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Matching tractor needs to your land

 
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Having a generator for the 2 wheel tractors is a really good deal. I say that because a lot of times, people buy the portable generators, but because they are seldom used, when they go to use them on a power outage, they find the fuel has gunked up, or they just won't start. But because a 2 wheel tractor is always in use, in every season, it will always start. But the best part is, no lugging some massively heavy generator around, those are self propelled.

Myself, I have a 20 KW pto generator for my 4 wheel tractor. The last time the power went out, the kids did not even know we were out of power until like 5 hours into it.
 
pollinator
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James Whitelaw wrote:

Richard Cleaver wrote:We use a twin-wheeled BCS 740 walk-behind diesel, on 20 acres to make hay, dig swales and ditches, plough, chip wood, mow, grade, and move tools and stuff around the site on a trailer.  This is all great but my favourite bit is the 0.13 gals p/h



This! One of the things I dislike about the idea of having a full size tractor is then I am dealing with full size fuel stuff. Go on the tractor forums and you see all sorts of strategies for moving or storing fuel, so not needing to keep a lot around is good for us. Ethanol free is available nearby. That and I finally found a fuel can that works reliably w/o spillage.



I really don't like gas, compared to diesel... but fuel handling is indeed a thing with the larger equipment.

A lot of pickups around here have a tidy-tank permanently taking up 1/5 to 1/2 of the back. I don't want to use up that much space permanently, so hoping to mount one on steel skids with a lifting point so it can easily be pulled out...

Until I find the right tank, I fill 4 jerry-cans, totalling 20 gallons of diesel, pretty much every single time I am in town.. it has definitely gotten old.
 
Posts: 26
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Back in 2005 when we bought this property. We felt that we needed a decent sized but compact tractor and settled on a Kubota B7800with a front end loader, 4’ bush hog, Auger, box blade, 4’ Tiller and a few types of plows, a spreader and a drag harrow. We also got a Kubota RTV 900 with hydraulic dump bed. Only just last week I picked up a Yanmar Vio 35-6A. Loving it!
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Travis Johnson
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D Nikolls wrote:I really don't like gas, compared to diesel... but fuel handling is indeed a thing with the larger equipment.

A lot of pickups around here have a tidy-tank permanently taking up 1/5 to 1/2 of the back. I don't want to use up that much space permanently, so hoping to mount one on steel skids with a lifting point so it can easily be pulled out...

Until I find the right tank, I fill 4 jerry-cans, totalling 20 gallons of diesel, pretty much every single time I am in town.. it has definitely gotten old.



Every fuel company delivers diesel fuel. They take their trucks to construction sites all the time, they will swing by your house and fill up your tank for sure. Just buy a 275 gallon oil tank from Home Depot, or find a used one and buy that, and have your fuel delivered. I do that, and have a hand cranked fuel transfer pump to move fuel from tank to tractor. It takes 30 cranks of my hand pump to fill my tractor...

You might even be able to get away with a few 55 gallon drums. Here we cannot because the fuel companies do not like to dump diesel fuel into 55 gallon drums, but we used to do it that way.



 
Travis Johnson
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I do not think you can get the diesel engine with the 2 wheel tractor's any more. I think it has to do with import issues of small diesel engines. I noticed in the last few years that Joel (of Earthway) no longer shows the diesel engine as an option on his website. Maybe now that the trade war is over, that regulation has been lifted though, and they are available again.

As a side note on those 2 wheel tractors, you can repower them for better fuel economy too. Mine is supposed to have a 13 hp engine on it, but mine has only an 8 hp engine. It would seem underpowered, but it will spen the tires long before it stalls the engine even though it is 1/3 smaller than it should be.
 
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One thing about the diesel 2 wheel tractors - when it's cold outside they can be difficult to start, the farm owner says it simply will NOT start under 40F. I haven't tried to start it yet in that cold of temp, but eventually I probably will just to see for myself.

We keep it in a shed out by the fields so there is no electric available to run a heater by it...guess we could store it by the house in the cold season but they don't really use it all winter for anything, just take the battery out and it sits there unless someone decides to give it a few pulls.

The machine has electric and pull start. If the battery or starter fails it's nice to have that backup option but it takes a strong arm to pull start a diesel engine  

 
D Nikolls
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Travis Johnson wrote:

D Nikolls wrote:I really don't like gas, compared to diesel... but fuel handling is indeed a thing with the larger equipment.

A lot of pickups around here have a tidy-tank permanently taking up 1/5 to 1/2 of the back. I don't want to use up that much space permanently, so hoping to mount one on steel skids with a lifting point so it can easily be pulled out...

Until I find the right tank, I fill 4 jerry-cans, totalling 20 gallons of diesel, pretty much every single time I am in town.. it has definitely gotten old.



