703 FEL
My tractor does not have any of that pollution crap on it. I don't worry about letting it idle for long periods at all. Mostly I shut it down if the noise is going to bother me, leave it running if it isn't.

Glad I have a simple NA diesel with out computers or pollution stuff. Glad I have a couple of manual transmission cars too. Hope my tractor lasts a long time because I would not buy a Tier 4 tractor.
 

shui5612

Silver Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2014
Messages
127
Location
Montreal
Tractor
2013 Yanmar SC2450, 2008 Kubota ZD326, 1986 Deutz 7085
As far as I know the dpf essentially only "works" when there is the soot trying to come out of the exhaust. And usually there is soot upon startup and under load where not all of the fuel gets burned in the combustion chamber.

Operating it at idle and at operating temps should result in no soot being created in the first place. Also if the tractor has a Regen cycle then the soot build up shouldn't be a concern as it essentially burns the soot up by injecting diesel into the exhaust and with increased exhaust temperatures created a high enough temp to combust the soot in the dpf.

Personally if I know I'll be off the tractor and not working on it for 20-30mins I turn it off.

If the tractor has a cabin which heats up or cools off, rather quickly. Frequent start ups also put a load on the heater or AC since you turn them up to heat or cool the cabin faster.
 
 
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