Leave engine running?

GeoHorn

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No. That practice is for wannabees.

The reason that becomes a practice is often because the new owner has noticed (or heard of) large operators who leave their large diesels running for protracted periods…. and because they’ve been told that more wear occurs during start-up and shut-down than occurs during long idling periods.

The REAL story is that many large diesel operators have compressed-air starter motors and a loss of compressed air (often due to poorly maintained systems) may prevent a reliable start later-on…. or the 18 wheeler who’s stopped at the truck-stop for a nap and wants his AC or heat running during the nap…. and/or (Rarely these days) it’s not THEIR own rig and they’re not paying the fuel bill … or the agricultural operator who has his diesel sitting outside in the field all night with the temps down below freezing and needs to keep the equipment warmed up.

If I’m getting off the tractor for a few mins….yes I leave it running. But if it’s for more than 5-10 mins….OR…if I’m out of sight of the equipment for more than a moment….. I shut it down. Not only for economic reasons…but for Safety Reasons. Think about that. ;)

The average tractor owner will Never wear his machine out due to starting cycles.
 
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fried1765

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No. That practice is for wannabees.

The reason that becomes a practice is often because the new owner has noticed (or heard of) large operators who leave their large diesels running for protracted periods…. and because they’ve been told that more wear occurs during start-up and shut-down than occurs during long idling periods.

The REAL story is that many large diesel operators have compressed-air starter motors and a loss of compressed air (often due to poorly maintained systems) may prevent a reliable start later-on…. or the 18 wheeler who’s stopped at the truck-stop for a nap and wants his AC or heat running during the nap…. and/or (Rarely these days) it’s not THEIR own rig and they’re not paying the fuel bill … or the agricultural operator who has his diesel sitting outside in the field all night with the temps down below freezing and needs to keep the equipment warmed up.

If I’m getting off the tractor for a few mins….yes I leave it running. But if it’s for more than 5-10 mins….OR…if I’m out of sight of the equipment for more than a moment….. I shut it down. Not only for economic reasons…but for Safety Reasons. Think about that. ;)

The average tractor owner will Never wear his machine out due to starting cycles.
I say.......please do.....leave it running!
Makes the hour meter reading higher, thus it will be less expensive for me to buy ....used,... with all those extra idling hours.
 
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Runs With Scissors

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What usually happens to me is this,

I get off the tractor for a 'quick second', someone yells "squirrel", then I get distracted and 25 minutes later I get back on the tractor.

It's not usually a conscious thing for me, but it happens all the time.

Very analogous to leaving the parking brake on.
 
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ve9aa

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For 3-4minutes, I might leave it running. If I can see it and nobody's around. (think pets, kids, potential joyriders/thieves)

More than that is kinda silly (except for the specific reasons @GeoHorn stated above)
 
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DustyRusty

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If it isn't working, it is shut down. I don't particularly appreciate hooking up equipment to a running machine, so I always shut it down to install attachments. I've seen way too many accidents when people attempted to install an item on a running machine. As a retired EMT I have learned from other's mistakes.
 
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TheOldHokie

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Do you leave your Kubota diesel tractor running when it may be 20 minutes or so before you will use it again?
Not normally when actively using the tractor but I have no problem with the idea. If I have to get off like to move something when mowing or cut up a downed tree it could be 5 or 10 minutes. Ten or 20 minutes at cold start warmup is not at all uncommon.

Constant start and stop cycles where bearings go metal to metal is probably the worst thing you can do to any engine.

Dan
 
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85Hokie

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Do you leave your Kubota diesel tractor running when it may be 20 minutes or so before you will use it again?

There is a great discussion about this - truckers may do this, but most of us simply shut down unless you are doing something fairly quick - I will let mine run for about 5 minutes or so.....
 
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NCL4701

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The old wisdom of not shutting down a diesel is more applicable to large diesels and they’re set up to idle for long periods. Used to do that when I was on a cable laying crew back in the 80’s. For security all the machines except the van had dead batteries. We jump started everything in the morning, shut down for lunch if we left for lunch, restart in the afternoon. But those were all 1970’s mechanical engines. Starting required glow plugs on a 95 degree day and often required a shot of starter fluid in the air intake.

For one of these modern Tier 4 engines, never use starter fluid, and shut down/restart isn’t a big deal IMO. Usually don’t even need to glow it unless it’s really cold out and it’s the first start of the day.

If more than 5 minutes or if messing with the PTO, it’s off. It’s not your grandpa’s diesel.
 
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Magicman

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If the engine has a Turbo, it needs to idle and cool down for at least 2 minutes before you shut it down. Same on startup, let it idle for a couple of minutes before you go full throttle.
 
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GreensvilleJay

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I shut it off. 20 minutes at idle is a total waste of fuel . Heck do that 3 times in a day, you've burned an HOUR of fuel for nothing,given the guv lots of coins and it'll need service sooner !
 
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06B3030

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If I know I'm going to be off it doing something for more than 10 mins...it gets turned off. In cold weather I always use the block heater for easier starts. Usually have it plugged in for 30+ mins. Once started, I let it warm up for 10 or so for the hydro oil before using it.
 

Captain13

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Now that it’s getting cold, you really don’t want to leave it idling. You can get fuel wash down in the cylinders as the engine cools down. Even warming the engine up in cold weather should not be done at idle. Get the rpm’s up to warm it up.
 
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jimh406

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I have an L2501, so it's ok to idle or sit at any RPM. 20 minutes seems like a long time though.

I wouldn't idle a L3301 or anything with a DPF, but if the RPMs are up, then it probably would be ok.
 
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GeoHorn

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There is a great discussion about this - truckers may do this, but most of us simply shut down unless you are doing something fairly quick - I will let mine run for about 5 minutes or so.....
Just for discussion’s sake….. take an old main bearing…. dip it in oil…and place it on a coffee-saucer for a couple of months…..and see how oily it still is. ;)

As for long periods of idling… one might also do a “search” on these forums about diesel “slobber”….and see how mischievous THAT problem can be due to long periods of low rpm.
 
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jaxs

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Yes I love the sound of idling diesels almost as much as Harleys and well tuned high performance car engines. :giggle: