Starting, running, throttle position, shut off and idle best practices.
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    jcrist's Avatar
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    Starting, running, throttle position, shut off and idle best practices.

    Hello all,
    I poked around the forum a little trying to find this information, but didn't come across it. I've been wondering what is best practice for caring for your engine with regard to starting, running, shutting down and idle.

    Generally speaking... I keep my tractors in a metal pole building, it is not heated. Winter temps in my area average around low to mid 30's and sometimes dip into the teens.

    I have several questions on this topic, I hope these don't seem like dumb questions.

    - Cold Start
    When I start my x495 or 2305, I set the throttle position low, approximately between 1200-1500 rpm, turn the key and wait for the glow plug light to cycle once, as soon as I see the light get brighter, I hit the key. I let it idle for 3-5minutes at 1500rpm or less and then proceed with using it. Does this seem correct? Anything that I should do differently?

    - Idling
    When working outside... Let's say cutting trees & clearing brush. I'll be on and off the tractor cutting for a while and then pushing/piling brush. Is it better to let a tractor sit at a low idle during these times? Or to shut off and restart frequently?

    - Engine RPM
    When engaging PTO, is it better to engage at low RPM and then raise or should RPM's be in the appropriate range to support 540 before engaging? Also, when using FEL, it is hard on the system to operate it at low RPM?

    - Shutting Down:
    When shutting down, I stop PTO if applicable, lower bucket and 3PH, slow idle to ~1200 for a few seconds and turn the key off. I've seen others however, do things like cycle the throttle back and forth high, medium, low and let sit for a few minutes at low idle before shutting down.

    Again, I'm not trying to over-complicate any of this, but I'm just really curious what best practices are for starting, stopping, throttle position when working, sitting while idling or stopped, etc. I'm thinking that if I use my tractor often, treating it the right way or the wrong way could have a pretty significant impact on the life of the equipment and I'm just trying to take the best care possible. Also, if there are any points that I forgot to mention that are relevant, don't hesitate to point them out! Thanks everyone!
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    2015 JD Z930M, 60" 7 Iron Pro
    2009 JD 2305, 62c MMM, 200cx loader, 49" bucket, Piranha Tooth Bar, Folding ROPS, LP25000 Canopy, Frontier BB2048L, iMatch Hitch, JD LP25001 Hitch Receiver
    2004 JD X495, 62c MMM, rear PTO, 16s cart, 54 blade front snow blade on quick hitch
    1994 JD 265, 48" MMM
    2008 JD TH 6x4 Diesel Gator, power dump, deluxe light kit, bed liner, floor liner, bumper, brush guard, fender guards.

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    Cutty72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcrist View Post
    Hello all,
    I poked around the forum a little trying to find this information, but didn't come across it. I've been wondering what is best practice for caring for your engine with regard to starting, running, shutting down and idle.

    Generally speaking... I keep my tractors in a metal pole building, it is not heated. Winter temps in my area average around low to mid 30's and sometimes dip into the teens.

    I have several questions on this topic, I hope these don't seem like dumb questions.

    - Cold Start
    When I start my x495 or 2305, I set the throttle position low, approximately between 1200-1500 rpm, turn the key and wait for the glow plug light to cycle once, as soon as I see the light get brighter, I hit the key. I let it idle for 3-5minutes at 1500rpm or less and then proceed with using it. Does this seem correct? Anything that I should do differently?

    - Idling
    When working outside... Let's say cutting trees & clearing brush. I'll be on and off the tractor cutting for a while and then pushing/piling brush. Is it better to let a tractor sit at a low idle during these times? Or to shut off and restart frequently?

    - Engine RPM
    When engaging PTO, is it better to engage at low RPM and then raise or should RPM's be in the appropriate range to support 540 before engaging? Also, when using FEL, it is hard on the system to operate it at low RPM?

    - Shutting Down:
    When shutting down, I stop PTO if applicable, lower bucket and 3PH, slow idle to ~1200 for a few seconds and turn the key off. I've seen others however, do things like cycle the throttle back and forth high, medium, low and let sit for a few minutes at low idle before shutting down.

