Improvements to the Tractive Efficiency of Agricultural Tractors Carrying out Cultivations

A report on the early stages of a research project to measure and model the forces experienced by implements during cultivation, how these can influence tractive efficiency of the tractor and potentially offer the opportunity to conserve energy and fuel by using the data to control draught and wheel slip.

Year of Publication2009

Although draught control and maximum wheel slip control systems are common on agricultural tractors these are still set by the operator working to general guidelines and without quantitative feedback on the real time tractive efficiency. The aim of this paper is to propose and evaluate a system on tractors that allows tractive efficiency to be maximized. The paper considers the idea that an instrumented three point linkage allows the determination of an implement's draught force, its vertical force (weight addition) and the resultant force line of action in the longitudinal-vertical plane so that the dynamic wheel loads can be calculated. Implement force prediction can be used with traction models to determine the real time tractive efficiency and potential improvement in tractive efficiency. The paper considers traction prediction and the determination of tractive efficiency, the use of two wheel drive or four wheel drive, the effect of front wheel lead and how a control strategy can be implemented to maximize tractive efficiency. Data and examples are presented that support the analysis and evaluation that is carried out in the context of agricultural tractors carrying out cultivations. Overall energy conversion and fuel use is considered. The paper reports the early stages of this work.

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Additional keywords/tags

traction predictiontraction controlterramechanicssoiltractive efficiencyimplement force predictionfuel savingfuel consumptioninstrumented linkage
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