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  1. #21
    Elite Member Rob-D's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    3,078
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    Catskills
    Tractor
    John Deere 3320

    Default Re: PTO generator

    The first thing you want to do is access you loads and needs. Buy something called a Killawatt P3 to measure your usages on appliances. Next make a dedicated electrical box with all your critical needs, oil burner, well pump, freezer, fridge, etc. When you're done with all that get a gen that will cover your dedicated box with 25 to 30% reserve. This way you'll only use the energy you'll need to run your house. Getting a gen that is several times your needs means you're wasting energy. Even though at lower loads the draw is less you still lose out. What yuo want to do is have your fuel last as long as possible. This way you have a longer running time and can last through longer outages.

    Rob

  2. #22
    Veteran Member GPintheMitten's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
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    1,648
    Location
    Flushing, Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota B2620, Ford 2N

    Default

    We are considering a generator for our place in mid-Michigan. The problem I have with the pto option is that I only have 1 tractor. I might have other problems if the power goes out, like maybe a foot of snow.

    I may end up getting a portable gasolne unit in the range of 4000 to 6500 watt. I haven't added up essential circuits yet. But it will be the well, forced air gas furnace, 2 sump pumps, 2 refrigerators, 2 small freezers, and a few lights and the computer and internet, and the coffee pot.

    If I end up with a second tractor, I may someday get a small pto generator.

  3. #23
    Elite Member Rob-D's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    Catskills
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    John Deere 3320

    Default Re: PTO generator

    Quote Originally Posted by GPintheMitten View Post
    We are considering a generator for our place in mid-Michigan. The problem I have with the pro option is that I only have 1 tractor. I might have other problems if the power goes out, like maybe a foot of snow.

    I may end up getting a portable gasolene unit in the range of 4000 to 6500 watt. I haven't added up essential circuits yet. But it will be the well, forced air gas furnace, 2 sump pumps, 2 refrigerators, 2 small freezers, and a few lights and the computer and internet, and the coffee pot.

    If I end up with a second tractor, I may someday get a small pro generator.
    Wells run 220, make sure you have that option when you shop.
    Rob

  4. #24
    Veteran Member GPintheMitten's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
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    Flushing, Michigan
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    Kubota B2620, Ford 2N

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob-D

    Wells run 220, make sure you have that option when you shop.
    Yep, will do.

  5. #25
    Platinum Member npalen's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
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    664
    Location
    Beloit, KS
    Tractor
    Kubota B9200 HSTD and Allis 720

    Default Re: PTO generator

    There must be a reason why a PTO generator can't be run direct mounted to the tractor PTO but if would make a cleaner setup by eliminating the PTO shaft.

  6. #26
    Bronze Member Stewie1's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
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    56
    Location
    Deep River, Ontario
    Tractor
    Kubota b3200hst

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GPintheMitten
    We are considering a generator for our place in mid-Michigan. The problem I have with the pto option is that I only have 1 tractor. I might have other problems if the power goes out, like maybe a foot of snow.
    I 'only' have one tractor as well but opted for the PTO option as I have heard of too many standalone units being hard to start when needed. As mentioned above, my tractor always starts.....

    I thought about the other jobs I would need the tractor for (snow, fallen trees, etc) and figured that we would not be powering the house full time, even with a sizable generator. Instead I plan to power the house for a while to run the furnace (oil) well, freezers, microwave etc for an hour or so and then go dark till we had another electrical need, largely driven by heating needs. I could then do the other tractor chores. I figure the generator is emergency backup so we do not need it on 24/7 if the power is out.

    I ended up with the northern tool 7200W unit and am happy so far but have not used for a long run yet, but have trial powered the whole house when we had our generator hookup installed.

