Winter fuel, additive?
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    Ridgeracing's Avatar
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    Winter fuel, additive?

    I know this is a wide open subject, but my tractor will sit outside for weeks in 0-15 deg. Temps. I will have a battery tendor on it and possibly block heater. What is the best thing to do for fuel? Additive? Worried about jelling etc.

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    John R's Avatar
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    JD does have a fuel additive for winter time use to prevent gelling.
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    John

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    Drifterbike's Avatar
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    I use the John Deere winter additive in my 50 gallon fuel tank. It in a pint bottle, that treats 50 gallons so it works fine. I refill it every November and have never had a problem. On your block heater don't leave it plugged in for long term. I was told to use it 1 hour before you want to start it. I had a friend who plugged his in for a week and it's expensive. Good luck
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    Use JD Diesel Fuel Protect Winter Formula here also. It performed well last year during the 0-degree snap.
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    2012 2720 -- 200CX Loader -- 54" Quick Attach Snow Blower -- Frontier LR5060 Rake -- Land Pride RB1660 Blade (Hydraulic Angle) -- Artillian 42" Forks -- Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks -- Fit Rite Hydraulic top-link -- 2013 X500 for mowing duties

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    Ridgeracing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drifterbike View Post
    I use the John Deere winter additive in my 50 gallon fuel tank. It in a pint bottle, that treats 50 gallons so it works fine. I refill it every November and have never had a problem. On your block heater don't leave it plugged in for long term. I was told to use it 1 hour before you want to start it. I had a friend who plugged his in for a week and it's expensive. Good luck
    The problem I have, I drive 5hrs to get to camp. I need it to start asap so I can get into camp. I am nervous about leaving it on, especially it may be 2-3 weeks till I get to camp at times. I wonder just how much it will cost in electric 10-20$ a month?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridgeracing View Post
    The problem I have, I drive 5hrs to get to camp. I need it to start asap so I can get into camp. I am nervous about leaving it on, especially it may be 2-3 weeks till I get to camp at times. I wonder just how much it will cost in electric 10-20$ a month?
    Are you certain that you really even need a block heater to get the tractor started? My tractor lives in an unheated garage and even down to zero degrees it still starts fairly easily. I let it warm up a few minutes and it is ready to go.
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    Though I do not have direct experience with these, how about a web enabled receptacle if you have internet access at your camp? Then you can activate it on your drive up. I have a wireless thermostat that I bumped up this evening on my drive back from the Thanksgiving weekend, similar idea.

    Don't have internet access there ... how about a "smart timer" that will turn on your block heater every week about a couple of hours before you would usually arrive? I assume that you are driving to your camp on say Friday evenings for the weekend? Skip a weekend, then you run the block heater for a couple of hours once a week, which is a lot cheaper than running it all the time.

    Driving up on "random ... any possible evening"? Then use a timer to turn on the block heater for an hour or so every day for the time you usually arrive. Still better than running it full time.

    Driving up on at any random day/time? I got no other ideas other than keeping it on full time. The only thing that worries me is the life hours of the heater. I don't know of any company that has data on its life if plugged in continuously.

    One other thing is that most people use a block heater for easier starting. Lots of people don't use them and it may be a little rough to start, but it usually starts. Just let it warm up by itself for a few minutes before starting work. Major thing is to treat the fuel to prevent gelling, which you should do anyways.

