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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    May 2009
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    157
    Location
    Kerrville TX
    Tractor
    PoiwerTrac 2445

    Default Propane as Tractor fuel

    Gents,
    Newbie here,
    I did a search of this discussion line and did not find any reference to using Propane as fuel in tractors or small engines.
    I remember on of my Uncles used Propane in his Ford tractor in the 50's - 60's. He was a big fan and was satisfied that due to the lack of combustion byproducts the engine wear was minimal and engine life extended. Oil always looked like it came from the can.

    If anyone has Propane experience, I'd like to hear your story.
    Rgds
    tim
    "It's only Me 'n I'm home from the Sea..."

  2. #2
    Gold Member rdbigfarmboy's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    401
    Location
    Collinwood, TN
    Tractor
    1

    Default Re: Propane as Tractor fuel

    Propane was big in the middle of the country in the 50 to late 70s. Im looking for a good 50 - 80 hp propane tractor in my area.
    Nothing new sold.

  3. #3
    Super Star Member Diamondpilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    14,531
    Location
    Daleville, IN
    Tractor
    Jinma 254/284 Ford 861 Powermaster at work

    Default Re: Propane as Tractor fuel

    Propane was a fad back form the 30's to the 70's but when diesels got better they went by by. Propane has less btu's compared to gas so if a conversion was done you would lose about 15% of the power.

    Chris

  4. #4
    Elite Member Ductape's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    4,855
    Location
    Central New Hampshire
    Tractor
    Kubota B3030HSDC

    Default Re: Propane as Tractor fuel

    I consider propane a sham around here. It wouldn't make any money-sense........ especially after paying all the hidden safety/delivery/maintainance/haz-mat/tank rental/etc/etc fees the propane companies charge.

  5. #5
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    16,854
    Location
    First organized permanent settlement in the northwest territory
    Tractor
    2003 Kubota BX1500/2004 Kubota Bx23/2005 Kubota BX1500

    Default Re: Propane as Tractor fuel

    Isn't Propane more costly than diesel ?
    Tractors 2003 Kubota BX1500 / 2004 Kubota Bx23 / 2005 Kubota BX1500.
    Attachments 60'' Front Blade/48'' Rear Tiller/FEL/Back Hoe /
    60'' MMM/Clamp on Forks/48'' MMM
    South of Canton Ohio L .B

  6. #6
    Elite Member ToadHill's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    2,711
    Location
    Catt county New York
    Tractor
    Kioti DK35, Ford 8N, Oliver Cletrac

    Default Re: Propane as Tractor fuel

    Not around here, but it shouldn't since it's a byproduct of other production processes.
    I can't control my day but I can control my attitude.

  7. #7
    Elite Member RalphVa's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    3,838
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA, USA
    Tractor
    JD 1025, previously Gravely 5650 & JD 4010

    Default Re: Propane as Tractor fuel

    Propane's A LOT more dangerous to have around. I worked with it as a chemical engineer for 31 years. We either had it as a refrigerant or as a combined refrigerant and solvent in the whole plant. The stuff pools because it's heavier than air. Of course, the butane additive in gasoline is equally as dangerous because it will pool in low spots.

    I remember our tractor running it in the 50s. Had A LOT more power when we switched back to gasoline when the propane tank ran out, as it didn't last that long. The tractor almost leaped into the air with all that new power.

    Think most of your engine wear is at startup if you use too heavy an oil or one with too big a 1st number, e.g. like 15w30 instead of 5w30 or 0w30. The oil pump just won't pick it up quick enough to provide lubrication to the overhead valve train.

    Think the reason we used it in the 50s is that it was very cheap. Don't think it's really any cheaper than gasoline now, if you figure in the BTU/gallon of about 1/3 less. Propane density is 4.23 #/Gallon vs. about 7.5 #/gallon for gasoline. This is approximately the ratio of the Btu, e.g. 4.23/7.5.

    Ralph
    The natural gardener
    God's original intent

  8. #8
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    157
    Location
    Kerrville TX
    Tractor
    PoiwerTrac 2445

    Default Re: Propane as Tractor fuel

    I've seen where Propane is injected in diesel engines to aid combustion and where city busses and / or other engines have been converted to propane as it appears to be cleaner burning than gasoline.
    It seems the consensus is that it is not economical to switch at todays prices.
    There may be enviromental or political (buy US not Saudi) to convert but these do not seem to factor in to the discussion.
    Rgds,
    tim
    "It's only Me 'n I'm home from the Sea..."

  9. #9
    Platinum Member ampsucker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    569
    Location
    Southeast Kansas
    Tractor
    BX24

    Default Re: Propane as Tractor fuel

    agree with previous posts but will also add: main advantage of propane is long storage periods with no worry of fouling. we use it for the backup generator for this reason. in a tractor that is stored for long periods without use, i could see it being a plus. otherwise, there is no cost or btu/unit benefit to going with propane.

    amp
    Kubota BX24 (loader, hoe, 60" belly); Ford 800 tractor; Scott's/Deere 42" mower; 5' and 6' rear blade; 54" Howse tiller; 20' 7,000 lb carhauler trailer; 2 other trailers; 5' dethatcher; 10" single bottom moldboard plow; middle buster plow; 600 lb roller; 3pt auger; front tire chains; Stihl and Honda small engine equip.

    Growing with you season by season.

  10. #10
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Propane as Tractor fuel

    I am looking for a propane tractor to use around my acreage. I contracted propane this year for $1.30/ gallon. Diesel is $2.80 (on road). Gas is $2.55. Propane doesn't go bad. It burns clean. I already have a truck come out and fill a 500 gallon tank whenever I need it. I have to go into town to buy gas in 5 gallon cans. Safety? All the fuels are flammable, so don't light them on fire when it is uncontrolled. Propane is no worse than gas. They even trust most people to use propane in their BBQ grill.

    Why wouldn't I use propane?

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