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  1. #1
    Silver Member genusCastor's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
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    East Texas prairie
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    Mahindra 3510 w/FEL

    Default Tractor Performance: diesel vs gas

    Howdy all, new to the forum here.

    I'm planning to buy a smallish farm tractor, prolly less than 50 HP. I'm interested in opinions about the difference between diesel and gas engines, in regards to overall tractor performance. What preference do you have and why?

    - djb
    The best things in life aren't things.

    2003 Mahindra 3510 with front end loader
    2010 Dixie Chopper 2550 ZTM: 25 hp Kohler, 50" cut
    2008 Kubota RTV900

  2. #2
    Elite Member WilliamBos's Avatar
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    May 2004
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    4,606
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    Innisfil, Ontario, Canada
    Tractor
    MF 1635 12x12 Powershuttle

    Default Re: Tractor Performance: diesel vs gas

    Quote Originally Posted by genusCastor View Post
    Howdy all, new to the forum here.

    I'm planning to buy a smallish farm tractor, prolly less than 50 HP. I'm interested in opinions about the difference between diesel and gas engines, in regards to overall tractor performance. What preference do you have and why?

    - djb
    Honestly, I would not touch a gas tractor with a ten foot pole. Fuel usage, spark/ignition system, torque, would be my biggest reasons why.

    There are probably a few exceptions to the rule, but they are probably a small elite few.
    Thanks,

    Will


    I do not care if someone's net nanny is watching!! You need to stop...

  3. #3
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    18,341
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    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Tractor Performance: diesel vs gas

    You may just be asking an impossible question!

    The answerer you are looking for is so vague as to be almost indecipherable.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  4. #4
    Super Member
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    Sep 2000
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    6,595

    Default Re: Tractor Performance: diesel vs gas

    Quote Originally Posted by genusCastor View Post
    Howdy all, new to the forum here.

    I'm planning to buy a smallish farm tractor, prolly less than 50 HP. I'm interested in opinions about the difference between diesel and gas engines, in regards to overall tractor performance. What preference do you have and why?

    - djb
    Gas tractors use 50% more fuel per hp

    jb

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
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    Nov 2005
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    1,138

    Default Re: Tractor Performance: diesel vs gas

    In the old days, a gallon of diesel contained significantly more energy than a gallon of gas, 20% or so better fuel economy was common. That is changing as the tree-huggers are forceing the use of lower sulfer diesel, and it probably wont be long until a gallon of gas can produce just as much work as a gallon of "environmentally friendly" diesel. This spring, I could get a gallon of gas more than $1.00 a gallon cheaper than a gallon of diesel, and this made a gas tractor cost effective for getting work done. I would not be suprised to see a comeback of gas tractors, or even more likely, natural gas in the coming years.

  6. #6
    Elite Member WilliamBos's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    4,606
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    Innisfil, Ontario, Canada
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    MF 1635 12x12 Powershuttle

    Default Re: Tractor Performance: diesel vs gas

    Quote Originally Posted by wolc123 View Post
    In the old days, a gallon of diesel contained significantly more energy than a gallon of gas, 20% or so better fuel economy was common. That is changing as the tree-huggers are forceing the use of lower sulfer diesel, and it probably wont be long until a gallon of gas can produce just as much work as a gallon of "environmentally friendly" diesel. This spring, I could get a gallon of gas more than $1.00 a gallon cheaper than a gallon of diesel, and this made a gas tractor cost effective for getting work done. I would not be suprised to see a comeback of gas tractors, or even more likely, natural gas in the coming years.
    Gas tractors will not be coming back. Gasser still cannot compete with the torque of a diesel, or the displacement of diesel engine vs a gasser of the same power.

    1 gallon may be cheaper, but for those who farm, or even the hobby farmer, over the long run the diesel is cheaper. Also, no spark plugs, or wires, among other things, maintenance costs are lower.
    Thanks,

    Will


    I do not care if someone's net nanny is watching!! You need to stop...

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    Jul 2003
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    1,763
    Location
    Central VA, USA
    Tractor
    Mahindra 6000 MWFD, 2 1950's Farmalls, 1974 Farmall 140, 1967 Mf 135Delux

    Default Re: Tractor Performance: diesel vs gas

    I almost hate to see questions such as "gas or diesel?". You used to be able to get more out of gallon diesel than a gallon of gas....who knows with ULSD what that end result will be on that score....It could almost be too close to call...as far as torque, diesels have it hands down....as far as maintenance, I find it almost a draw with the gasser a tad easier to maintain (I'm speaking of older gas iron that use battery/coil ignitions). In this regard, any decent shade tree mechanic can tune a 4 or even a 6 cyl gas engine....a well tuned gas engine stays tuned for quite some time (as they usually only turn up less than 1900 rpm to produce their HP and Torque). I can and have tuned a bunch of them, re-did a couple that had God only knows how many thousand hrs on them...carbs are easy to bring back to useful life...I can't say that about injector pumps....hope I never have to buy one of those... End result? who knows, I've got both gas and diesel...love em' all! just some thoughts BobG in VA

  8. #8
    Gold Member jaybrad's Avatar
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    May 2008
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    459
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    Central Maine
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson GC 2310TLB

    Default Re: Tractor Performance: diesel vs gas

    BobG, Do they still make gas tractors with carburetors? I haven't seen a carb on anything larger than a lawn mower or generator in a long time. Just one of those things I figured had been replaced on larger engines.

    A like my little diesel a lot - and one of the reasons is fuel storage. Diesel is much less volatile.

    I have fond memories of growing up crank starting the old gasoline powered International Super C (and others), but am glad to now be in the diesel world.

    Jay

  9. #9
    Platinum Member WH401's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
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    Southern Maryland

    Default Re: Tractor Performance: diesel vs gas

    The only upside to a gas tractor is your not killing yourself as severly with the gas fumes.
    FOR SALE 2006 JD 3320 PowrReverser w/ 300cx Loader, 61" HD Bucket w/ Toothbar, Horst Fixed Forks, IMatch, Ballast Box, Filled R4's, Vertical Exhaust, Warning Light Brush Guards, Auxiliary Forward Lighting Kit, Rear Work Light, 68" Ratchet Rake, & a Woods PRD7200 Finish Mower
    2004 JD Gator 6x4
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  10. #10
    Gold Member jaybrad's Avatar
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    May 2008
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    Location
    Central Maine
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson GC 2310TLB

    Default Re: Tractor Performance: diesel vs gas

    Quote Originally Posted by WH401 View Post
    The only upside to a gas tractor is your not killing yourself as severly with the gas fumes.
    Ah, but I like the smell of a diesel (tractor) on a fall morning.

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