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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    5
    Location
    Northeastern Pennsylvania
    Tractor
    Ford 1715 and Kubota B3200

    Default PTO vs Gas Engine Generator

    I was wondering if I could get some opinions about what would be a better generator type to purchase. A PTO or gas engine generator? My father wants to purchase a generator.
    I currently have a Winco WC6000H generator. I have only used it one time for a power outage that lasted 6 days. It ran from 5:00 am until 11:00 pm. It powered the refrigerator, well pump, lights, TV, 1 desktop computer and 3 laptops. The power outage happened in early Sept. so the heat was not on. If the heat was on the generator would of been running 24/7. I do have a oil boiler with 2 zones. I did cycle the grinder pump for the septic pump by turning off the well pump and turning on the septic pump. Other times that I have used the generator has been for powering power tools at job sites and monthly tests. The generator is about 10 - 12 years only and has about 77 hours on it.
    I have a kubota B3200 tractor 23hp at the pto and a Ford 1715 also 23 at the pto. The Kubota is a 2010 and is used for mowing grass and other chores at my house. I use it during the spring,summer, and fall weekly and in the winter when I need to plow the driveway. The Ford is a 1995 and is at my fathers house and is used mostly for snow removal. It is hardly used during the spring, summer, and fall.
    My father wants to power two houses which are 100 feet apart. The items that he wants to run are: refrigerator(2), some lights(both houses), gas steam boiler(1), gas fireplace with a blower(1), gas hot water heater with a power vent(1), laptop computer(2).
    I live in the country and my dad is in a small town.
    I do not plan on purchasing anything until early next year. The state has a farm show in early January and plan on seeing what deals they have. If I do find a good deal on a used one I may purchase a used one earlier.
    What are your thoughts on running my tractors 24/7 (only shutting them down to fuel up; also the gas engine ones) and leaving them unattended while at work and sleeping?
    The two that I am considering are:
    Winco W15PTOS - will do 15kw. I know my tractors are not able to do the full power only about 12kw. I am fine with that. A dealer is 15 minutes away from both my father and I. The dealer suggested that pto one (he does sell both pto and gas; I purchased my gas engine one from him).
    Baumalight TX12 - my tractors will full power this one. A service center is 30 minutes away from both of us.
    So what are your thoughts and ideas? Thanks

  2. #2
    Veteran Member nybirdman's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    2,280
    Location
    north of upstate ny
    Tractor
    Kubota L4240 HSTC,L3000DT

    Default Re: PTO vs Gas Engine Generator

    Boy!Lots of debate already on this one.I made my choice and it was a PTO powered 10k for my use.Pros/Cons for either choice.My reasons;I know my tractor will start,I know I have plenty of fuel on hand,I am home to hook up and to purchase a 10k stand alone would be a lot more money.If there is snow to remove,trees down or I need the tractor,just shut down for a while.Only reason to run 24/7 would be for life saving equiptment.

  3. #3
    Gold Member TerryR's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
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    271
    Location
    Boone, NC
    Tractor
    JD 870

    Default Re: PTO vs Gas Engine Generator

    In my view a prime issue when considering a standby generator when there is potential for outages over a few hours is availability of fuel. The current news stories from the northeast about the difficulties people are having obtaining gasoline highlight the issue. At least where I live, you can't depend on getting out for fuel after a major storm, nor that it would be available if you can. That drove me to buy a tri-fuel generator, and run it on propane. Our 1000 gal. underground propane tank, which we make sure is filled each December, provides a dependable fuel supply.

    For that reason I don't see a gasoline fueled generator as adequate, nor a PTO one unless you can maintain a week's supply of fuel on the premises.

