Wednesday, March 23, 2011


TTS is the acronym for Tractor Trouble Shooting. Our local school district, Wilmington City Schools FFA Chapter just won the Ohio Ag and Industrial Diagnostics Contest. We call it State Tractor Trouble Shooting.

Trouble Shooting is a unique skill in life, being able to figure out why something doesn't work or doesn't work quite right. It is a series of valued skills of knowledge and experience.

The FFA contest centers around six gas or diesel farm tractors that don't run properly. The judges have installed "bugs" in these engines that are to simulate what you might find in the real world.

The students are taught to use tools and equipment to diagnose the problem, find it and tell the judge what you found. If you are correct, you get points added to your score and the quicker you find them the higher your score. If you don't find the bugs or problems withint 30 minutes you are scored on your cleanliness and workmanship skills.

There are basically two systems in any tractor engine, fuel and electrical. On a gas engine, it is spark and fuel. On a compression ignition or diesel engine it is fuel and air versus electrical circuit. That is way over simplifying it but you get the point.

Good trouble shooters are valued people in any business. The best are hard to find because they are known and so busy with work. Lots of techs want to be good trouble shooters but aren't.

I congratulate my local school district on their win. I got my teams to the top ten many times but could never pick up that first place. Congratulations, I know it was hard earned. Eric Heeg is doing a fine job as agricultural education instructor and this proves it.

Hat's off to Wilmington FFA and tractor trouble shooting.

These are skills our society really need.

Ed Winkle

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