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?
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!