Rural business services company 7Y Services has launched a series of tractor efficiency courses which it reckons could help farmers shave thousands of pounds off their diesel costs.

Nick Tilt, director of the farmer-owned organisation at Leominster, Herefordshire, says efficient tractor operation could save farmers £5000-£6000 a year.

“A good operator should be able to save 25% fuel. On a tractor using 400 litres a day at today’s price of 68p/litre, this equates to a £68 saving a day, £476 a week at harvest time and potentially £6000 a year.

“The sophisticated engine and gearbox computer management systems fitted in today’s tractors are designed to maximise fuel and performance efficiency. Yet many farmers and temporary drivers are unsure of how to make the most of this technology.

“So, while our courses do include instruction on how to throttle back and cut engine power, they also explain how to make best use of the technology installed in the tractor and how to recognise when a machine is operating efficiently.

“Other topics covered include depth of cultivation, use of ballast and tyre pressures, as well as examining how maintenance and servicing can improve fuel usage.”

The courses, at 7Y’s Leominster headquarters, are already proving very popular. Mr Tilt says there has been a huge uptake so far, with each course costing £250 a person.