L3901 - what is the proper RPM for each job?

RickyBobby

New member

Equipment
L3901
Mar 13, 2021
18
2
3
Virginia
New here (hello everyone)...
AND new L3901 owner.

Coming off of an old JD 1020 that I used almost exclusively to bush hog, I'm a bit unclear as to the RPM I should use for each job on the L3901

For example what RPM should I use for:
Idle?
Warmup?
Loader Work?
Bush Hog (I think I'm safe at the 540 PTO line here)
Plowing (2 bottom)?
Disking?
Box Blade?
Auger (surprised here that the owner's manual recommends Idle - could that be right???)

Thanks in advance.
 

85Hokie

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
BX-25D ,PTB. Under Armor, '90&'92-B7100HST's, '06 BX1850 FEL
Jul 13, 2013
9,115
1,156
113
Bedford - VA
RB

Welcome to the forum - this question comes up almost as much as what oil to use!
Many many opinions - and all of them are somewhat correct.

The one thing all of us agree on - do not baby the machine. Once break in period is over, run it as needed - somethings require a little more ump than others.

I will say - if something is on the pto - it will be best to run it at that speed, that is what it was designed to do.

Auger make plenty sense - if you run your pto at a "higher" speed = you will go through shear bolts like a kid eating M&M's !
 
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BigG

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Equipment
l2501, FEL, BB, Rotary cutter, rake,spreader, roller, etc. New Holland TL80 A
Sep 14, 2018
1,877
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West Central,FL
Not trying to sound like a smart a$$ but sit down and read your owner's manual. It will help you to be safe on your new tractor. It will make you a better operator. Look up and buy or copy of the work shop manual. It will be needed as the tractor gets older and it will answer a lot of questions you will have.
 
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sheepfarmer

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L3560, B2650, Gator, Ingersoll mower
Nov 14, 2014
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Another vote here for your owner's manual. The starting and warm up rpms will be in there. They vary depending on the tractor. You have one of the newer common rail engines, and so many things will be different from a 20 year old BX for example. So what I do may be irrelevant to your machine. I went from a Ford 8n to the L3560. My manual is dog eared, I had a lot to learn especially about regeneration.
 

swpflipper

Active member

Equipment
MX5400 HST, LA1065 FEL, HR2572 box blade - S30 flip Screen
Nov 3, 2020
100
51
28
Arizona
Operators manual.... That said, you may have the tendency to use lower rpm from time to time; Don't. keep rpm up as the manual says.
 

Fido Farms

Member

Equipment
L3901, 35 Massey, Summit X 146, Polaris 700 RMK, Yamaha Viking
May 27, 2018
108
5
18
Canada
Depending on your auger size and length (assuming grain auger) for rpm. If its small then run the rpm to keep the auger full. If it’s a 10” or bigger you’ll want PTO speed and see how it handles as you load it up.
 

Old_Paint

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Equipment
LX2610HSDSU, LA535 FEL w/54" bucket, LandPride BB1248, Woodland Mills WC-68
Dec 5, 2020
1,128
800
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AL
I mostly just play it by ear and opt for fuel savings if I can. Some things, particularly PTO operated hardware, don't give much leeway for shaft speed. I'm not fond of lots of noise for a little bit of work. I've done enough damage to my hearing without doing more When I'm using the FEL with the stump bucket, Wind up the RPM a bit for better control of the FEL. Box blading, I'll keep it down around 1800-2000. Chipping, well that has a prescribed 540 RPM. I don't think I've had a WOT condition more than just a few seconds to see how many RPM it was.
 

bucktail

Well-known member

Equipment
L1500DT, 6' king kutter back blade, boom, dirt scoop ford disk JD212
Jun 13, 2016
1,176
111
63
MN
New here (hello everyone)...
AND new L3901 owner.

Coming off of an old JD 1020 that I used almost exclusively to bush hog, I'm a bit unclear as to the RPM I should use for each job on the L3901

For example what RPM should I use for:
Idle?
Warmup?
Loader Work?
Bush Hog (I think I'm safe at the 540 PTO line here)
Plowing (2 bottom)?
Disking?
Box Blade?
Auger (surprised here that the owner's manual recommends Idle - could that be right???)

Thanks in advance.
Depending on your auger size and length (assuming grain auger) for rpm. If its small then run the rpm to keep the auger full. If it’s a 10” or bigger you’ll want PTO speed and see how it handles as you load it up.
I'm guessing that the auger is a post hole digger. This makes more sense.
 

