All things tractors thread


One of my row crop farming buddies was showing me the tractors he looked at for this years harvest. He is doing a short term lease. About the same size as your above listed tractor. $75 a engine hr $7500 minimum.


I wonder how often one needs to replace those rubber tracks, and how much they run. From the folks I know with Bobcats, its way more time and money than they thought.


I think the main advantage of them on big tractors is that they minimize soil compaction (even better than duals).

I think the tracks are spendy though, and I don’t think they last as long as rubber tires.


I have a 33 hp New Holland Boomer Super Stear Tractor. It has a loader and other attachments, I don’t know how I would of ever done without it these past 10 or so years. I would look for a tractor with a large motor diesel preferably, on a small frame. So if you can get a 40 hp tractor on a compact frame you will be able to run lets say a 6 foot brush hog behind it and not have to worry about running in granny mode to cut heavy brush. I love my 33 hp but wish it had more power at times. ALSO, if you are planning on doing lots of loader work… HYDRO is so much nicer.


All things tractors is just what this link is:


Was getting a bit of cabin fever, so I’ve been in the old house getting the propane heater going. Sure was cold in there before I cranked that up- 26°! After about an hour it was up to 40, so I’ll let it run a while.

Anyways, while the heater was going I decided to go out to the barn and see if I could crank up the tractor, just to warm it up and get the fluids going a bit in this cold weather.

Well, after several attempts, I couldn’t get it to crank. It acted like it was trying to turn over, I could see some exhaust coming out of the muffler. So, maybe some incomplete combustion going on? After several attempts I stopped, i didnt want to drain the battery.

What do y’all think the problem is? I last ran the tractor back in November to do some bush hogging. The diesel doesn’t look like it’s gelled, even tho its been in the teens the last few nights. It was about 26 today.

It has a heater block plug, so does it need to be plugged in before trying to start it?



Does your glow plug light come on letting you know the plugs are heating up? I plug my block heater up when it gets this cold. It makes a lot of difference when starting in the cold for me. If the plugs don’t heat up a bit it can really be a booger to start if the engine isn’t warmed up… at least on my New Holland. Also, having a good battery makes a difference. I keep a trickle charger on mine as well.


Thanks Bob. My bro-in-law came over after I had given him a call. After trying to crank it, he said it may be my batteries. I asked why, he said a good battery will spin the starter faster and give the engine a better shot at turning over. I told him I had just bought a 3A charger yesterday, so I’ll hook that up.

He also said plug up the block heater for a couple hours before trying to start it. It’s supposed to be above freezing tomorrow, so I might try that then.

I don’t know where the glow plug light is, unless it’s on the dash light panel? I’ll check my owner’s manual.


The glow plug will normally turn on with half a turn of the key and stay on for several seconds then go out. Then you turn the key all the way. I had an older tractor you pushed a button. Anyway keep us informed and good luck.


OK thanks. I hope it’s just a bit cold, and not bad batteries. I’ll hook up the block heater and charger tomorrow.

I couldn’t find any info on the glow plug in the manual. My BIL said it prob is OK, tho.

I already have some issues getting the two shifters in the right position to even get it to start. I imagine the neutral position starter switch is jacked up, but don’t know how to check it.

Just a few things that I have had to deal with with this almost 40 year old JD.


My Kubota has a decompression knob. You pull it and it keeps the valves open while turning over. It allows the engine to turn over quickly without a lot of battery drain. You presumably get it spinning pretty good and push the knob back in to allow the valves to behave normally, and the momentum gained while spinning without compression allows it to start.

I don’t really need it in my mild climate. In fact, the first several years I had this used tractor, it was non-functional. I’ve since fixed it but still haven’t used it.


If you are certain there are no glow plugs or intake heater, you can use a small amount of starting fluid.

Some people are totally against using any starting fluid being worried that it will produce too much compression on a diesel and/or wash the oil out of the cylinders, but a small amount of starting fluid won’t hurt. Some diesel tractors have come from the factory with a small tank of starting fluid hooked up to the intake manifold (activated by a button in the cab).

