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Silage output issues solved by tractor remapping

A harvest operation’s output will always be limited by its weakest link, so when Graham Holmes’ John Deere 6150R proved an underpowered replacement for an older tractor, he turned to professional remap from Avon Tuning HD to increase his productivity.

Chelker House Farm

Graham runs three John Deere 6150Rs for mowing, raking and hauling silage at Chelker House Farm in Addingham, west Yorkshire, with the trio of tractors between eight and nine years old. Graham is a third-generation farmer and runs the business in partnership with his father, Max, while his son, Sam, plays a key role in both the dairy and contracting operations.

Although the size of the tractors was akin to Graham’s previous machines, the tractors were significantly underpowered and rated at 136hp. Output losses when running the twin mowers and hauling silage on the hilly terrain were most notable.

“Output with the mowers in a good silage crop was around 7kph, but the biggest problem was when the front mower hit some already cut grass at the end of a row, the tractor just died and had nothing left to give, forcing the operator to lift or slow to crawl.”

The tailored ECU remap from Avon Tuning HD was installed by local service engineer, Tom Eckton, and along with carrying out the remap, he provides advice over the phone when required.

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John Deere tractor remapping

“We have only increased the tractor power to within the safe limits of the engine and drivetrain, as reliability is still key,” says Graham. “We have a lot of investment tied up in these machines, so we want to keep them in top condition. The tractor can now handle the mowers at 15kph comfortably and keep running to the end of the row even in the thickest crops. It means we can drop more grass per day which the forager can easily clear.”

Since the remap, the tractors aren’t using any extra fuel to counteract the increases in work efficiencies. “Any fuel use increase is offset by greater output when mowing and hauling trailers. Alongside this, the wider implications of running an underpowered tractor that can slow the forager down, is a big factor.”

Remapping has allowed Graham to run cost-effective tractors in his business, while improving power outputs to match the demand of his implements and increase work efficiencies not only from the tractors, but the wider harvesting process.

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