Biodiesel Basics

You need to change filters when switching, but biodiesel is more efficient and burns cleaner.


A Diesel Primer: What to Ask for When Ordering Premium Fuel

Over 80 years after Caterpillar introduced the first diesel-powered tractor, the fuel is the essential fluid of any farm operation. Buying good fuel and understanding why it needs to be high quality is crucial now more than ever, due to advanced engine technologies with tighter tolerances. This fuel primer should help you negotiate buying high-quality diesel. To start with, there are three stages of diesel combustion that include:

  • Delay: This is at the end of compression and after the start of injection, when the fuel does not ignite immediately.


SCR components critical in modern diesel engines

In the Mid-February issue of Successful Farming,, I covered the basics of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). I followed up with a brief overview of the components employed in a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system.

Keep in mind that the SCR is only one part of the emission control system on a modern diesel engine. It can be fitted with a diesel particulate filter (DPF), diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC), exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), or all of these.


5 often-overlooked engine maintenance tips

When maintaining equipment, often the most simple of additional steps yields the greatest return. The following are five often-overlooked – but crucial – maintenance procedures from the Engine Answerman's must-do list. By taking a few extra minutes now, you'll increase your machine's longevity, make it more reliable in the field, and save you time in the shop making unnecessary repairs.


Tending to MAF sensors

Caring for the mass airflow sensor (MAF) on light-duty diesel pickup engines should be part of every preventive maintenance program. A traditional diesel engine employs a mechanical injection system. Newer pickup engines have electronic controls in place of an injection pump and nozzles.

For the system to determine load, some engines have a MAF sensor that measures the incoming flow of air. Airflow is an accurate indicator of the work the engine is doing. The information from the MAF sensor is used to help determine the quantity and timing of the injection events.


Machining 101: Engine blocks

Part 1 of the Engine Machining Series: Successful Farming’s Engine Answerman reveals the services every machine shop should provide when rebuilding engine blocks.