Depending on the type of farm you manage, you may need to understand how to plant crops, feed livestock, and maintain equipment. For instance, you’ll have to know how to care for tractors, including their gasoline needs. Here’s how to figure out what fuel to use.

How to Determine Tractor Fuel Needs

There should be a clear indication near the tank as to which type of fuel the tractor will take. When you buy a new tractor, take note of the type of fuel so that you can know its efficiency rating.

The tractor’s fuel economy will make a bigger difference for farms with more acreage. The amount of fuel used will affect the operating budget.

The three primary types of fuel used to power farm tractors are diesel, gasoline, and propane. A diesel engine is the most efficient, getting 138,000 Btu/gallon and consuming about 0.048 of a gallon for each hour of use. A gasoline powered engine is estimated to offer 124,300 Btu/gallon, delivering 0.068 of a gallon per hour. Propane fueled engines only get 92,300 Btu/gallon, offering just 0.080 of a gallon per hour.

How to Improve Fuel Efficiency 

GasolineThere are a few steps you can take to reduce your fuel consumption and run a more cost-effective operation. ATTRA reports that farm tractors operate more efficiently with an engine temperature between 165 and 180 degrees.  

For this reason, make sure the tractor’s thermostat is accurate and functioning properly. A tractor operating at just 100 degrees will consume 25% more fuel to do the same amount of work. An electric block heater can help get the engine’s temperature up to optimal levels.

Additionally, pay attention to how you store fuel. Several gallons can be lost through evaporation from heat, so keeping fuel storage tanks in shaded areas is preferable. Additionally, tanks should be white or silver to ensure sunlight is reflected off of the surface.

If the tank wasn’t made in these colors, you can paint them and achieve the same results. Replacing gas caps with pressure relief vacuum caps can also prevent the loss of fuel.


Where you get your gasoline and other types of fuel for your farm matters. Main Energy, Inc., in Palmyra, NY, can meet all of your farm fuel needs, while helping you stick to your operating budget. They pride themselves on building long-lasting relationships with their customers through the reliable, timely, and friendly delivery of fuel products. To learn more about their services, visit their website. To speak directly with a customer service representative, call (315) 597-5200.