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Kubota BX Fuel Consumption and the impact of weight on fuel usage.

Tags :  kubota  | 

Neil from Messick's here to do a video for you on fuel consumption on a BX series tractor. A question was asked in the comments here a couple of weeks ago with removing some of the weight from your tractor would help its fuel economy when doing tasks like being out and mowing your grass. I intend to test that for you here today. Got a series of tests lined up for a BX series tractor. I also plan on trying to work in several more fuel consumption videos over the coming weeks. If this is a topic that's interesting to you, hit the subscribe button.
I've made some small modifications to a BX series tractor to have an external fuel tank on it with a gauge that we can measure the level of fuel. I figured out that between the two marks that I'm watching here on the little meter on the side of the tank, that I'm running about 45 ounces of diesel fuel through this tank between the range on the meter. I then am going to go through and time the amount of time in a series of various tests that it takes me to consume that 45 ounces. We do a little bit of math, and then we can convert that into gallons per hour of fuel consumption.
We have some results for you, results from our testing. I cannot sit here and claim that our methodologies are perfect, but I feel like that we've got some pretty solid numbers here, numbers that fall within a little bit of the range that I expect. Those of us that are salespeople have always told customers for years that a tractor like this burns between about two-thirds-and-three-quarters of a gallon an hour, and sure enough, the numbers more or less will back that up a little bit. Our fuel consumption for the tractor not moving, when it's sitting here still in the parking lot at PTO RPMs, comes out burning 0.398 gallons per hour of fuel, right about four-tenths. If we look at some figures for the machine while it's driving, again, sitting at those PTO RPMs with the loader and the backhoe installed on the unit with all of its carrying weight circling the machine around the building, we came out to 0.478 gallons per hour, so burning measurably more fuel than when the tractor is sitting still. The question that prompted this video here today came from a prior video that we did talking about removing your loader when you're mowing and if removing that loader is going to impact your fuel economy. That was the question we set out here to answer today. The answer to that was done by taking the same tractor driving around the building while removing the grapple and the backhoe from the machine, so taking about 600, 700 pounds off the tractor.
Our numbers on this weren't exactly perfect, but we came out with a definitive yes, there was an improvement. We drove for about 90 seconds longer, though, before hitting our little fuel level right over here telling us that we're empty again. Measurable, but maybe by the 1%, 2% or so. Going to encourage you to remove your loader from your tractor, takes weight off the front tires, shortens your turning radius. A lot of benefits to doing that, but one of those benefits is not probably fuel economy. For our worst case scenario test, we're going to run the tractor here hooked up to a Dyno. Dyno's are horsepower testing devices that are going to hook onto the PTO of a tractor in order to tell you how much PTO horsepower that tractor is able to develop. We'll give you a reading off of this one, but we're going to crank this thing up to be able to throw a constant load on this to see how hard we can get this tractor to work and how much fuel it's going to burn. When we're using the Dyno here, you use a series of dials in order to add load to the tractor and see how much load you can put onto it and still have it maintain 540 rpm. While a tractor like this is 23 Horsepower at the engine, it puts 17.7 horsepower out the PTO. When I load up my Dyno here, I can get that right up to looks like I'm showing about 17 Horsepower. This is a 500 Horsepower Dyno, and it's not going to read super accurately when we get down to these lower ranges. That's going to be within the margin of error here of our testing device.
That's why we have these kinds of things. If you're working on a piece of equipment and you have some engine issue, you have a tool here to be able to hook up to it in order to be able to test the engine's output out the PTO. Now, I wanted to take these tests and push this number hard. How much fuel can we get this engine to burn if we really load the tractor up? By doing that, we burned fuel at the rate of 1.2 gallons per hour, quite a lot faster, almost three times as fast or two and a half times as fast as when we're just driving around the building. Now, there's a lot of science behind that number. We often explain to you that your fuel consumption on your diesel engines is based a lot more upon work than it is based upon straight engine RPMs. A lot of the things on your tractor, your hydraulic systems, your emission systems if you have a tractor that's emissions equipped, all of these things run a little bit better with a little bit more revs, a little bit more heat. Putting your tractor around is not good for it. Giving it some revs in order to get that stuff going makes those systems work better and does not necessarily burn dramatically more fuel. There's a little bit of fuel usage related with those RPMs, but you can see here from our testing that work. When we hooked it up to the Dyno, we really made the tractor start working and loading it up. That's when the fuel usage really starts to increase, not just simply driving the machine around without much of a load on it.
That's the data. I think this was really interesting. There's a couple of reasons why I really liked setting out to make this video. This is information that you usually don't find from the manufacturers. Even for me on the dealer side, this isn't stuff that's widely published, and it's because of the utilization aspect that came out of this, you saw how much higher the fuel usage is when the tractor is working, it's difficult stuff for manufacturers to be able to publish because of the varieties of different utilizations of tractors. It's hard for them to be able to come out and publish this information, but I think it's really interesting. Good for you to understand how your equipment works, and if you're shopping for a piece of machinery, good information to have in the back of your head of what your utilization and fuel consumption might look like, especially with diesel as expensive as it is now. A couple of things that you could do. If you like this kind of content, I'd love to make more of it, but it is really time-consuming to put together. Support our business. If you have a piece of equipment, you can buy your parts and stuff from us. It helps us be able to invest in videos and good content in having a better business. By and large, consider subscribing. Every YouTuber likes to see those numbers climb north the more videos that we put out. If you're shopping for a piece of equipment and we can help, or if you have parts or service needs for a machine you've already got, give us a call at Messick's. We're available at 800-222-3373 or online at messicks.com.

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