Re: 1940s tank car questions

Earl Tuson

Did farm equipment run on gasoline?
As has already been said, most agricultural tractors built during the period of this list had gasoline motors, which could alternatively run on tractor fuel a.k.a 'distillate' a.k.a tractor vaporising oil (TVO.) However, many early tractors were designed to run on kerosene, and this remained an option for some years. "All fuel" motors were designed to run on any of these fuels. Distillate and kerosene availabilty and use as a motor fuel waned after WW-II, for pricing and technological reasons. Other tractors were equipped for running on propane.

A neighbor purchased a diesel Farmall "M" (like the Sunshine kit) in
1948 but that was quite unusual.�� Allis Chalmers did not indroduce a
diesel farm tractor until 1953 or 54.��
Farmall initially offered a diesel motor in their model MD, with the first one built 1/3/41. Even so, you would still start the motor on gas from a small auxillary tank, and then manually switch it over to diesel. They weren't exceptionally popular (they can be considered rare today.) If you care for numbers, production quantiies for most tractors by year can be found online. There were no "compact diesel" tractors like there are today. Even by the end of the period covered by this list, only the largest tractors were diesel.

Two Allis-Chalmers C's I used when helping a neighbor while growing up were new in 1930
FWIW, the AC C wasn't produced until 1940. is a pretty good place to start if you want to know what models of tractors might be appropriate for flat car loadings for the year you model. has a lot of information as well. Be aware, however, that there were significant regional differences in what brands and models would be most common or popular.

Earl Tuson
I don't farm with anything younger than me:
'54 Farmall Super C
'55 Farmall 200
'56 Farmall 200 with a mounted bean picker
'67 JD 400

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