    Again, I'm not trying to over-complicate any of this, but I'm just really curious what best practices are for starting, stopping, throttle position when working, sitting while idling or stopped, etc. I'm thinking that if I use my tractor often, treating it the right way or the wrong way could have a pretty significant impact on the life of the equipment and I'm just trying to take the best care possible. Also, if there are any points that I forgot to mention that are relevant, don't hesitate to point them out! Thanks everyone!
    Cold start - Yes, leave it at idle for awhile to warm up before use. time is dependent on temp, colder temp takes longer for everything to warm up.

    Idling - IMO, it's easier on everything to let it idle, especially if only for 5-10 min. If you will not be using it for 45-hour, then go ahead and shut down if you want.

    Engine RPM - ALWAYS engage the PTO at idle/low RPM. Regarding FEL or other non-PTO work, you can run the engine at any RPM you want. It will slow down hydraulics, but no other ill affects. Depending on the implement, you can run PTO attachments less than PTO RPM if you desire, depending on the job. I will often lower RPMs when snowblowing and I don't want to blow it so far.

    Shut down - Idle it down, lower attachments, let engine cool a bit if you were working it hard, then shut down. No need to rev it up right before shutdown.

    Hope this helps!
    2010 2320 with 200cx FEL
    54D MMM
    54" front mount blower
    Titan 42" forks w/ receiver hitch
    County Line 5' tiller
    6' JD rear blade (tree find)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutty72 View Post

    Idling - IMO, it's easier on everything to let it idle, especially if only for 5-10 min. If you will not be using it for 45-hour, then go ahead and shut down if you want.



    Hope this helps!
    I'll be interested to hear the comments on this scenario for the tier IV engine. Idling and TierIV seem to be inversely proportional when it comes to the soot meter, unfortunately...
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    I do the same thing you do with my 1026R. Mine is stored in a heated garage that never gets lower than 50. Even so if it's been a while since the last time I ran it, I'll even plug mine in for a bit before I start it. No real reason, just figure it can't hurt? Do you have a block heater? On my parent's farm my dad never seemed to plug anything in until it was 0, but that was back when either was part of the tractor. The new stuff doesn't seem to like the cold, but it always starts. If you have a block heater or know you'll be using the tractor you could always plug it in a bit or throw a 100 watt work light on it for a bit. Doesn't sound like you've had any issues. I also really like to put my battery maintainer on mine once a month to keep things topped up. That'll help it crank over quickly and aid in the cold starting..... I have a C-Tek and one from Northern Tool I rotate between. Seem to do a great job! The C-Tek has a 12v plug that I just pop into the 12V plug on the tractor. Very easy!


    -636
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcrist View Post
    Hello all,
    I poked around the forum a little trying to find this information, but didn't come across it. I've been wondering what is best practice for caring for your engine with regard to starting, running, shutting down and idle.

    Generally speaking... I keep my tractors in a metal pole building, it is not heated. Winter temps in my area average around low to mid 30's and sometimes dip into the teens.

    I have several questions on this topic, I hope these don't seem like dumb questions.

    - Cold Start
    When I start my x495 or 2305, I set the throttle position low, approximately between 1200-1500 rpm, turn the key and wait for the glow plug light to cycle once, as soon as I see the light get brighter, I hit the key. I let it idle for 3-5minutes at 1500rpm or less and then proceed with using it. Does this seem correct? Anything that I should do differently?

    - Idling
    When working outside... Let's say cutting trees & clearing brush. I'll be on and off the tractor cutting for a while and then pushing/piling brush. Is it better to let a tractor sit at a low idle during these times? Or to shut off and restart frequently?

    - Engine RPM
    When engaging PTO, is it better to engage at low RPM and then raise or should RPM's be in the appropriate range to support 540 before engaging? Also, when using FEL, it is hard on the system to operate it at low RPM?

    - Shutting Down:
    When shutting down, I stop PTO if applicable, lower bucket and 3PH, slow idle to ~1200 for a few seconds and turn the key off. I've seen others however, do things like cycle the throttle back and forth high, medium, low and let sit for a few minutes at low idle before shutting down.