    Stewie

  7. #27
    Elite Member Rob-D's Avatar
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    Catskills
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    John Deere 3320

    Default Re: PTO generator

    Quote Originally Posted by npalen View Post
    There must be a reason why a PTO generator can't be run direct mounted to the tractor PTO but if would make a cleaner setup by eliminating the PTO shaft.
    You really don't want that type of connection. Attachments move around vibrate and bounce up and down, you want a flexible link to prevent that from being transmitted to the gearbox.
    Rob

  8. #28
    New Member
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    May 2006
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    17
    Location
    Vermont
    Tractor
    Kubota B7300 (2000)

    Default Re: PTO generator

    Back in Oct 2011, following the local devastation of TS Irene, I started a thread about PTO Generators...that being said, I feel for this thread starter.

    Like house or car insurance, when you have a house fire or car accident, that is not the time to be shopping for insurance. The same can be said for backup or standby power. The time to buy is when you are not being influenced by the sales guy saying "this is the last one" like my neighbor did just yesterday....ending up with something way smaller and much less than he both wanted or needed.

    I have had two generators. First a gasoline powered unit that was 4000w and it did a decent job. However, as has been stated, it was another engine, and if not run all the time, may or may not start when wanted or needed. It also could only power certain items and the extension cord switch got to be a pain. My second is my current PTO genset. My tractor is run frequently and gets frequent service. I know it will both start and run.

    As for many discussions about what to run...when the power is out, my house takes precedence over most other needs. While living in the Northeast where we are subject to snow as well, with my genset on the PTO, I counter balance with my front loader, which if needed, I can use to push a path to the road and then reconnect genset to the house when done...that short down time will not hurt anything in the house.

    No matter which way you go, I strongly suggest bringing in a qualified electrician early in your planning. I did and knew up front what was going to be needed to get on line up front beyond the genset. I opted for the double throw connection vs the selected circuit route. I connect to the house and the house is powered. I choose not to run high consumption appliances such as my electric range, electric dryer and other heater type appliances during a power outage. But I do not have to worry about walking into a room and being able to flip the light switch...they are all connected.

    Go in knowing what you have to power the generator and what your needs are and you will probably come out feeling good that you have done your homework and have covered all bases. With a tractor, yes, a small engine can run a larger generator, but at what cost. Larger units cost much more and also consume more energy to get up to power...and will choke a smaller engine if you try to draw more power than the tractor can generate.

    So, for now, grin and bare it, but as soon as you can, start the process to find your power insurance for the next outage.

  9. #29
    Veteran Member nybirdman's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    2,008
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    north of upstate ny
    Tractor
    Kubota L4240 HSTC,L3000DT

    Default Re: PTO generator

    I am in the camp with PTO driven generators.Mine is a 10K and will power my house and garage.Snow removal and down trees can wait.As stated you don't need to run it 24 hours a day.I know my tractor has plenty of fuel and will start.

  10. #30
    Elite Member zzvyb6's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
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    Location
    michigan
    Tractor
    jd 1070

    Default Re: PTO generator

    Quote Originally Posted by GPintheMitten View Post
    We are considering a generator for our place in mid-Michigan. The problem I have with the pto option is that I only have 1 tractor. I might have other problems if the power goes out, like maybe a foot of snow.

    If I end up with a second tractor, I may someday get a small pto generator.
    You only need one tractor. Even if there is two feet of snow, some downed trees and some cars to be pulled out of a ditch, you don't need to keep the thing hooked up and running 24/7. You heat up the house, tank some water, take a shower, fill the horse's water troughs, do some laundry, get some news and then shut it down. You may have to screw some doors shut to keep teenagers from standing in the doorway for a few hours with the ddors wide open trying to Tweet their friends in order to save the heat, but I only need to run mine for an hour or so to get things up to temp. Then you shut it down. In fact, I can plow with my Winpower on the back. Just be sure to pull off the connector plug. Same for Summer. I have insulation in my house. I run the A/C to cool it down to 72. Then shut it off. Around here you don't need to plow snow in the Summer, maybe move a few fallen trees or branches, though, but so what, the gas stations and food markets are probably out of power too, so there's no need to go anywhere, eh?

    Plus, with someadvanced planning, you can go over to the neighbors and get them heat, water and a cold one.
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