Gas Tractor Versus Diesel Tractor

There are many different reasons as to why a diesel
compact tractor is superior to a gasoline garden
tractor.

First of all, the diesel engine doesn’t have the
parts that normally wear out or give problems. There
are no spark plugs, rotors, points, or distributor
caps like the garden tractor. There is no carburetor
either, that will gum up and be hard to start after
being stored for a long period of time. Diesel engines
can be stored for long periods of time and still start
right up.

Secondly, diesel engines in most tractors are water
cooled. This will allow the engine to run at a more
consistent and cooler temperature, which will extend
the life of the engine. The typical properly
maintained diesel engine can run thousands of hours
without breaking a sweat – and without having to be
rebuilt.

Diesel engines will also make more power. Even though
gasoline tractors may be a little quicker to start
with, they can’t begin to match the power and raw
torque that diesel engines offer.

Another reason why diesel tractors are better than
gas is the available attachments. Most gasoline
tractors are equipped with a belly mower and don’t
normally have a three point hitch. This will severely
limit the type of implements that you can use and
also limit the tractors expandability.

Most blades and scoop implements won’t work with a
gasoline tractor. The drive train will also limit
the type of implement you can use with a garden
tractor. The typical gasoline garden tractor is
belt driven, while a belt drive won’t pull as much
load as a diesel powered tractor. You would probably
not be able to use a box blade or tiller either
with the average gasoline powered tractor.

Caterpillar Equipment

Caterpillar Incorporated, also known as CAT is a
United States based corporation that is based in
Peoria, Illinois. The company commonly known as CAT
is known around the world as the largest manufacturer
of construction and mining equipment, diesel and
natural gas engines, and industrial gas turbines.

Well known and famous for their products that feature
the Caterpillar track and distinctive yellow paint,
CAT produces a wide range of heavy equipment for
all types of jobs, including the very popular
Caterpillar D9 bulldozer.

History
The story of CAT dates back to the late 19th century,
when Daniel Best and Benjamin Holt were experimenting
with different ways to fulfill the promise that
steam tractors held for farm work. Prior to 1925,
the Holt family had pioneered track tractors and
gasoline powered engines. After the companies of
Best and Holt were merged, the company went through
several changes then at the end of World War 2,
they began to grow at a very fast pace, launching
the first venture outside of the country in 1950,
which marked the beginning of CAT development into
a big corporation.

CAT equipment ranges from track type tractors to
hydraulic excavators, backhoes, motor graders, off
road trucks, wheel loaders, tractors, diesel and
gas engines, and gas turbines. CAT equipment is
used in construction, excavation, building roads,
mining, energy, forestry, transportation, and
material handling companies.

Sales
Over half of CAT’s sales are to customers in overseas
areas. CAT products are sold in almost 200 different
countries. The company has a worldwide network
of over 200 dealers – 63 in the United States and
over 150 in other countries. CAT equipment and
components are manufactured in 42 plants in the
United States and 58 plants in Australia, Belgium,
Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, India,
Japan, Mexico, and several other countries.

Labor
CAT almost went down in the early 1980s due to
the massive union strikes and a down turn in product
demand. At the time, several news reports indicated
that products were piling up so high in facilities
that temporary workers hired to work the lines
could barely get to their stations to perform their
jobs.

In the 1990s, CAT suffered yet another long strike
in which the company hired what it deemed to be
permanent replacements for union workers that
were on strike. During both strikes, jack rocks
were placed in the home entrances of many of
CATs top executives and employees, puncturing
the tires of their vehicles and making things
worse for the company.

Not long after the strike of the 1990s ended
and the economy started to get back up again, CAT
adopted the “6 Sigma” quality management program,
to help reduce costs and inventory and identify
and correct the defects in processes and products.

Diesel And Gas Prices

Over the years, the prices of both gas and diesel
have experienced some drastic changes. Many years
ago, the price of gas was around a dollar or a
little more, nothing like it is today. Back then,
gas wasn’t high in price although the demand for
vehicles wasn’t what it is today either.