Every fuel company delivers diesel fuel. They take their trucks to construction sites all the time, they will swing by your house and fill up your tank for sure. Just buy a 275 gallon oil tank from Home Depot, or find a used one and buy that, and have your fuel delivered. I do that, and have a hand cranked fuel transfer pump to move fuel from tank to tractor. It takes 30 cranks of my hand pump to fill my tractor...

You might even be able to get away with a few 55 gallon drums. Here we cannot because the fuel companies do not like to dump diesel fuel into 55 gallon drums, but we used to do it that way.





My driveway is not something a fuel truck will risk, and while this will work for fueling the tractor once the driveway is fixed, much of it goes to the excavator, which I am not willing to drive back to the shop area for refuelling...

There are some pretty tight regulations about the tanks that fuel can be stored in up here, so legal tanks are not cheap.

Otherwise a better idea for sure..
 
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Ty Greene wrote:One thing about the diesel 2 wheel tractors - when it's cold outside they can be difficult to start, the farm owner says it simply will NOT start under 40F. I haven't tried to start it yet in that cold of temp, but eventually I probably will just to see for myself.

We keep it in a shed out by the fields so there is no electric available to run a heater by it...guess we could store it by the house in the cold season but they don't really use it all winter for anything, just take the battery out and it sits there unless someone decides to give it a few pulls.

The machine has electric and pull start. If the battery or starter fails it's nice to have that backup option but it takes a strong arm to pull start a diesel engine  



Ty, you're right, my pull start diesel is difficult to start below 50F.  When the de-compression valve engages the engine just stops dead.  It's a bit better if I keep it in a shed overnight.  30 minutes in direct sunlight in the morning usually works.

I'm thinking of trying a thinner oil for the winter.  What do you think?
 
Ty Greene
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I think thinner oil in winter is a good thing if the temperature is regularly staying below freezing.

It allows things to spin easier, and goes through the system faster at initial startup to get the lube where it needs to be quickly.

But, the adverse side of that could be the thinner oil working it's way off the internal parts faster when not in use...and once the machine is warmed up it may consume more oil, or be too thin and cause some extra clatter noise (which in that case I would drain it immediately and put the normal viscosity back in!)

I would love to find the spec book on the particular engine to see what the manufacture recommends. My gas powered ATV actually has an ambient temperature range chart calling for different oil weights!

A full synthetic usually has better extreme weather properties also, but some small engines don't suggest using it - it's a tricky science that usually boils down to "if it ain't broke don't fix it" kind of thing

If you are currently running something like 15W40, then maybe try 10W30 or even 5W20 if it's especially cold and see if that makes a difference...

Of course you should probably put in some solid research before taking my advice, and maybe even try emailing or calling a dealer of 2 wheel tractors and ask their service department for a suggestion, too.
 
Richard Cleaver
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Thanks Ty,

I don't want to break anything so I reckon I'll be lighting the stove in my shed in the early hours in the winter

I already had a chat with the dealer where I bought the tractor and he is emailing Yanmar with some questions.

Cheers.
 
pollinator
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> diesel... hard start

I have started a diesel regularly with WD40 as a starter fluid sprayed into the intake. People also use gasoline starter fluids, but the dose has to be kept very small at risk of toasting the engine. I stick to WD40. The engine will actually run on WD40, so it's possible to "start" it for 10-20 seconds by maintaining the spray into the manifold.

FWIW.


Regards,
Rufus
 
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Travis Johnson
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What some of you are referring to is something called "being either bound". Some engine makes are worse at this than others. Starting fluid (something also called either) does not compress, so as the piston comes up from being turned over by the starter. If the air is not hot enough to ignite the starting fluid, and the incoming air is saturated with starting fluid, it literally binds the engine up, and it cannot turn over fast enough to fire.

It is interesting that the skidder I have now, I can dump a can of starting fluid in the engine and it will never get either bound, it just sucks it right up. But it is a 2 stroke Detroit Diesel so it LOVES its either. It takes starting fluid to start it even in the summer. I have 2-3 cans of it in the cab all the time.

But my last skidder, a Caterpillar 225 grapple, that one was VERY easy to get either bound. I used starting fluid on it, but VERY gingerly.

In my tractor I never use starting fluid, and really cannot, because it has glow-plugs. With that tractor I just plug in its block heater, and then use glow plugs and can generally start it down to 0 degrees (f). A person should NEVER use starting fluid with a machine that has glow plugs.

The best method of starting a diesel engine is a block heater. I generally start my machines from 7-9 AM, so I have them on a timer. The block heater comes on at that time, and so it saves me a lot of money in electricity instead of having the tractor plugged in 24/7.

The other thing is a really good battery/batteries. Since a diesel fires from the heat of compression, it takes a strong battery to really get that engine spinning. A weak battery will often times fail to spin the engine fast enough.

