Tractors & Diesel: 8 Quick Answers (For Beginners)

Diesel engine tractors

Most heavy-loaded vehicles and tractors use diesel because it emits a high torque which is critical to take the high weight. 

Using another fuel in a diesel engine can present several challenges that can even destroy the engine. 

There are also so many questions relating to diesel and tractors that remain unanswered. Here, we focus on answering such questions to enable you to operate your tractor efficiently. 

Will A Diesel Tractor Run On Kerosene?

It always depends on the type of engine that you have. For most engines, kerosene burns effectively without damaging them.

Kerosene is developed from a distilling process that transforms it into pure fuel. This means that it lacks the additives found in diesel. It, therefore, makes kerosine burn faster than diesel. 

If you operate with kerosene in your diesel engine, your injector pump will be under strain unless you incorporate the right lubricant into the fuel. 

We recommend that you add one quart of Marvel Mystery Oil for every 20-gallons of kerosine in your tank. However, never use kerosene in a diesel engine unless the owner’s manual has it as an approved fuel. You can also check with the manufacturer. 

One benefit of using kerosene in your engine is that it doesn’t gel easily like diesel. You can therefore use it during summer and resume diesel usage during summer. 

Kerosene also burns cooler than diesel, thus lowering your gas mileage and reducing the engine power. 

Can Tractors Run On Biodiesel?

Conventional diesel vehicles and biodiesel are one and the same thing. Even though heavy-, light-, and medium-duty vehicles aren’t technically alternative fuel vehicles, they’re are capable of operating on biodiesel blends. 

All the tractors developed since 1989 and before the introduction of common-rail injection systems in 2002 can operate on pure biodiesel with some small modifications. However, later models with common-rail engines are approved for burning only a 5% blend. 

Nowadays, most tractors engines can operate efficiently on B20, which involves 20% biodiesel/80% petrodiesel. You need to go through your owner’s manual to see what it says. 

Why Tractors Are Diesel Powered?

The main reason diesel is used in large vehicles such as tractors and trucks rather than petrol is that diesel engines generate more torque than gasoline-powered engines. 

However, diesel engines generate less horsepower than comparably-sized gasoline-powered engines at a certain RPM. This can be attributed to the RPM maximum of diesel engines being almost half that of gasoline engines.

Therefore, a diesel engine will always generate more horsepower until it reaches the RPM maximum. 

However, low-end torque is critical in the tractor or trucking business. The diesel engine’s capacity to generate horsepower and torque at low RPM is critical for pulling heavy loads. Whether a tractor is driving on a flat road or in the mountains for hours, it requires fuels and engines that generate a high amount of torque.

Diesel engines give out more torque than gasoline engines, thanks to the fact that diesel fuel has a higher compression resistance than gasoline. 

How Much Diesel Does A Tractor Use Per Hour?

The amount of diesel fuel that a traitor consumes per hour is determined by several factors. Fuel consumption for a 310 horsepower tractor is estimated at about 13.6 gallons per hour.

To minimize your tractor’s fuel per hour, you need to utilize tractor power effectively. Some factors determine how much diesel fuel your tractor uses per hour and include the type of plow you use, the soil moisture, type of tractor, and operating speed. 

You need to understand that a higher diesel consumption per hour translates into higher fuel costs. 

Do Diesel Tractors Have Glow Plugs?

Yes Absolutely. However, most big diesel tractors and engines don’t have glow plugs. Only the smaller engines require glow plugs since they have a relatively high surface area and decreased volume. A diesel engine requires heat from compressing air quickly in the cylinder. 

You might be wondering how long will glow plugs last? The average glow plug’s life on a diesel engine is about 100,000 miles. This is, therefore, not something you need to worry about time and again. 

This doesn’t mean that glow plugs can’t fail before the 100,000 miles mark. In fact, they can fail sooner if you employ a low-quality glow plug or you hard start frequently. 

What Diesel Engine Has Spark Plugs?

No diesel engine has spark plugs. You need to understand that a diesel engine is very different from a gas engine which needs spark plugs to create a spark to ignite gasoline and develop the piston’s combustion stroke. 

Instead, diesel engines are designed with glow plugs and ignition to heat the combustion chamber to facilitate ignition if the engine is cold. 

A spark plug isn’t necessary with diesel engines since you don’t need to light the fuel. The glow plug is only used for heating the combustion chamber. 

Do All Tractors Use Diesel?

No, all tractors don’t use diesel. In fact, there are so many gasoline-powered tractors that you can purchase on the market. 

Therefore, it’s critical that you check the type of fuel your tractor uses immediately after purchasing it. Always use proper fuel in your tractor to avoid damaging it. 

To check for the type of fuel that your tractor uses:

  • Check the label near the tractor’s fuel cap
  • Check the display screen
  • Go through the owner’s manual
  • Research the specific tractor
  • Call the manufacturer directly to confirm

Can Tractors Use Red Diesel On The Road?

Employing red diesel is only legal in tractors used purely for agricultural purposes. This means that if you take on non-agricultural tasks at times, then you should employ white fuel for all the work. 

Red diesel is illegal since it contains a lower fuel duty applied to the fuel. However, the fuel isn’t designated for use on public roads. Using fuel on a public road is always considered tax evasion, thus illegal. 

We, therefore, recommend that you stick to white diesel if you don’t want the long arm of the law to catch up with you.