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Sasquash, the Lockness Monster, and Electric Tractors - Which of these really exist?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 95
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Despite photographic evidence to the contrary, I am not convinced any of these really exist.
In all seriousness, I would like to buy an electric tractor, but I can't find one.
- Mark Shepard suggested I contacted Grant Schultz about an Allis Chalmers "G" Electric conversion, but it doesn't have a Front End Loader.
- Steve Heckeroth at Steve Heckeroth has a great demo of a tractor that I would love to get my hands on, but I don't know how to get one.
- UTV's and golf carts are around - I have an electric golf cart which is great for tooling around in, but it doesn't do any heavy lifting.
- I found an electric mini-loader from China that looked promising for $14,000 but it doesn't look very powerful and it doesn't have a PTO.
- I have seen people take perfectly good diesel tractors and convert them to electric, but that seems expensive.
I know I want a new electric tractor at a used Kubota price, but there must be something out there.
Does anyone have any other suggestions? If other people are serious, I would like to get a list of specs and if we can't find what we are looking for we should find someone who will make it for us. But once I buy that used diesel Kubota for $10-15k, I won't be interested/able to buy an electric tractor.



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Posts: 219
Location: Iowa City, Iowa Zone 5
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Buy a used diesel Kubota. Run it on veggie, feel just as good. Neighbors won't know the difference.

I second your thoughts on turnkey electric availability, it will come with time. Let's lobby Tesla!
 
Posts: 180
Location: Missouri/Iowa border
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Electric forklifts have been working day in and day out for decades on end. I have trouble understanding why this technology is so far out there. 10 years ago I worked for a well known agricultural equipment manufacturer in one of their parts distribution warehouses. I would drive a forklift all over the complex, pick up parts that were on pallets, some weighing as much as 1500 lbs, and at the end of the day I would go plug it in.

Maybe Tesla motors isn't where we should look for a turnkey solution. Perhaps Clark, Hyster, or Raymond forklifts?
 
Grant Schultz
Posts: 219
Location: Iowa City, Iowa Zone 5
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The tech for electric tractors is certainly mature, it just isn't deployed. I think that Prius were adopted with open arms by the greenie liberal set (no labels). Tesla Roadster made electric cars cool. Farmers on the whole are the most fraidy-cat peer pressure-susceptible late adopters on the planet. Perhaps if Permies stay vocal and demanding (Kickstarter? - Steve, Paul, me, anybody?) a manufacturer wil get one rolled out.
 
pollinator
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Location: Western Washington
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I don't know of any electric tractors - they sound like fabricated fantastic witchcraft to me. But bigfoot? I get mistaken for that dude all the time - In fact several alleged photos are just me at a distance (I dress in many large drab layers which often include dirty earth tones the layer often give me a hunched look)

The real big foot is very private - but they exists! Here's a recent study in which they look at DNA sequencing of some unidentified samples.

http://m.ptleader.com/news/bigfoot-study-includes-olympic-peninsula-evidence/article_d9a30f64-306d-11e3-b137-0019bb30f31a.html?mode=jqm
 
pollinator
Posts: 928
Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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Hahaha, I like the title! Seriously, I hate oil as much as anyone else but the best and most sustainable way to power a tractor that I have seen seems to be the wood-gas solution. I would not waste any time and energy trying to make the electric solution given current technology. Its mostly a novelty.





 
Nicholas Covey
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Location: Missouri/Iowa border
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Sadly, cheap available electricity is probably on its way out, that's certain.
 
Patrick Freeburger
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I have Tesla Roadster tastes on Nissan Leaf budget. Grant, I love the idea of the electric tractor, but veggie oil is an interesting alternative. My understanding is that Steve Heckeroth looked at Kickstarter, but there was a $10,000 limit and the tractor would be $15,000 - there may be other crowdsourcing platforms with higher thresholds. The other thought I had was to get a consortium of people together and find a tractor manufacturer from Alibaba to modify it to a true electric tractor. Obviously, not for the faint-hearted and it would take some organization, but if we had 20 or so people willing to do it (and we knew what you wanted) you could probably get a small Chinese tractor manufacturer to work with us. I don't know the same could be said for John Deere.

 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
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Location: Western Washington
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That poor tractor has performance anxiety! Sounds great one it gets up a running though. That's super cool. Is that a retrofit of an old Massey? I think that between Diesel, Bio-Diesel, and now (newly enlightened) wood gas, offer plenty of energy for the tractors of the worlds. I guess cars I'm not so sure of electric or otherwise. Awesome Asmedean, thanks for posting that
 
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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The biggest issue with woodgas tractors is there hasn't been a gasoline tractor made in ~30 years and many of the last ones (not antique) went to the scrapper. Similar to the electric problem--suitable donor vehicles are rare.

 
Posts: 205
Location: Midcoast Maine (zone 5b)
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Nicholas Covey wrote:Sadly, cheap available electricity is probably on its way out, that's certain.



Not certain at all, in my opinion. Solar is cheaper for me right now, than electric company power. If the prices continue as they have, solar will be cheaper for everybody. The biggest problem in my estimation is convincing the electric companies to change their business model so that they can make money when solar is ubiquitous. German electric companies are losing money, because their business model is based on 'selling' electricity, instead of 'transporting' electricity. So when they raise prices, industrial customers are opting out, and going with their own systems. So now the company needs to raise prices again. Death spiral.
 
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If you go to youtube and search on "electric tractors" you will find quite a large selection, both factory made and diy - diy here means conversion or from scratch. When you get to accessories you have to plan ahead. Some rototillers come with a small gas engine attached that powers them - could probably make it a diesel if it fits you better. I have seen some diesel tractors that also don't have pto but use hydraulics. Like most things, you have to decide what you want first, then look at your power options and then for it. If you are converting a tractor, you could buy an electric motor to replace the gas/diesel and then install another electric motor (but likely geared down quite a bit) to the pto...or an electric motor connected to a hydraulic compressor. The cost of the motors would depend on the size of your rig. I think Volvo is (or has) made an electric tractor...huge monster with a huge price tag.

So....I believe in electric tractors....not so for Susquatch...but I have to admit once, that I saw Elvis's face in a cloud
 
steward
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Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
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Hey, Paul's electric tractor just made it to wheaton laboratories. It looks a lot like our old Kubota diesel, with a front loader.

So, there's one! I don't know what it cost, though. Can't wait to see what it does.
 
Posts: 132
Location: Maine, USA
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Imagine how many AA batteries you would need to have stocked up to run one :p

Gaz
www.almostafarmer.com
 
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