As the demand for vehicles grew, the demand for
fuel grew as well. Other actions and events have
played into the equation as well, resulting in
the rising costs of fuel. Fuel is something we
all need to run our vehicles, as we wouldn’t be
able to go anywhere without it.

As you may know, a majority of the gas we get at
local gas stations comes from overseas, primarily
the Middle East. Therefore, we have to pay taxes
and such on the gas we use, which pays for the
gas as well as the shipping. If we got our gas
from within the United States, one can’t help
but wonder whether or not the prices would indeed
be lower.

Diesel on the other hand, has always managed
to keep a price lower than gas. Diesel comes
from within the United States, so the prices are
of course going to be lower. The only problem
associated with diesel fuel is locating it, as
many gas stations don’t sell it.

When it comes to the choice between the two,
diesel fuel is obviously cheaper to buy. Gas is
in supply more, which means that you can find
it almost anywhere. If you own a gasoline
vehicle, you obviously don’t want to put diesel
in it. If you own a diesel vehicle, then you
of course wouldn’t want to put gas in it either.

Diesel Engines And Well Known Gas

In passenger cars, the diesel engine has never really
caught on. During the middle to late 70s, diesel
engines in passenger cars did notice a surge in
sales due to the OPEC oil embargo, although that is
the only real significant penetration that diesel
engines have made in the market.

Although diesel engines are more efficient, there
are eight historical problems that may have held
them back.
1. Due to the higher compression ratios,
diesel engines tend be heavier than the equivalent
gasoline engine.
2. Diesel vehicles and diesel engines tend to
be more expensive than gas.
3. Because of their weight and compression
ratio, diesel engines tend to have lower RPM ranges
than gas engines. This gives diesel engines more
torque rather than higher horsepower, and this tends
to make diesel vehicles slower in terms of acceleration.
4. Diesel engines have to be fuel injected,
and in the past fuel injection was very expensive
and less reliable.
5. Diesel engines tend to produce more
smoke and smell very funny when compared to gasoline
engines.
6. They are harder to start in cold weather
and if they contain glow plugs, the diesel engines
may require you to wait before you start the
engine so that the glow plugs can heat up.
7. Diesel engines are much noisier than
gas engines and tend to vibrate quite a bit.
8. Diesel fuel is less available than gas.

Although one or two of these disadvantages would be
acceptable, a group of them is a big turn away for
many people.

Even though the list above are reasons in the past
as to why diesel never really took off, you can
expect these reasons to get corrected and improved
in the future, meaning that you will see more and
more diesel vehicles on the road.

Diesel Engines Forgotten Treasures

There are very few engine configurations that promise
increased fuel economy and power. There are few
engines that offer this in addition to reliability.
Today, those across the ocean are enjoying the
fruits of diesel technology revolution.

Diesels have experienced a great history here in the
United States. In 1980, General Motors modified
their 350ci gas V8 to run on diesel fuel. The result
however, wasn’t that god. These engines offered
better fuel economy but little else. They were
very slow, and not very reliable.

Mercedes Benz on the other hand, had better luck
in the 1980s with an array of vehicles available
with diesel engines. These great vehicles offered
amazing durability although they were rough, noisy,
and smoked quite a bit. Volkswagon offered diesel
as well, although they had a habit for spewing
blue smoke from the tail pipe.

Throughout the 90s, Benz and Volkwagon offered
diesel vehicles in the United States, with each
generation becoming cleaner, smoother, and more
powerful than the last. Overall, they were a
tough sell as they still lacked the horsepower
that many were seeking.

Today, Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, Volkswagon, Ford,
and many other manufacturers are offering diesels
to many markets throughout the world. To put it
simple, forget everything you know or think you
know about diesel engines in the United States.

These newer engines benefit from hundreds of
technical innovations. There are several diesels
in Europe that offer better acceleration than
their gasoline counter parts. BMW’s 120d has
163bhp, goes 0 – 60 in under 8 seconds, and
achieves 49.6 miles per gallon.

Benz offers the C320 CDI SE that has 224bhp, and
over 360 lb foot of torque. This car gets just
under 48 mpg on the highway, with an acceleration
of 0 – 60 in under 7 seconds. Throughout North
America, you won’t find a gasoline engine that
offers this unique blend of fuel economy and
excellent performance.

