Shut it down, or let it idle?
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    Shut it down, or let it idle?

    I'm finally getting around to using my tractor to process next year's firewood. I use the forks to move a log onto my sawbuck, get off the tractor, start my chain saw make a few cuts and repeat. Maybe five to seven minutes to take care of the log. Starting and stopping the tractor really shakes it around and I'd imagine it's a lot on the starter too. At what point do you guys just say, let it idle? 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 2 minutes???

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    arlen's Avatar
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    Boy oh boy, this has been talked about plenty on this forum...almost like oil threads and diesel additives
    Seems like the general consensus is 5 minutes or so. I might be on the 10 to 15 minute side of mountain.
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    If it were me, I wouldn't shut it off for every 5-7 minute cut job, not because I think it hurts the machine per se but because I would get annoyed with continually restarting it. On the other hand, I wouldn't keep it running for hours at a time either because you're just burning fuel then. Maybe a happy medium like cut a couple, shut it off for one, cut a couple, repeat...???
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    Without emissions equipment, it doesnít really do any harm to let it idle. For me it depends on the outside temps. If itís hot, I donít want it idling next to me being loud and blowing heat. If itís below say 40* out, Iíll let it idle till the cows come home.


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    It depends on what Iím doing and how cold it is. If itís above freezing I tend to shut my equipment off if Iím not going to be on for 5 minutes or so. Seems to be a waist of fuel to just let a machine idle. Some states have no idle laws. We have them but I havenít heard of anyone getting anything more than a warning for doing it. The local news did a reminder piece about the no idle law this winter. Some overly concerned parents didnít like that some other parents were leaving vehicles running while waiting for the kids to get out of school.
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    Idle laws?





    OP - it sounds like you need a helper.

    Any way you could put more than one log on the forks and then roll the subsequent log onto the buck when your are done with the previous log?

    At least the tractor has a starter. I'd be idling the darn chainsaw.....
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    As was mentioned earlier, IF you have a Tier 4 tractor with DPF installed..... idling and putt putting around will clog up your filters big time with diesel soot and cause no end of regens. Just something to be aware of.
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    Letting it idle for more than five minutes just accumulates hours on your hour meter.

    If I am upwind from the tractor I will let it idle for up to a maximum of five minutes.

    If I am working downwind I always turn it off.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuburbanTractor View Post
    I'm finally getting around to using my tractor to process next year's firewood. I use the forks to move a log onto my sawbuck, get off the tractor, start my chain saw make a few cuts and repeat. Maybe five to seven minutes to take care of the log. Starting and stopping the tractor really shakes it around and I'd imagine it's a lot on the starter too. At what point do you guys just say, let it idle? 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 2 minutes???
    Is that severe shaking when you started?

    I get very little shaking when I start my tractor. It has about 125 hours on it now.
    Auguste . . . a blue collar guy working in a white collar world
    Rexton, New Brunswick, Canada

    JD Tractor aka Bucky
    2018 1025r ~ New in April 2018

    Accessories ~ Front End Loader ~ Backhoe ~ Mid-Mounter Mower ~ Box Blade ~ Fork Lift ~
    Roto Tiller ~ Chipper ~ Mulch Kit ~ Sub-soil Conditioner ~ Ballast Box ~ Plug Aerator ~
    Thatcherator ~ iMatch Quick Hitch ~ Landscape rake

    Modifications Completed by Me ~ LED lights on roll bar ~ Mirrors ~ Shortened Rollbar to fit in Garage

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    Zebrafive's Avatar
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    I let the 2030 idle, but not as low as it will idle, (I try for 1000-1200 rpm) when I have to get off to do something. As for hours, mines is geared to the tach at PTO rpm, so if I run 1/2 PTO rpm (about what I let idle at) 1 hour of idling (say 10times 6 minute each) will add 1/2 hour to my hour meter.

    For me it's mostly pulling small stumps and bushes. Constantly on and off the tractor, chaining and unchaining, before and after each pull. The tractor is never shut off, sometimes never even idled down.
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