Posts Tagged ‘fuel saving’

First Efficient 20 pilots identify quick fuel savings

| October 24th, 2011 | No Comments »

The Efficient 20 programme has just completed  its first UK tests to identify fuel savings in farming. The EU wide project has nearly 300 pliots running througout 10 countries, with nearly 25 based in the UK. Firestone, the agricultural division of Bridgestone Tyres are official partners to the project and in conjuction with them Ruralnet Futures conducted the first UK tests in Ludlow, Shropshire. Through our links with various rural  hubs we contacted a local organic farmer, John Lewis. For the test we used an 8000 hour John Deere 6910 tractor coupled with a five-furrow Dowdeswell plough. The Efficient 20 programme supplied Mr Lewis with an accurate fuel flow meter and the tests were completed over several 30-minute ploughing sessions. For the first of the 30 minute tests the tyres were overinflated to 23 psi all round and for the second 30-minute test they were deflated to 14psi on the front axel and 17psi on the rears. This immediately resulted in a 5% saving in fuel consumption. For the next test we replaced Mr Lewis’s tyres with a larger tyres, thus providing a wider footprint and reduced soil compaction. Through a combination of applying the correct tyre pressure and by selecting a larger tyre size, this ultimately led to a reduction of a further 30% in fuel consumption. Applying these simple measures and using recent red diesel prices of around 70ppl, could easily lead to over £50 savings per day per farmer for 10 hours ploughing activity.

Test Results:

Tyre pressure test

Further articles relating to to the Efficient 20 Programme:

Eco driving course aims to slash fuel bills by 20%

Video – make fuel savings through using appropriate tyre pressure

Efficient 20 programme fuels Royal Interest

Efficient 20 Programme website

If you like to learn more about this project please contact the Ruralnet Futures team here





Firestone become Associate Members of the Efficient 20 Programme

| June 3rd, 2011 | No Comments »

We are delighted to announce Firestone have become an Associate Member of the Efficient 20 programme. The Efficient 20 project is financed by Intelligent Energy Europe and Ruralnet Futures are leading all UK activity. It aims to identify methods to reduce fuel consumption in agricultural practices. Over 300 farms in 10 countries in Europe are about to start various pilots all aimed at improving fuel efficiency over the next two years.  By ensuring you are using the appropriate tyre pressure can lead to both environmental and financial benefits for farmers including reduced soil compaction, a drastic increase in the life of the tyres and a reduction in the fuel consumption.

Firestone are the agricultural division of Bridgestone tyres, the largest tyre manufacturer in the world and we look forward to working closely with them as the project develops to learn more with regards to fuel efficient farming. We recently announced the launch of the worlds first agricultural tyre pressure calculator for a smartphone (download here) which will be used as the basis of the research and this is yet another exciting development in our partnership.

Any organisations interested in becoming Associate Members to the programme can contact us to learn more.

200 Farms signed-up to save fuel

| December 13th, 2010 | No Comments »

Farmers from across the nine European countries participating in the Efficient20 project are looking forward to see their tractors’ fuel consumption fall in 2011.

Since the project’s launch in July, Ruralnet Futures and other Efficient20 project partners have been busy recruiting pilot groups of farmers and foresters to take part in implementing a variety of fuel saving measures that should see them making a 20% saving in diesel usage by 2013.

At a project meeting last week in Slovenia, French partners AILE (Association of Local Initiatives for Energy & Environment) who are coordinating pilot group recruitment reported that 26 pilot groups, comprising 200 farms, were now up and running.  Recruitment will continue into the New Year with the hope of establishing 30 pilot groups.  In the UK we are working with farmers in Staffordshire and Shropshire and are looking to set up our third pilot group in Warwickshire.

Austrian partners, the Francisco Josephinium Research Institute, presented a handbook of fuel saving measures which will form the core technical input to pilot group training sessions.  Compiled from over twenty years of research by agricultural institutes into tractor fuel efficiency coupled with extensive experience of delivering hands-on farmer training, the handbook covers everything from the effects of tractor maintenance and driver behaviour to operation specific factors such as correct selection of tyre pressures and optimal working depth for cultivation.

As we move into 2011, farmers will begin recording their fuel consumption for a variety of activities to identify where their greatest potential for fuel saving lies. Focused training and ongoing measurement will then help farmers chart their progress towards their 20% reduction target. With farmers reporting diesel prices topping 60p/litre in some areas of the UK – a staggering 30% rise on November prices – such savings can’t come quickly enough!