Biological Systems Engineering


Testing Fuel Efficiency of a Tractor with a Continuously Variable Transmission

Bart A. Coffman, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Michael F. Kocher, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Viacheslav I. Adamchuk, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Roger M. Hoy, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Erin E. Blankenship, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Document Type Article

Published in Applied Engineering in Agriculture Vol. 26(1): 31‐36. Copyright 2010 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Used by permission.


A John Deere 8530 IVT tractor (Waterloo, Iowa) with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that could be operated in automatic (CVT) or manual (fixed gear ratio) mode was tested for fuel consumption at a setpoint travel speed of 9 km·h‐1 with 17 different drawbar loads. Linear regression analysis results showed that with the throttle set to maximum in both transmission modes, operating the tractor with the transmission in the automatic mode was more fuel efficient than operating with the transmission in the manual mode when the drawbar power was approximately 78%, or less, of maximum power. When load transition portions of the data were filtered out, there was no significant effect of load sequencing in the remaining data. On the other hand, there was a noticeable effect of travel direction which could occur due to a minor slope of the test track in the direction of travel. Testing of more tractor models from different manufacturers and at different travel speeds is needed to determine if these results can be applied to different tractor models produced by the same and/or other manufacturers.