As a side note: below zero degrees (f), I seldom start a tractor because it is just not worth it when it gets that cold.
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Hard to Start Skidder
 
Travis Johnson
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D Nikolls wrote:My driveway is not something a fuel truck will risk, and while this will work for fueling the tractor once the driveway is fixed, much of it goes to the excavator, which I am not willing to drive back to the shop area for refuelling...

There are some pretty tight regulations about the tanks that fuel can be stored in up here, so legal tanks are not cheap.

Otherwise a better idea for sure..



Okay, I understand now.

Could you buy a 30 gallon drum, and then use your tractor or excavator to load it on and off your truck, and then fill that at the gas station?
 
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My go-to tractor for snow-blowing is in an unheated/uninsulated garage.  I considered replacing the block heater when that item died, but then got into the habit of just throwing a tarp over the tractor and running a space heater underneath it for a couple of hours.  The heater is directed mostly onto the oil pan, but the heat drifts upward and is captured under the tarp so that ultimately the entire engine compartment is warmed up.  Starts quite easily at that point.  I only take this measure when the temperature in that garage is below 10F.....tractor seems to start fine above that temperature.  

One other note on stand-alone generators.  I too got tired of the gunking up from old gas that occurs in those from lack of use.  Finally, bought a fuel-diverting stop-cock that lets me drain the tank when not using the unit regularly.  So now I use the fuel shutoff to kill the engine if I know it's going to sit for a while and then follow up with turning the stop-cock to drain the tank.  Seems to help at this point.
 
Travis Johnson
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John Weiland wrote:One other note on stand-alone generators.  I too got tired of the gunking up from old gas that occurs in those from lack of use.  Finally, bought a fuel-diverting stop-cock that lets me drain the tank when not using the unit regularly.  So now I use the fuel shutoff to kill the engine if I know it's going to sit for a while and then follow up with turning the stop-cock to drain the tank.  Seems to help at this point.



If people have a tractor with a PTO, they might consider getting a PTO Generator.

I have one, and it is 20 KW which is pretty big, but the prices for a PTO Generator are very cheap. For instance you can buy a 15 KW generator BRAND NEW for $1400. And you can find plenty of rebuilt ones for half that. That is a pretty big generator for the price. The reason for that is because you are NOT paying for an engine, you provide that via your tractor.

The really good thing about a PTO generator though over that of a portable generator, is that they provide clean power for those sensitive electronics now.

And as long as your tractor will start, you will have back up electricity. No extra engine to maintain, nor fuel to go to crap, etc. I really like mine, so I thought I would pass the information along.

Edited to add: If you have heavy equipment, a lot of times they have hidden PTO's. My John Deere 350 D bulldozer had a PTO for instance hidden behind a access plate.
 
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My tractor setup is a 35HP HST Kubota with FEL and class 1 3point with mid and rear PTO. It’s a great small tractor. My neighbor has a similar age and capability JD HST and it’s a very capable machine. The annoying thing is that we have two machines that basically do the same thing. Last year I got a 20 year old 72 HP Zetor tractor which is a manual transmission and 4WD. It’s a simple machine but parts can be an issue. I use it primarily for subsoiling and root pruning, but I am considering doing some upgrades to make it a more functional machine to replace most of the skid steer functionality.

What that means is replacing the 2spool hydraulic relief with a 3 or 4 spool and buying hoses and a skid steer quick attach pin-on adapter. It’s a bit of a risk as the combined expense is about $1100 and the flow rate on a tractor that old is low. The good news is that this tractor is very hard to get stuck. Making the electric plug work on skid steer attachments is not in the cards. So it would run the grapple, plow, etc but can’t run a bunch of other implements. So I would have to rent a machine by the week for that stuff. I have a friend that will rent me a tracked skid steer for $800/week including delivery. I can sell my skid steer for 10k which means 12 weeks before it makes sense to own one- except the depreciation (or maintenance) costs on a tracked skid steer are around $15 an hour. So more like 40 weeks.

Just another option to consider if you aren’t needing (not just wanting) near 100% reliability. If you are careful you can get a very capable tractor for <10k and have some different capabilities than you would get from what might be available from a neighbor or friend.
 
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“One thing about the diesel 2 wheel tractors - when it's cold outside they can be difficult to start.”

Years back I had a 6kw Chinese Chang Fa diesel generator (that had electric start plus hand crank). It’s the same engine they use on their 2 wheeled tractors (way beefier than bcs), and in fact had a headlight. As you mention, at lower temps when the decompression valve is flipped it stops dead. I found that taking off the air cleaner assembly and holding a rag lit on fire (soaked in a little diesel first) as it cranked would result in quick starts as it sucked the fire into the engine. Probably could use a propane torch too. If you were hand cranking it would take a second person to hold the fire. I also switched to 5w40 synthetic oil in winter which made a big difference.
 
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