    Just my 2 cents.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridgeracing View Post
    The problem I have, I drive 5hrs to get to camp. I need it to start asap so I can get into camp. I am nervous about leaving it on, especially it may be 2-3 weeks till I get to camp at times. I wonder just how much it will cost in electric 10-20$ a month?
    Block Heater normally are around 1000 watts so at .07-.15 KWH a hour when on depending on your rates. To run one 24 hours a day for a month using 1,000 watts @.15 KWH your looking at $106.00 a month! I never use a block heater on my JD4044M tractor and it gets down to zero off and on. I use a Anti Gel in my Fuel there are several types out there that work fine. I also never use a Battery Tender and sometimes my tractor sits a week or so with out starting and my little ranger pickup sits all winter 5-6 months and starts right up in the spring. Long as there is no drain on it and it is a good battery I see no reason for one? Been doing this for 2 years now with my JD never used a block heater on my old Gas Tractors and they started a little harder but still did. The JD is a diesel and has a heater/glow plugs I just turn the key on till the Heater Symbol goes off then start it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridgeracing View Post
    I know this is a wide open subject, but my tractor will sit outside for weeks in 0-15 deg. Temps. I will have a battery tendor on it and possibly block heater. What is the best thing to do for fuel? Additive? Worried about jelling etc.
    You should get into the habit of always treating all fuel. It doesn't hurt a thing and every season we have people who get caught with untreated fuel in a tractor, or fuel jug or whatever. Major hassle and completely avoidable by simply adding a couple of ounces of diesel fuel treatment in every fuel jug year around. Then all your fuel is always treated, no question. A good product also adds lubricants to the fuel which help the injector pump and keep the fuel system operating smoothly.

    A bottle of fuel treatment, like Lucas, Stanadyne or Howe's, which is what I have always used, treats 300 gallons of diesel for about $20. Read the Howe's warranty and guarantee.

    Howes Lubricator

    If you use their fuel treatment in commercial vehicles and you end up needing a tow due to fuel issues, they pay the bills. Doesn't mean they will pay for the tractor work, but the point is this is the product people use in extreme climates where it's -50 degrees, etc. This is what truckers and loggers and farmers rely on so they can rely on their equipment. It's used in ships where fuel issues can really be trouble.

    I have used Howe's for a long time (20 plus years) and NEVER had an issue with fuel. Not once.I just like the brands who make this the core of their business and others rely on their product to keep their fleets running. Pick a brand you like, can get repeatedly and use consistently. Then you won't have problems. I would not keep jumping from product to product. Select a quality product and stick with it.

    One more point, make sure to avoid the products which use alcohol to remedy gel issues or for treatment. Alcohol is very corrosive and damaging to fuel system components. I raced a top alcohol dragster for years and the fuel has benefits for racing, but it has a ton of issues. Stay away from alcohol in your fuel additives.

    Regarding the engine block and other heaters. Be extremely careful as these draw mice and critters like a "free rent" sign with heat set at 80 degrees on a Motel 6. They will build nests which can cause fires within a few hours. They will find this heat source, I guarantee it and they will build a nest right on top of the block to get the most out of YOUR free heat for them. I have cleared nests and within two or three hours, they were rebuilt. In one case, I had a nest start smoking and fortunately I was able to get the hood opened and the nest cleared before it spontaneously combusted.

    Personally, if the battery is charged, fuel is always treated and you run a few cycles of the flow plugs, it should start. Then let it run a few minutes while you are doing other things as the hydro fluid needs to warm up. everything will move very slow if the fluids are extremely cold. Such as -20 or more, fluids are thick and control levers move hard and its best to let everything warm up.

    It only takes about 30 minutes to one hour max for a blick heater to really do the trick. On extremely cold days, I go out in the garage when I first get up to plow snow and plug the tractor heater in. I go back in get dressed and make a cup of coffee and away I go with a heated block, which takes 15 minutes. Warmer engine oil will crank easier. Warmer hydro oil will flow easier and levers move easier.

    Also, a hydro fluid heater is probably as important as a engine block heater for the overall operation of the tractor. Just watch out for furry things which like heat sources as they will also chew on wires and do all sorts of other very destructive things.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridgeracing View Post
    I know this is a wide open subject, but my tractor will sit outside for weeks in 0-15 deg. Temps. I will have a battery tendor on it and possibly block heater. What is the best thing to do for fuel? Additive? Worried about jelling etc.
    Here is what I have used for the last 4 years of owning Diesel Tractors Diesel Fuel Supplement +Cetane Boost - Power Service It's What My JD dealer sells
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