Hillco Technologies

The Importance Of Airflow

Air filters are critical to the performance of combine and tractor engines. They prevent dirt, dust, and other particles from entering the engine, which can reduce the amount of airflow. Read more below.

Yes, airflow is critical to the longevity of combine and tractor engines.

The short answer is the Hillco Air Flow System. Read more below about the AFS. 

The Importance of Airflow

Diesel engines are a type of internal combustion engine that are commonly used in a wide variety of applications, from cars and trucks to power generators and heavy equipment. These engines rely on a complex system of components to produce power, including fuel injectors, pistons, and cylinders. One critical component that is often overlooked is airflow. In this blog, we will explore the importance of airflow in combine and tractor engines and how it impacts engine performance. As well as explain how the Hillco Air Flow System can help with these things.

What is Airflow?

Airflow refers to the amount of air that enters the engine during the combustion process. In a diesel engine, the air is compressed in the cylinder before fuel is injected and ignited. This process produces heat and pressure, which pushes the piston down and creates mechanical energy that can be used to power the vehicle or equipment. There are several reasons why airflow is critical to the performance of combine and tractor engines.

1. Combustion Efficiency
The amount of air that enters the engine during the combustion process affects the efficiency of the combustion. The more air that is available, the more complete the combustion will be, resulting in better fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.
2. Power Output
The power output of combine and tractor engines is directly proportional to the amount of air that enters the engine. If the engine does not receive enough air, it will not produce as much power as it could, leading to reduced performance.
3. Engine Longevity
Airflow is also critical to the longevity of combine and tractor engines. If the engine is not receiving enough air, it can overheat and cause damage to the components. This can lead to expensive repairs and even engine failure.

Components that affect Airflow:

Several components in a combine and tractor engine can affect the amount of airflow that enters the engine. These include:
1. Air Filters

Air filters are critical to the performance of combine and tractor engines. They prevent dirt, dust, and other particles from entering the engine, which can reduce the amount of airflow. A dirty air filter can restrict airflow and lead to reduced engine performance.

2. Turbochargers
Turbochargers are used in combine and tractor engines to increase airflow by compressing the air before it enters the engine. This can significantly increase engine performance and efficiency.
3. Exhaust Systems
Exhaust systems are designed to remove the waste produced during combustion. A poorly designed exhaust system can restrict airflow and reduce engine performance.

A Solution to Promote Airflow: Hillco Air Flow System

Tired of the air restriction indicator going off? Tired of blowing out your air filter multiple times a day? Tired of spending hundreds of dollars replacing air filters too often? Then the Hillco Air Flow System is the solution you are looking for! The Hillco AFS was designed to promote airflow in dusty and dirty conditions. It works by discharging the dirty air through the precleaner top, leaving cleaner air to be drawn into the engine. This simple but effective design extends the life of the air filter, reduces downtime, and increases your combine or tractor engine life among many other things.


Airflow is a critical component in the performance and longevity of combine and tractor engines. The amount of air that enters the engine affects combustion efficiency, power output, and engine longevity. It is essential to ensure that the engine receives the right amount of air by maintaining air filters, using turbochargers, and properly designing the exhaust system. By prioritizing airflow using the Hillco Air Flow System, you can ensure that your combine and tractor engines will perform at their best and last for years to come.
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Return on Investment Calculator

This calculator is designed to determine the return on investment for a Hillco leveling system equipped combine versus a non-leveling combine operating in sloping conditions.

Crop Type
Wheat       Corn and Soybean
Acreage Information

Crop Information

Enter your operation's statistics and estimates.

Acreage / Slope Information

Estimate the percentage of total harvested acres that lay within the various slope ranges in your farming operation.
For all Wheat Acreage
See Slope reference chart
Percentage slope values must equal 100%
Your Harvest Speeds and Machine Harvested Yield (MHY)

Non-Leveling Ground Speed in MPH

Enter the average harvesting speed for your non-leveling combine in the various slope ranges at the average yield entered in the Crop Information section above.

