Evaluation of the Effects of Tractor Forward Speed and Tillage Depth on Fuel Consumption during Ploughing Operation
Fuel as the major sources of energy in the life of every power unit plays energetic role in all farm operations requiring tractor application. Field tests were conducted to compare the dependency of fuel consumption on speed and depth of plough during ploughing operation. An experimental field of 160m by 32.5m (5200m2) area was cleared and divided into three blocks of nine sub-blocks. Each of the blocks was marked out in 5m by 50m for different treatments. Alleys to the plot of dimensions of 2m by 50m were provided. The equipment and tractor used for the tillage operations were disc plough and Swaraj 978FE. Properties such as moisture content, bulk density, tractor forward speed, depth and width of cut, time and amount of fuel used during ploughing operation were measured and employed in fuel consumption evaluation. Fuel consumption was estimated by quantity of fuel consumed per time taken to complete each treatment. The experimental data obtained were analysed statistically using analysis of variance (ANOVA), and Coefficient of variation (CV). From the results, the fuel consumptions for the combined forward speeds and depths of 10cm and 1.39m/s; 10cm and 1.94m/s; 10cm and 2.50m/s; 20cm and 1.39m/s; 30cm and 1.94m/s; 20cm and 2.50m/s; 30cm and 1.39m/s; 30cm and 1.94m/s; 30cm and 2.50m/s, were 2.08E-06 m3/s, 2.33E-06 m3/s, 2.50E-06 m3/s, 3.41E-06 m3/s, 3.33E-06 m3/s, 4.76E-06 m3/s, 3.75E-06 m3/s, 4.78E- 06 m3/s, and 5.83E-06m3/s respectively. Also, coefficient of determination R2 of 0.9869; 0.9858 and 0.9975 for speeds of 1.39, 1.94 and 2.50 m/s respectively and as well, tillage depth coefficient of determination R2 = 0.8913; 0.9852 and 0.9292 for depth of 10, 20 and 30 cm. ANOVA showed significant differences with 99 and 95 confidence levels on effect of forward speeds, tillage depths and their combined effects. Also, CV of 0.37 % confirmed that experimental error was low and reliable. Hence, it is recommended that the tractor forward speed and crop roots’ depth should be the determining factors to minimize cost on fuel consumption.