Determination of Variability in Hourly and Tilled Area Tractor Fuel Consumption during Harrowing Operations
Fuel is an essential product used by all farm machinery during their operations. In this study, field experiments were carried out to determine the variability in hourly and tilled area tractor fuel consumption during harrowing operations. An experimental plot of 138 m by 50 m (6900m2) area was cleared and divided into three blocks of nine sub-blocks. Each of the blocks was marked out in 2 m by 50m for different treatments. Alleys to the plot of dimensions of 1m by 50m were provided. The equipment and tractor used for the tillage operations were DFM 100CD fuel flow meter, disc harrow and Swaraj 978FE. Soil-implement-machine parameters (draught, moisture content, bulk density, tractor forward speed, harrowing depth, width of cut), time and tractor fuel efficiency parameters (hourly fuel consumption (FCh) and tilled area fuel consumption (FCta) during harrowing operations were determined. The experimental data obtained were analysed statistically by means of analysis of variance (ANOVA), and Coefficient of variation (CV). The results obtained revealed that increased in the soil-machine-implement parameters increased in line with hourly and tilled area fuel consumption (FCh and FCta). ANOVA results also showed significant difference with 95 % and highly significant at 99 % confidence levels and coefficient of variation (CV) of (a) 0.55 % and (b) 11 %; and (a) 0.18 % and (b) 0.13 %, which confirmed that experimental error was low and reliable. Generally, the variability in tractor fuel consumption during harrowing operations are influenced by variations in the soilimplement- machine parameters and thereby become the determining factors to reduce fuel consumption.