    Terry

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    Dec 2009
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    1,895
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    S. W. Virginia
    Tractor
    Kubota B3200, Ford NAA, IH 454D, Case 1845C

    Default Re: PTO vs Gas Engine Generator

    I'm thinking about the same thing, but also am factoring in that I might want to be off the grid someday. In addition to the house we also have a barn where we need to run a milker. Currently we have oil heat, so I've got 200 gal of #2 off-road diesel available as long as I keep the tank topped off. The way I see it is as follows:

    -PTO generator. Very reliable, fairly easy to hook up, our smallest tractor (B3200) would power most everything and I think would still be fairly efficient. Good supply of fuel on hand. Not good for much other than powering the home and farm.

    -Stand Alone diesel generator. Once in position it should be easy to hook up. Reliable as long as it is maintained and run. Very expensive per KW compared to the PTO model, but would probably use less fuel. Plenty of fuel on hand. A reasonably sized one could also be used around the farm and job site for powering tools, etc.

    -Welder/Generator (10K, 200amp welding). Would be looking at Gas powered as a Diesel version is big $$$. Reliability and ease of use should be the same as the stand alone diesel. Don't have a ready supply of fuel on the farm, but could keep several cans of gas on hand. Would definitely get the most use between the three options and might be the best value.

    Granted, these observations are pertaining to my situation, but the thought process is the same. Balancing needs vs wants, costs vs returns, and ease of use vs reliability(which includes availability of fuel.) In the OP's situation I'd go with either of the PTO models, if the only thing it would ever be used for is backup power. Also, don't worry about putting a lot of hours on a tractor by running one. I doubt that even 5% of members on this site will ever 'wear out' a tractor from extended use.
    Kubota B3200
    Ford NAA Jubilee
    International 454D
    Case 1845C skid steer
    JD 265

  5. #5
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    18,827
    Location
    Bethel, Vermont
    Tractor
    John Deere 4400 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV, Z920A Zero Turn Mower and assorted implements

    Default Re: PTO vs Gas Engine Generator

    This is a decision I'll be making in 2013...
    I'll be watching Craigslist for deals on gas powered gennys right after the new year. Since a lot of folks around here bought them as a precaution for Sandy, I expect there'll be some good deals on low hour gennys.
    Little bit longer term, it'll be a PTO driven genny between 12kW and 15kW.

    My opinion is a diesel genny is the best bet, and I have a nice diesel in a Deere 4400. I'm not going to be running the machine 24/7 and if I do need the tractor for another task, I'll just disconnect the genny as required.

    I don't mind keeping diesel fuel around...but I really don't want to be holding more then 5 gallons of gasoline.
    Roy Jackson

    "Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one."
    -Joseph P. Martino

  6. #6
    Veteran Member nybirdman's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    north of upstate ny
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    Kubota L4240 HSTC,L3000DT

    Default Re: PTO vs Gas Engine Generator

    Quote Originally Posted by Verticaltrx View Post
    I'm thinking about the same thing, but also am factoring in that I might want to be off the grid someday. In addition to the house we also have a barn where we need to run a milker. Currently we have oil heat, so I've got 200 gal of #2 off-road diesel available as long as I keep the tank topped off. The way I see it is as follows:

    -PTO generator. Very reliable, fairly easy to hook up, our smallest tractor (B3200) would power most everything and I think would still be fairly efficient. Good supply of fuel on hand. Not good for much other than powering the home and farm.

    -Stand Alone diesel generator. Once in position it should be easy to hook up. Reliable as long as it is maintained and run. Very expensive per KW compared to the PTO model, but would probably use less fuel. Plenty of fuel on hand. A reasonably sized one could also be used around the farm and job site for powering tools, etc.

    -Welder/Generator (10K, 200amp welding). Would be looking at Gas powered as a Diesel version is big $$$. Reliability and ease of use should be the same as the stand alone diesel. Don't have a ready supply of fuel on the farm, but could keep several cans of gas on hand. Would definitely get the most use between the three options and might be the best value.

    Granted, these observations are pertaining to my situation, but the thought process is the same. Balancing needs vs wants, costs vs returns, and ease of use vs reliability(which includes availability of fuel.) In the OP's situation I'd go with either of the PTO models, if the only thing it would ever be used for is backup power. Also, don't worry about putting a lot of hours on a tractor by running one. I doubt that even 5% of members on this site will ever 'wear out' a tractor from extended use.
    Gas welders are very tough on gas.Better have more than a couple cans.

