Farmers using controlled traffic systems typically spend less money on diesel fuel, because driving on a compacted track is more efficient than driving on tilled soil, Reeder says. Repairs often are lower, too, because tractors and sprayers don’t work as hard as they cross the field.

“Tractive efficiency can double on firm soil compared to loose soil,” says Clay Mitchell, who uses a controlled traffic system on his east-central Iowa farm. He says his fuel cost savings for tractors and sprayers have been in the 40% range, but less for combines. Less wear and tear on drive trains has led to lower repair bills, Mitchell confirms. Running single tires instead of duals has cut his tire bill, too.