Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biosystems Engineering

Major Professor

Fred D. Tompkins

Committee Members

J. I. Sewell, B. L. Bledsoe


The rate of fuel consumption was measured for both gasoline and diesel tractors in size classes for use with two-, four-, and six-row implements. Tractors were operated at four different speeds with various sizes of the following implements: moldboard plow, tandem disc, planter, and cultivator. Fuel meters were designed and constructed to measure the amount of fuel consumed for gasoline and diesel tractors during field opera-tions. The fuel consumption was measured volumetrically by using systems of electrically-actuated solenoid valves to control the flow of fuel into and out of graduated cylinders. The moldboard plows in almost every instance required the most energy both per hour and per unit area with each tractor type. As a rule, the moldboard plow was followed in fuel consumption by the tandem disc, the cultivator, and the planter. As implement size increased fuel consumption per hour increased as did field capacities. An increase in operating speed resulted in an increase in fuel consumption per hour. However, the fuel consumed per unit area decreased as speed increased from 3.2 to 8.1 kilometers per hour (2.0 to 5.0 miles per hour). This suggests that certain implements with high field capacities plus high operating speeds may result in substantial energy savings.

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