Mostly I don’t start tractors in cold weather unless I need to. It’s a bit hard on them due to wet stacking (and I don’t like how noisy and rough they run from a cold startup). And they take forever to warm up. It’s not like it’s going to destroy your engine starting it cold, but it is a bit harder on them.


Thanks. My manual is a reprint, but it does have a little blurb about using ether. It also has info about using the heater. My BIL and I were talking about it and he is loath to try ether on his JD. He says it’s bad on the cylinder walls. I don’t know enough about diesels to know for sure.

He said that my model does have glow plugs, so I guess ether would be dangerous to try in that case? Odd that the manual says it’s OK. I’ll have to do some more research on that.

I’ll give the heater a try tomorrow, and also check out my batteries. Those aren’t cheap, so I hope all they need is a little charge.

I would like to use the tractor this winter to do some more mowing, and some snow plowing, if that situation arises, so I need it to run in cold weather.


I would avoid ether based starting sprays if your engine has glow plugs or an intake heater. The problems with ether in diesels is it often will fire early which can damage the engine and starter. Those glow plugs/intake grid are red hot all the time when on, and a diesel was not designed to have fuel sucked in with the air as the piston goes down, by these red hot heat thingies. Really a bad combo.

If you think your are having a fueling problem, you can try WD40 as a starting fluid. It is much safer than ether in that it won’t fire early and still will provide fuel to the cyls if your fuel is all gummed up. My 40+ yr old Mits diesel came with a sticker warning not to use ether.

Another thing to check is the state of your fuel. If your fuel filter has a clear bowl what does the fuel inside look like, all clear or gummed up? If it is gummed up, you may need to add a diesel fuel de-icer product to the tank and in the filter. And/or put a heater aimed at the fuel tank and lines on it for a while.

If you see puffs of white/grey smoke while cranking that is usually a sign that fuel is getting to the cyls just not burning. If there is no smoke and engine is not catching, likely fuel is not getting thru.



That’s what’s happening, it acts like it’s about to turn over and get going but just belches out some smoke and dies.

It’s sounding like the batteries may not have enough oomph to get it going. I’ll check those out with my voltmeter and try to give them a charge if need be.

The fuel looks OK to me in the tank, I don’t think it’s gelled. I will check the filter tho, it is glass.

I did some checking online since I replied to Mark, and it appears that my particular engine may not have glow plugs. But, saying that I’m not going to try the ether route just yet.

Thanks for all of you guys’ replies. I’ll give an update after tomorrow, if I get a chance to look at it then. Might get all the way up to 32 tomorrow, a heat wave!


Well, today I checked the batteries and they both read about 12.05v, which is good, but doesn’t say how much juice is in them.

So, next I went ahead and plugged up the block heater and let it warm up for a while. I did some other stuff and came back an hour later to try to start it, and it turned over right away. Yay! Thanks for the suggestions.

I let it warm up a few minutes and then drove around the pasture for a spell. After ten minutes or so, I parked it back in the barn.

After I turned it off and jumped off, I took a look at the big back right tire, and thought it looked a bit low. Not flat, but seemed kinda low to the ground. I figured it may look like that because the barn floor is sloped downhill, and maybe the weight is shifting over onto that tire.

I cranked it back up and took it back out to check both tires. It seems that both of them get a bit “squished” when they roll, and more so on the downhill tire when driving across a hill. But, the right tire does seem to roll a bit lower to the ground than the left.

I believe the tires are filled with fluid (calcium chloride). Is it possible some has leaked out, I didn’t see any obvious damage to the tire? Or, do tires with fluid in them act this way in cold weather? These look like almost new tires with hardly any wear on them.


12.05 is about 30 % of full charge on a 12v battery.
12.30 = 50%
12.70 = 100%


How do you come to these results?


My home is solar powered.
Runs on a bank of 12v. Battery’s ,inverter etc.
That’s what the chart on the wall says


Thanks. I did a bit of research and the voltage changes as the specific gravity of the electrolyte changes. I guess that changes as the cells are charged. It seems that a properly charged 12V battery is composed of six 2.1V cells.

I found this chart that shows this relationship.


I’ll go back and check it again tomorrow to get a more accurate reading.