Cold temps and tractors?

   / Cold temps and tractors? #1  


Veteran Member
Apr 30, 2011
Jackson, NY
Kubota L2501
Ok so as some of you know I'm pretty new to owning diesel equipment.
I guess my main question is is it harmful to run the tractor in single digit weather?
I'm assuming as long as you let it warm up some and work the hydraulics back and forth before using them. I typically can wait until the weather warms up some, I only use it to move some firewood on half pallets.
My nephew had trouble with his tractor yesterday and I told him it was just too cold to bother but he finally got it running.
What say you all?
   / Cold temps and tractors? #2  
Not at all, Just let it warm up and work the hyd slowly and youll be fine. Deisels work every day all over the world in extreme cold no problem.
   / Cold temps and tractors? #3  
^^^^^^ I agree. Fuel gelling can be more of a challenge than actual cold weather operation.
   / Cold temps and tractors? #4  
Your on the right track about warm up time and working hyd. before use,also fuel anti gel keep the battery strong,also if you have engine heater use,do walk and look about make sure mice etc. hasn't made nest etc.
   / Cold temps and tractors? #5  
When mine is warming up at 1200 rpms I engage the PTO also.
   / Cold temps and tractors? #6  
I work the FEL - engage the PTO - work the rear 3-point - reconsider if doing anything in this cold wx is REALY worth it. Get it all warm - shut it down. Go back in the house and have a hot cup of coffee laced with Drambouie.
   / Cold temps and tractors? #7  
I keep my B2920 in an unheated garage and in upstate NY when you have snow to plow, you cant wait for warm weather. I’ve owned 2 Kubotas and years ago I used to drive Cat Dozers. With proper maintenance, good batteries, fuel treatment if needed and sufficient warm up, Diesel’s run just fine in the cold. We just experienced 4 days hovering near and below 0 and I had no issues.
   / Cold temps and tractors? #8  
Ran mine for 3 hours warming up and plowing after it sat for 4 weeks in teens and single digit nightly lows. Cranked right up and let it run for 40 min. I use the White antigel...all worked well.
   / Cold temps and tractors? #9  
It also helps to add an electric battery blanket and block heater. I have the blanket, and went to start my tractor yesterday morning when it was 6 out. Engine would not start. Plugged in the battery blanket and came back 2 hours later when it was 9 out, and it started no problem.

If you are buying a tractor from the dealer, have them add a block heater. You can get the battery blanket easily yourself. Mine wraps around all 4 sides of the battery and you zip tie it to the battery to keep it snug.
   / Cold temps and tractors? #10  
I try & get the block heater (on a remote controlled switch) plugged in if I might need the tractor in the cold. It starts easier & is kinder to the machine. But I wont hesitate to use it in the cold if I need it, regardless of the block heater.

Diesels run on heat. If it's cold many, especially older machines couldnt easily get warm enough to self-combust. Oils are thicker in the cold, so i give it a minute or so to warm up once its started. But the best way to heat the machine up is to work it. Oil is going to be everywhere it needs to be pretty quick, so there is no need to let it sit & idle for a long time. Idling kills modern emissions systems, doesnt generate much heat & wastes fuel.

Diesel fuel gelling is likely to be the biggest issue if you are unprepared. Get a bottle of Power Service 911 (red bottle) & hope you never need it (it's a pain & a little harder on the fuel system). Getting fuel for your climate and/or treating it is key. I use Power Service white bottle ontop of only buying fuel (300 gallon tank in the barn) in the winter. Any competent local fuel supplier will blend their fall & winter fuel to not tell at the lowest local temperatures. Treating it makes sure I wont have issues.