Professional remapping delivers reliability and performance boost
Sandra says that professionally remapping her tractors allows increased work rates and completion of jobs in a timelier manner. She comments: “We only run two tractors, so these machines must be reliable, and I can’t afford extended periods of downtime. Wheels need to be turning every day for us to make money. When we had the issues back in 2020, we were baling at the time, and I needed a quick and reliable fix. We had to be sure what we were doing was safe and going to solve the problem.”
Weather windows can be small at Palacehill Farm in the Scottish Borders, so having reliable tractors to complete jobs in a timely manner is essential. The 140ha arable farm also includes a herd of 80 suckler cows, along with bed and breakfast pigs, and an arable and grassland contracting operation across some 800ha.
The farm has run John Deere machines since the 1980s and has two main tractors, a 2017 6215R and 2017 6155R. Problems began to surface on her John Deere 6215R in 2020 with some well-known reliability issues, and after contacting Alan Blakie at A A Services based at Earlston, he advised that an ECU remap would fix the problems and offer a safe performance increase within the limits of the engine.
A A Services is part of a registered authorised agent network for Avon Tuning HD, a leading agricultural engine remapping company. It writes and supplies bespoke ECU maps from its base in Bristol for tractors requiring reliable and safe power and torque increases along with curing reliability issues.
Along with improving the reliability, the performance increase has significantly improved work efficiencies and allowed tasks to be completed quicker before the weather turns. The most noticeable differences have been on heavy cultivations and drilling works.
Sandra continues: “When the remap was first added to the 6215R, our main operator Ross Turnball asked me for another furrow on the plough, as the extra power had made such a difference to the way the tractor operated with the same implement. There was more power for pulling up the hills, which is a large part of the terrain we cover here.”
When drilling, the remap allows the 3m Horsch Express 3 KR combination drill to be pulled around 2kph quicker than beforehand. It is run with a HE-VA front press, that was regularly lifted out of work when going up the hills before the remap, but the extra power has meant the press is always engaged even on the hills.
The power improvements meant a similar bespoke remap was fitted to the 6155R to add extra performance and improve work outputs on daily tasks. This tractor does most of the winter ploughing and there has been a tangible improvement to the way it holds on going up the hills now.
“We also haven’t seen a fuel increase and, if there has been, it certainly isn’t that obvious compared to before. The increased work rates that allow us to complete jobs quickly and efficiently have certainly been more important to our operation,” concludes Sandra.