Fido Farms

Member

Equipment
L3901, 35 Massey, Summit X 146, Polaris 700 RMK, Yamaha Viking
May 27, 2018
108
5
18
Canada
Yup. WTF was I thinking.. Farming background kicks in again haha
 

bucktail

Well-known member

Equipment
L1500DT, 6' king kutter back blade, boom, dirt scoop ford disk JD212
Jun 13, 2016
1,176
111
63
MN
I stand corrected. With a 9" auger.
Both machines are augers. The reason that they recommend running slow on the phd is that it helps keep it from getting stuck.
 

RickyBobby

New member

Equipment
L3901
Mar 13, 2021
18
2
3
Virginia
Just did a search on the electronic version of the owner's manual.
Lots of RPM info about the DPF regen process, but not much else.
The only relevant mention is that warmup should be at 50% of rated RPM so, 1,350 for L3901 with HST.
I suppose experience will dictate the rest.
 

sheepfarmer

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Equipment
L3560, B2650, Gator, Ingersoll mower
Nov 14, 2014
4,294
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113
MidMichigan
Just did a search on the electronic version of the owner's manual.
Lots of RPM info about the DPF regen process, but not much else.
The only relevant mention is that warmup should be at 50% of rated RPM so, 1,350 for L3901 with HST.
I suppose experience will dictate the rest.
Yes it does. The 60 series L tractors have a monitor of dpf filling so you can see what makes it fill, which makes life easier. Most dpf filling occurs right after starting. The 01s work the same way but don't have the monitor. In general folks recommend keeping the rpm up so that it can regen by itself as needed, and because very low rpm will make the dpf accumulate particles faster. Choose an rpm that is safe and suitable to the task. If the rpm is lower than will allow regeneration, glance at your dash occasionally so you will see if the light comes on signalling the need to regen, and you can advance the throttle until it has finished the regen. So basically common sense.
 
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CGMKCM

Active member

Equipment
RVT-1100C, ZD323, L4760
Jan 26, 2021
159
65
28
Randolph county N.C.
On my 4760 I use 1200 rpm for warm up, 2200 rpm for all other non PTO applications. I also use Medium setting for Hydrostatic drive and use the low mode when digging and high when I transit. In 44 hrs I have had 2 Re-gens. Kinda old school now days but in the service we were trained to run diesels at 80% of rated RPMs to get the longest longevity and save the extra 20% for special circumstances. Hope this helps.
 
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BobInSD

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Equipment
L5740
Jun 23, 2020
256
59
28
South Dakota
how long is break in period?
50 hours - run it not so hard, like 50-75% .... and do what BigG said- get a manual and go over it.

I've never had a brand new tractor, but have rebuilt a few gas engines. Back in the day the wisdom was to not run WFO and to vary rpms and load during break in. Should you try to vary the rpms on a new tractor during those first 50 hours?
 

85Hokie

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Equipment
BX-25D ,PTB. Under Armor, '90&'92-B7100HST's, '06 BX1850 FEL
Jul 13, 2013
9,115
1,156
113
Bedford - VA
I've never had a brand new tractor, but have rebuilt a few gas engines. Back in the day the wisdom was to not run WFO and to vary rpms and load during break in. Should you try to vary the rpms on a new tractor during those first 50 hours?

With a diesel - there is still the ol "break in period" - the rings are seating and all that fun stuff - so varying the rpms will be fine too. The book does tell you specifics too.

I will say this - it is a hardy machine, running it "hard" will not hurt anything - but since you paid for it. just take it easy for a while.
 

Buckshot1600

New member

Equipment
L3901HST, RCR1260, RB1584, SPL1072, Wallenstein BX52S, Meteor SB72 snowblower
May 4, 2017
6
3
3
B.C. Canada
I usually don't run at anything less then 2000. During cold starts (Below -10C) maybe tease the throttle just over 1000 and engage PTO to get oil flowing. Running close to the rated RPM seems to work for me in all uses, plowing snow, loader work or mowing. Thanks for your time
 

CKNPRO

Member

Equipment
L4701 HST
Apr 16, 2021
43
18
8
51
Alabama
How are you supposed to "break-in" a tractor if you can't run it at PTO rated rpm's - because on mine, that is more than 75% of WOT? Are you supposed to putter around the yard at half-throttle for a few weeks before you open it up and actually do work? I'm sorry, but that is a little ridiculous IMO. John Deere advocates no such "break-in" on their similarly powered machines. I guess it's the green paint...no wonder it costs so much.