The reason why diesels haven’t caught on in
North America comes down to one word – sulfur. We
have too much sulfur in the diesel here in the
United States. This cheap grade of diesel fuel
will run havoc on the more sophisticated diesels
offered overseas and cause an increase in
emissions.

There is hope however, as refiners will soon be
producing what is known as ultra low sulfur
diesel fuel. This will help to reduce the sulfur
content from 500ppm to 15ppm.

Diesel Fuel Quality

The designs of diesel engines striving to increase
performance have made a lot of advancements in engine
fuel delivery to the combustion chamber. The diesel
engines of today are much quieter, smoother, and
also more powerful. The quality of diesel fuel on
the other hand has not advanced at the same rate as
the improvements of engines.

As soon as it is produced, diesel fuel begins to
deteriorate. Less than 30 days of refining, all
diesel fuel, regardless of the brand, goes through a
natural process called oxidation. This process forms
varnishes and gums in the fuel by causing the
molecules of the fuel to lengthen and start bonding
together.

Now, these components will drop to the bottom of the
fuel tank and form diesel sludge. The fuel will
begin to turn very dark in color, smell bad, and
cause the engine to smoke. The engine starts to
smoke as some of these clusters are small enough to
pass through the engine filtration and on to the
combustion chamber.

As the clusters begin to increase in size, only a
small amount of the molecules will get burned, as
the rest will go out the exhaust as unburned fuel
and smoke.

Its estimated that eight out of every ten diesel
engine failures are directly related to poor quality
and contaminated fuel. The build up of contamination
in the fuel systems and storage tanks can clog
filters, thereby causing the engine to shut down,
and damage to the engine to occur.

The number one reason for bad fuel is due to the
increasing popularity of diesel power and the
accompanying increased demand for more diesel fuel.
Long ago, diesel fuel remained in the refinery
storage tanks long enough to naturally seperate and
begin to settle, allowing the clean fuel to be
drawn apart. Now, with the demand getting higher
than ever, the fuel is never stationary long enough
to settle, and the suspended water and solids are
passed on to the person buying the fuel – you.

The changes in refinery techniques is also a
problem. In order to get more products, diesel
fuel is being refined for more marginal portions of
the crude barrel. This results in a lower grade
product that is thicker and also contains a lot
more contamination.

As time continues to pass and technology gets better
and better, one can only hope that the quality of
diesel fuel improves. As it stands now, the quality
isn’t good at all. If you run diesel fuel, all
you can basically hope for is that the fuel you
are getting isn’t contaminated.

Gas Diesel Hybrid War

These days, gasoline prices may be crimping your
your household budget. You may like to reduce
the U.S. dollars that flow to the Middle East for
oil, or perhaps you are motivated by your concern
for the environment, or even the nagging reality
that oil is a depleting resource that shouldn’t
be wasted.

Fuel economy
To put it into prospective, the fuel economy are
the numbers posted on the window sticker of a new
vehicle. Studies have shown that the average
driver only receives 75 percent or so of the
mileage figures that are on the sticker.

You can use these numbers to determine the best
type of vehicle for your purchase. The numbers
will let you know how many MPG your vehicle will
get, so you can compare vehicles and then go
from there.

Hybrid pricing
The gas electric hybrid vehicles are normally
priced higher than non hybrid counterparts,
anywhere from a couple of thousand dollars to
several thousand dollars.

Hybrids can get a lot of miles per gallon,
some averaging around 45 – 55. This is great
for those who want to save money on gas, as
hybrids can go many miles on a full tank of
fuel and they come with extended warranties
as well.

Diesel efficiency
Diesel powered vehicles are yet another fuel
efficient option. Diesels are known for getting
extra mileage from every gallon of fuel. They
offer much better torque than many gasoline
engines. The price differential they have
over gasoline engines are usually much smaller
than that of the hybrid.

With plenty of options available, you’re sure
to find what you need to help conserve fuel.
Before you make a purchase, always remember
to shop around and find what’s best for you.