Tractor Engine and fuels

Jul 12, 2010 Click:0

The predecessors of modern tractors, traction engines, used steam engines for power. Since the turn of the 20th century, internal combustion engines have been the power source of choice. Between 1900 and 1960, gasoline was the predominant fuel, with kerosene and ethanol being common alternatives. Generally one engine could burn any of those, although cold starting was easiest on gasoline. Often a small auxiliary fuel tank was available to hold gasoline for cold starting and warm-up, while the main fuel tank held whatever fuel was most convenient or least expensive for the particular farmer. Dieselisation gained momentum starting in the 1960s, and modern farm tractors usually employ diesel engines, which range in power output from 18 to 575 horsepower (15 to 480 kW). Size and output are dependent on application, with smaller tractors for lawn mowing, landscaping, orchard work, and truck farming, and larger tractors for vast fields of wheat, maize, soy, and other bulk crops. Liquified petroleum gas (LPG) or propane also have been used as tractor fuels, but require special pressurized fuel tanks and filling equipment so are less prevalent in most markets.