Slope Reference Graph

Reduction in Machine Harvested Yield (bu/acre)

Estimate the reduction of Machine Harvested Yield (MHY) for each slope range if you were harvesting at the speed you entered for 0-3% slopes. (The calcultor will then project expected reductions in MHY for each slope range at your previously estimated ground speeds.)

You may opt to enter the test data which was determined by actual field testing by Hillco (based on 5 mph harvesting speed).

Reduction in MHY is used in these calculations rather than field loss. Reduction in MHY is a more accurate guage of combine harvesting efficiency because it can be determined by actually weighing the harvested yield rather than estimating the amount of yield lost to the ground.

Use test data or your own
Your Combine and Header Information
Enter your expected combine harvesting efficiency. Typically a combine operates at approximately 70% efficiency. If the Total Annual Separator Hours calculated below look too small you may want to decrease the combine efficiency. If the Total Annual Separator Hours calculated below look too large you may want to increase the combine efficiency.
Wheat head width in feet
Corn head width in feet
Flex header width in feet
Combine Field Efficiency (Typically 70%)
(Must enter value other than 0%)
Your Operational Costs
This total should include additional cost of benefits and taxes. If you wish to include the grain cart operator's cost add the hourly wage to the combine operator hourly labor costs.
Combine Operator Labor Cost (per hour, including taxes and benefits)
Combine Fuel Cost

If you wish to include added grain cart fuel add hourly grain cart fuel usage to the combine fuel usage.

Combine Fuel Consumption (Hourly - Typically 11-13 gph)

Cost per added separator hour usually runs approximately $180 per hour for new combines to $30 per hour for older used combines. If you don't want to consider the added benefit of lower separator hours enter $0.

Cost Per Separator Hour
(How much does your combine devalue for each added separator hour of use?)

Use example prices below or obtain a quote from your local dealership.

List price examples for leveling systems used on John Deere combines:
Leveling System Model 2955S for -- 9560-70 STS combine dual tire, w/ Hillco Leveler Installed = $42,960.00 List Price

Leveling System Model 2970S for -- 96-97-9860-70 STS combine,dual tire w/ Hillco Leveler Installed = $42,085.00 List Price

List price examples for leveling systems used on Case-IH combines:
Leveling System Model 2800 for -- 2577-88 combine, dual tire w/Hillco Leveler, Installed = $42,210.00 List Price

See examples or call your local dealership for a quote.
(On Leveling System Financing)

Enter the number of years (from 1 to 5, whole number) for the desired calculation period.

Market value at the end of 5 years regardless of the length of the calculation period.

Used in net present value calculation

Cash Flows (Totals for Calculation Period)
Positive Cash Flows
Labor Savings
Fuel and Lubcriation Savings
Increased Income from Machine Harvested Yield
Residual Value of Leveling System (At end of Calculation Period)
Increased Combine Value Due to Reduced Separator Hours
Total Positive Cash Flows
Negative Cash Flows
Leveling System Cost (Total Principle & Interest Payments)
Remaining Principle Balance On 5 Year Note
Leveling System Maintenance Cost (Annual 2% of Purchase Price)
Total Negative Cash Flows
Total Net Cash Flow (Positive - Negative)
Investment Analysis
Total Average Annual Separator Hours (without leveling system)
Total Average Annual Separator Hours (with leveling system)
Average Annual Separator Hour Savings
Total Separator Hour Savings as % of Total Separator Hours
Average Payback Period (in years)
The length of time it takes for an investment to recover its initial cost.
Total Net Present Value of Cash Flows
NPV compares the value of a dollar today to the value of that same dollar in the future, taking inflation and returns into account.
Internal Rate of Return
The internal rate of return (IRR) method allows you to consider the time value of money. It is the interest rate that is equivalent to the dollar returns you expect from your project. Once you know the rate, you can compare it to the rates you could earn by investing your money in other projects or investments. Usually a business owner will insist that in order to be acceptable, a project must be expected to earn an IRR that is at least several percentage points higher than the cost of borrowing, to compensate the company for its risk, time, and trouble associated with the project.