Diesel tractors are designed to provide lots of power so they can plow fields, harvest crops and transport heavy loads. All of their power comes at a price, though. They fuel economies are extremely low. Diesel tractors average between 6.5 and 7 mpg. Driving one just a little ways will quickly burn through fuel. If you operate a farm, reduce how much diesel fuel you need to buy by towing your inefficient tractor to your farm's fields this spring with a truck that's more fuel efficient. Here's what you need to check so you can do this safely.
Look Up the Towing Capacity of Your Truck and Weight of Your Tractor
You'll need to make sure your truck is built to tow loads that are as heavy as your tractor. Tractors can weigh a lot, and some vehicles can't safely tow them. For example, a P-Series tractor from LS Tractor USA weighs anywhere from 6,675 to 7,143 lbs. Some crossovers, SUVs and even trucks built in 2015 can only tow 1,000 lbs. safely. Many truck models have higher -- sometimes much higher -- towing capacities, but not all do. You'll need to check if yours does.
Find out whether your truck can safely tow your tractor, check the maximum towing capacity of your truck and weight of your tractor. Both can be found in the respective owner's manuals. As long as your tractor weighs less than your truck's' maximum towing limit, you'll be able to tow your tractor. If it doesn't, you'll need to trade your truck in for a different vehicle before you begin towing your tractor.
Look Up the Size of Your Truck's Hitch
You'll also need to check the size of your truck's hitch. There are three different sizes:
- Class III, which measures 2 in.
- Class II, which measures 1 ¾ in.
- Class I, which measures 1 ¼ in.
(These measurements are the diameters of the hitches.)
The hitch on the trailer that you'll put your tractor needs to be the same size as your truck's. If the hitch on your truck is smaller than the trailer's, the trailer could pop off of the hitch. If the hitch on the truck is larger than the trailer's, you won't be able to get the trailer's onto the truck's.
You can find out what size your truck's and trailer's hitches are by either looking for a mark that states what their sizes are or measuring their diameters yourself.
Once you've confirmed that your truck can safely tow your tractor and that the hitches are the same size, you're ready to ferry your tractor to and from fields with your more efficient truck. The fuel savings on a single trip to a field might seem small, but they'll add up throughout this coming growing season. For further assistance, contact a local professional, such as those from A-1 American Towing Inc.