What RPM to run at?
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    What RPM to run at?

    Firstly, I don't know if I'm posting my question in the right place. If not, I apologise.

    I have a 1023e and it now has just 21 hours on it. I've been doing lots with it (pulling a small utility trailer loaded with firewood, moving gravel with the FEL, etc). In comparison to all the users on the forum, it really doesn't get worked hard. Because of that, I have yet to advance the throttle past idle. To me, it seems to run fine merrily sitting at 1600 rpm.

    Now, I was just speaking with a friend of mine who suggested that I don't run the tractor at idle because I could be damaging the hydraulic pump. I know that I only have 21 hours on it, but I want to make sure that I'm operating it correctly.

    So, is there any problem with running it at idle, even when I'm hauling a load of firewood?

    And, speaking of running it at idle, is there a "break-in" period for the engine, like there is for gas engines? My thinking is that you have to give the parts time to work themselves in.

    So, am I running my 1023e wrong?

    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Austinmini View Post
    Firstly, I don't know if I'm posting my question in the right place. If not, I apologise.

    I have a 1023e and it now has just 21 hours on it. I've been doing lots with it (pulling a small utility trailer loaded with firewood, moving gravel with the FEL, etc). In comparison to all the users on the forum, it really doesn't get worked hard. Because of that, I have yet to advance the throttle past idle. To me, it seems to run fine merrily sitting at 1600 rpm.

    Now, I was just speaking with a friend of mine who suggested that I don't run the tractor at idle because I could be damaging the hydraulic pump. I know that I only have 21 hours on it, but I want to make sure that I'm operating it correctly.

    So, is there any problem with running it at idle, even when I'm hauling a load of firewood?

    And, speaking of running it at idle, is there a "break-in" period for the engine, like there is for gas engines? My thinking is that you have to give the parts time to work themselves in.

    So, am I running my 1023e wrong?

    Thanks!
    Generally speaking, you are not running your tractor properly. During the initial break-in period with any engine it is critical that you vary the RPM somewhat... constant idle or constant WOT should be avoided. A diesel engine likes to be worked hard but I'm in a boat similar to yours, I don't mow with my tractor so the only workout it ever got was a bit of loader work, snow plowing, snow blowing, etc.

    Running your engine slow will not damage your hydraulic pump nor will it reduce the pressure. It will reduce the flow somewhat and make the loader controls sluggish - which for some jobs may be desirable.

    Some diesel engines can suffer from "wet stacking" if run too slow. That is where you never get the engine hot enough to burn all the fuel. However, I've never heard of the 1-series suffering from this.

    I recommend that you try to vary the engine RPM a bit while using the tractor. Run it at wide-open throttle for a bit and then mid-range RPM, etc. You aren't going to damage the engine and it may help it to break in a bit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    Generally speaking, you are not running your tractor properly. During the initial break-in period with any engine it is critical that you vary the RPM somewhat... constant idle or constant WOT should be avoided. A diesel engine likes to be worked hard but I'm in a boat similar to yours, I don't mow with my tractor so the only workout it ever got was a bit of loader work, snow plowing, snow blowing, etc.

    Running your engine slow will not damage your hydraulic pump nor will it reduce the pressure. It will reduce the flow somewhat and make the loader controls sluggish - which for some jobs may be desirable.

    Some diesel engines can suffer from "wet stacking" if run too slow. That is where you never get the engine hot enough to burn all the fuel. However, I've never heard of the 1-series suffering from this.

    I recommend that you try to vary the engine RPM a bit while using the tractor. Run it at wide-open throttle for a bit and then mid-range RPM, etc. You aren't going to damage the engine and it may help it to break in a bit.

    Thanks jgayman!

    I had forgotten the "rule" about varying the throttle to allow parts to seat properly. I'm glad that I had the brains (not a frequent thing) to post this question when the tractor has so few hours on it.

    Yes, the low RPM impacts the speed at which the FEL operates, but I'm not in a rush so it didn't really bother me. I was more concerned about the internal mechanisms and damage to them. However NOT running it hot can cause a problem which, at this point and the way that I'm going with it, could lead to a problem. That's something that I will definitely keep in the back of my mind when using it. In fact, over the next few days I will be attacking my seven chords of logs and using the tractor to haul the utility trailer loaded with firewood into the backyard. I'll make sure to run the tractor often and for long periods, making sure that it gets sufficiently hot. To be honest, I don't think that I've let it get really hot as yet, so that's something to consider.

    So my goals over the next few days and weeks, is to vary the RPMs and make sure to get it good and hot.

    Many, many thanks!
    Last edited by Austinmini; 09-13-2018 at 03:04 PM.

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    I made this itís own thread as the question wasnít really relevant to the other one...
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    I have found that at the 1550 idle speed my engine shakes pretty good and that if I elevate the rpm to 2000 or a little more it settles out and has enough power to handle traveling and hydraulic work that is generally "light duty".
    If you open your hood and look at you engine I'm pretty certain you will notice about the same thing.
    Of course if I am digging or doing heavier work I use even higher rpm for full hydraulic performance, and if I am using pto functions such as mowing or tilling I use max pto rpm, although many folks feel they don't require max rpm when mowing, I prefer it for my lawn characteristics, which are tall grass, slight wetness.
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    I think you will find that as you use the tractor more you will find that you develop a feel for what RPM is right for the task at hand. When the RPM is too low for the task, the tractor is less responsive. Conversely, when the RPM is too high it seems like you are only generating noise. You can't hurt anything either way but I'll bet 50 hours from now you will know exactly what RPM you need. Enjoy.
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    As jgayman said, vary your rpms during break in period, after that just run whatever rpms is necessary for the task at hand. There is book on what rpms to run, you'll just get a feel for it. But I will add, I almost never let my tractor idle, guess it's just old school of diesel drilled into my head.
    Last edited by PJR832; 09-13-2018 at 06:30 PM. Reason: typo
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    FWIW, I run at the proper RPM for PTO, but for everything else, like loader work, grapple, etc. I'm between 2000-2500 RPM, usually parked at 2300 ish. I don't aim for anything specific except above 2K. I just push the throttle up and let it stay where it lands and 9/10 times, it's in that range.
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    I very rarely run mine at less than 3k rpm. For backhoe use, Iím at around 2300 rpm. Otherwise, alwmost always close to full throttle
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    Thank you, everyone, for these great comments. I truly appreciate that you've shared your knowledge and experiences with someone who knows very little about the inner workings of a diesel tractor.

    So, from what I can tell, there really isn't a fixed rule that one must follow for setting the throttle. It's true that I haven't been running it enough (it really only has 21 hours on it so it's still relatively new) and that I definitely haven't followed the proper "rule" of varying the throttle enough. Chalk that up to being a new user (newbie) and (most definitely) no experience with a tractor of this size (or really any size for that matter). I guess that I've been too chicken to open the throttle for fear of "bustin' up a new diesel engine" and watching my dollars go higher than the Int'l Space Station.

    This weekend (weather and courage permitting), I'll open up the throttle some more and let it get hotter. Unfortunately, I don't have any of the "big boy toys"(mower deck, harrows, bush hog, etc) that I can attach to it to make it really grunt, so I'll have to improvise and see what I can do. At this point, the most it will be doing is pulling some dead trees from along fence line as well as pulling a small trailer loaded with firewood many, many times.

    I do have one question about idling. As PJR832 mentioned earlier, he rarely lets his idle. I'm not sure why this would be an incorrect thing to do. Can you shed some light on this?

    Once again, thank you everyone.
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