Claimed to reduce fuel consumption by at least 10% and as much as 20%, the new Zuidberg ECO-TWIN Front PTO was one of a number of products designed to cut tractor operating costs that was featured on the Lynx Engineering stand at this year’s LAMMA.
By means of their economy setting, rear PTOs have long been able to take advantage of the modern tractor’s ability to deliver the power needed but with less of the effort that would otherwise be required from the engine. Typically, this ‘low power mode’ attains 1000 revolutions of the rear power take off shaft with a reduced engine speed of 1600 rpm. Designed for tractors in the 100 – 250hp range, the ECO-TWIN now extends this capability, at the flick of a switch, to the front PTO shaft for the first time.
The clutch and gear technology is developed from the tried and tested Zuidberg arrangement comprising a wet plate clutch and a separate hydraulic circuit. With the ECO-TWIN however, two clutches are incorporated in the housing. The first clutch works as in any other Zuidberg housing, by connecting the outgoing axle directly to the lowest gear from the housing; the so-called drive cup. The second clutch connects the outgoing axle with the drive cup via a planetary gear system. It is this planetary gear system that provides the extra deceleration between the gear and axle.
Independent tests carried out in the Netherlands using a 195hp Steyr 6165 CVT, fitted with 6m front and back mowers, recorded fuel consumption of 30.5 litres per hour at a normal PTO setting of 1000 revolutions and an engine speed of 1910 rpm. When switching to the economy 1000E PTO setting with an engine speed of 1570 rpm consumption decreased to 26.5 litres per hour, representing a 13% saving at the same capacity. A similar difference was measured when using a 9-meter-wide triple mower. At 1000 revolutions (engine speed 1910 rpm) an average of 32.5 litres per hour was recorded, while at 1000E, this decreased to 29 litres per hour – equivalent to a reduction of over 10%.
When the driving speed was increased, with a resulting reduction in capacity, consumption was as much as 20% lower.
In all tests, which were carried out by PPP-Agro Advies in association with Wageningen UR Livestock Research (University & Research Centre), the tractor was equipped with a continuous fuel consumption meter (Perfect Power Control system), enabling the tractor’s actual fuel consumption in litres per hour to be monitored continually.
“The ECO-TWIN Front PTO will be of particular interest to contractors, farmers of larger enterprises or any users of tractors with front linkages,” said Lynx Engineering’s Managing Director, Nick Ewbank. “It provides real flexibility, not just in terms of the choice it offers between maximum engine power at the normal PTO setting of 1000 rpm or minimal fuel consumption using the 1000E mode, but also because it helps operators derive the best possible performance and productivity from their tractor.
“The user can set the front PTO electronically to 1000E from the cabin at the flick of a switch, whilst the rear uses the 1000E setting also. This allows for a wide range of front and rear mounted machine permutations, for example a front-mounted mower and a silage wagon, a forage harvester combined with a potato harvester, or a hydro pump connected to the front PTO and another type of machine behind the tractor,” he added.