  7. #7
    Elite Member dex3361's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
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    3,569
    Location
    N. of Charleston WV
    Tractor
    Kubota L4400-1 HST,FEL, 3x3 remotes, TNT. BX1500 54 mmm

    Default Re: PTO vs Gas Engine Generator

    We had a 9 day power outage that took nearly the whole state out of power. I learned that when the few gas stations that were open ran out of gas they still had diesel. I now keep 100 gallons of diesel on hand. So I am going to make sure that my system and back up is diesel powered. I have a small air cooled 6.5KW that I will normally use. If I need more power or my primary fails my back up is going to be the HF PTO generator.
    Randall



    1Timothy Chapter 2:
    3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
    4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
    5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
    From: The HOLY BIBLE

  8. #8
    Gold Member
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    Mar 2011
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    384
    Location
    Florida Ma.
    Tractor
    Ford 1720 SSS 4x4

    Default Re: PTO vs Gas Engine Generator

    I'd go with the PTO unit for several reasons.
    First I would not hesitate to run my tractor 24/7, BUT not unattended unless I installed a safety shutdown system for over-temp/low oil pressure. This could be done rather easily & fairly cheap (in my opinion).
    My Ford 1720 is always ready to run and I have 275 gallons of diesel in the garage for it and also my heating oil tank in the house is also between 3/4 & full.
    The price per KW for a PTO unit is much cheaper than a stand lone gas, propane or diesel unit.
    You have 2 tractors available in the very unlikely situation 1 should go down.
    12kw is a lot of power & most likely more than you could use unless you had electric heat.
    Your portable could be used for those instances when the tractor is needed for jobs such as moving snow or maintaince.
    A portable gas unit is subject to fuel issues if you let it set too long. And storing Gasoline is unsafe; it also has very short shelf life unlike diesel which will keep for years.
    As we have seen gasoline quickly becomes an issue when there is a widespread power outage or disaster, but diesel appears to be still available.
    The engines in your tractors are designed for many thousands of hours of use and running them at PTO rated speed of approx 2400 rpm on the Ford is not going to hurt them or decrease the service life by any measurable account.
    The above opinion is based on my personal experience as I have a 25kw pto Generac unit and 2 Generac portables and 1 diesel portable.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member MikeInEburg's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
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    954
    Location
    Emmitsburg, MD
    Tractor
    Kubota B7800

    Default

    I also have this decision in the very near future. I expect to go with PTO for the reasons given in earlier posts. The next decision is which PTO generator. My goal is 10K watts. I'd prefer quality voltage regulation and I fear that Harbor Freight or Northern Tool units may be lacking. I like the unit by IMD (imdllc.com) - but they're a touch out of my budget. Because of how my electrical system is laid out, my only viable interconnection choice is a Generlink meter-base transfer switch, with an "installed" price tag of over $1100.00. In the end, she REALLY likes the ability to flush...

    "As you go through life, make this your goal: watch the donut, not the hole"

    Kubota B7800
    BH-75A Backhoe
    Rhino 60'' finish mower

  10. #10
    New Member
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    May 2010
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    Location
    Northeastern Pennsylvania
    Tractor
    Ford 1715 and Kubota B3200

    Default Re: PTO vs Gas Engine Generator

    Thanks everyone for the good input. This past summer I built a shed just to store fuel in. It is not near any other structures. In the winter I keep 30 gallons of gas on hand (2 days worth for my gas generator). I label the date purchased and treat it with Sta-bil Marine Formula. I will keep the fuel for 3 months and then use it either in my truck or car. In the summer I only keep 5 gallons treated unless there is a storm forecasted. Then I will have 15 gallons. I never did think of the heating fuel in the basement as a fuel source until you all mentioned it. Thanks.
    90Cummins how would I go about installing a low oil/over temp shutdown on my tractors?

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