CARROLLTON, Mo. — A recent survey shows as farmers are trying to cut cost, they might hold onto their equipment longer.tractor-on-farm Ron Jessen, Director of product management for Cenex has some tips to help farmers avoid costly repairs and down time during this planting season.

Ron Jessen recently spoke with KMZU’s Kim Nuelle.

Jessen says repairs can end up being very costly. “Well anytime you look at hanging onto equipment you have additional expenses. Repairs become very, very costly so there are some things we want to make sure we’re working with the producers. Making sure we’re watching for some symptoms that could be signs of some issues that may be going wrong and some things we can probably fix now in the spring before we’re getting a little busy in the fields yet.”

Ron says the first thing producers should be looking at is a delayed start up after sitting idol. “The most common solution to this would be to make sure the air in your fuel filters are clean. If you look at today’s internal combustion engines, they require just that proper mix of air and fuel. So anytime you have a plug filter can have a significant negative impact on combustion. According to a recent study by the University of Missouri… by simply replacing your air and fuel filters you can increase power by up to 4%. You also want to make sure when we’re looking at that fuel system that we’re draining off any excess water. This is the perfect time to get ahead of that.”

He says another area to look at is to make sure your injectors are clean. “When you look at the emission of black smoke as another sign that we should be looking for, when you see that it is really a sign of over fueling. It can be an indicator that you may need to clean your injectors.” Today’s engines are running much higher heat and pressure which can cause the fuel to cook, known as coking. This can lead to internal diesel injector deposits, which can form very quickly. The deposits can lead to a drop in power, fuel economy, and injector failure. He says using premium diesel can help with this problem.

“Another symptom you should be looking at would be the slow or delayed acceleration. Today’s tier 3 and tier 4 engines are tough on diesel fuel and choosing that proper fuel is critical for proper acceleration and overall performance.” Ron says cheaper fuel might save you more money at the pump, but cost more in the long run.