    Again, I'm not trying to over-complicate any of this, but I'm just really curious what best practices are for starting, stopping, throttle position when working, sitting while idling or stopped, etc. I'm thinking that if I use my tractor often, treating it the right way or the wrong way could have a pretty significant impact on the life of the equipment and I'm just trying to take the best care possible. Also, if there are any points that I forgot to mention that are relevant, don't hesitate to point them out! Thanks everyone!
    I'm a tractor newbie too, so thank you for asking my "dumb" questions! Actually, I go through pretty much the same sequences as you, with a small exception to cold starting. I like to get the tractor outside of the garage for it's warmup idle, so I lift up the bucket and 3pt, and move her outside at low idle. Then I set everything back down for a couple minutes.
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    Cutty72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclass View Post
    I'll be interested to hear the comments on this scenario for the tier IV engine. Idling and TierIV seem to be inversely proportional when it comes to the soot meter, unfortunately...
    Yeah, it might be different for the bigger tractors with DPF and emissions crap.
    I don't think a 2305 has one though :idk:

    My experience with them is in the automotive side. You can idle limited time, as long as there is an extended drive time mixed in.
    If you are never driving and working it for 45 min plus, it doesn't matter if you leave it idle or shut it down, it will clog.
    8-10 mile daily trips are not enough to get everything up to temp to burn out the filters.
    2010 2320 with 200cx FEL
    54D MMM
    54" front mount blower
    Titan 42" forks w/ receiver hitch
    County Line 5' tiller
    6' JD rear blade (tree find)

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    Owners Manual

    The owners manual states when cold go to about half throttle. IMO when I did that It doesn't seem to settle down and run correct for about 5 minutes. If I start it with the throttle at IDLE then it appears to warm up a LOT quicker and I can throttle it up a lot quicker and then let the 1025R warm up quicker and appears to not shake and rattle as much. NOTE I'm in a NON heated garage and It has been done to zero a couple of times I started it. Also note I do have the block heater but I have yet had to use it. Tractor starts great with out it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutty72 View Post
    Cold start - Yes, leave it at idle for awhile to warm up before use. time is dependent on temp, colder temp takes longer for everything to warm up.

    Idling - IMO, it's easier on everything to let it idle, especially if only for 5-10 min. If you will not be using it for 45-hour, then go ahead and shut down if you want.

    Engine RPM - ALWAYS engage the PTO at idle/low RPM. Regarding FEL or other non-PTO work, you can run the engine at any RPM you want. It will slow down hydraulics, but no other ill affects. Depending on the implement, you can run PTO attachments less than PTO RPM if you desire, depending on the job. I will often lower RPMs when snowblowing and I don't want to blow it so far.

    Shut down - Idle it down, lower attachments, let engine cool a bit if you were working it hard, then shut down. No need to rev it up right before shutdown.

    Hope this helps!
    I agree with all of this. This is what I heard - repeatedly - from my father and grandfather, who between them had a buttload of years operating tractors of various sizes.

    I would only add that in addition to always engaging the PTO at idle speeds, you also always disengage the PTO at idle speeds.
    Probably should go without saying, but I said it anyway.
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    In cold weather after I start it I run it up to about 1800 rpms and let it run a bit (couple minutes) before working. Other then that I do pretty much what you do. I let the tractor tell me what it wants to do. As for shutting off, I bring it down to low idle to put it into it's parking spot and shut it off when parked. Driving from your work area to your parking area is enough of a cool off period after working it. Well it is for me anyway as I don't work the tractor close to it's parking area.
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    When starting mine if very cold, I idle at low idle and in neutral. I will depress the go peddle just until I hear a slight whir. About one minute, the drive off to the given job. If snow blowing ( not nuch else to do when it'very cold) I blow a pass or two at idle to help warm things up. After that full bore. After there is not a lot of need for cool down, unless you have a turbo. Then for sure some cool down is required. In my TDI I wait for EGTS to go below 400 F, then shut down. Oil coking is the biggest enemy. And if you are using a good full synthetic in your tractor there is little need except in the above turbo type motor. As Levi suggested, his cool down is ample.

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    Last edited by John Deere 1025R TLB; 02-03-2017 at 06:48 AM.
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