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Gas Tractors vs Diesel Tractors
Diesel engines have several advantages over gasoline engines. They don't have the parts that commonly wear out, they are typically designed to last much longer, and they produce more power.
Diesel engines have no spark plugs, no rotors, no points, or distributor caps like in the typical garden tractor. There is no carburetor that is going to gum up and be hard to start after being stored for a long period of time. A diesel engine can be stored for extremely long periods of time and start right up. If you have ever left your push mower stored for a couple of years you know the frustration of getting a gasoline engine to start.
The diesel engines in these tractors are water cooled. This allows the engine to run at a more consistent and cooler temperature witch extends engine life. A typical , properly maintained diesel engine can easily run 10,000 hours or more without being overhauled.
A diesel engine typically makes more power. You have to consider how horsepower is rated in order to compare diesel engines to gasoline engines in a typical garden tractor. The horsepower ratings that you see are peak horsepower ratings. Gasoline powered engines in garden tractors typically have peak horsepower at about 3000 rpm and horsepower falls off quickly below that . Diesel engines in our compact tractors typically have their peak horsepower at about 1000-1500 rpm and horsepower stays up throughout most of the rpm range. How does that make a difference? A gasoline powered garden tractor has to be at full throttle to achieve its rated horsepower. When the tractor has a load put on it by a mower or going up a hill, for example, the rpm will fall from, let's say, around 3000 rpm down to 2500 rpm. At 2500 rpm a gasoline engine will have significantly less horsepower than at 3000 rpm. At 2500 rpm, with much less horsepower, the load will pull the engine down even further until the rpm and horsepower are so low that either the engine stalls or you release the load (by shutting off the mower or pushing in on the clutch) A diesel engine, however, has a much broader power band. Using the same example, the diesel powered tractor running at full throttle encounters the same load as the garden tractor did. The engine rpm will fall from, let's say, 2000 RPM to 1500 rpm. At 1500 rpm the diesel engine will have roughly the same power as it did at 3000 RPM and will continue to pull the load. The horsepower and rpm will not continue to fall because the diesel engines power is not as dependent on the engine's rpm.
Another reason why a diesel compact tractor is better than a gasoline garden tractor is because of the available attachments. Most garden tractors are equipped with a belly mower and do not usually have a three point hitch. This severely limits the type of implements that you can use and limit's the tractors expandability. Most blades and scoop type implements wont work on a garden tractor. The drive train also limits the type of implement you can use with a garden tractor. A typical garden tractor is belt driven. A garden tractor's belt drive will not usually pull as much load as a diesel powered utility tractor. You would probably not be able to use a box blade or tiller with the typical garden tractor.