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Discussion Forum

Propane filling

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02-23-2011 19:42:09

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How do you fill propane tractors at home...Is there a cheap way? Or do you have to buy a pump system to fill the tractors tank..?? How did they do it in the days when they were being built.?? Do you have to have a special tank to pump from??
Thanks guys
Farmer 101IL

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02-24-2011 18:31:13

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 Re: Propane filling in reply to farmer101IL, 02-23-2011 19:42:09  
you can fill a JD 720/730 in less than 10min. without a pump...hook liquid line off your house tank to fill [liquid] valve & put a short bleed valve on vapor [bleed] valve & let it shoot straight up until liquid comes out're done...studies done in the 60's show less than 1% fuel loss...been doing it that way since the late 50's...also down here in the south tractor LP is cheaper the fill line makes it your nurse tank NOT your house tank so fuel is cheaper...take care ...Kent

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Frank A

02-24-2011 15:51:21

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 Re: Propane filling in reply to farmer101IL, 02-23-2011 19:42:09  
If you're not in a hurry most of the time you can hook it up and leave it overnight and the temperature change will do the job. I made an adapter to hook up a disposable cylinder to get the tractor back home if I need to use the tractor alot. It will fill fairly quickly when empty.

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greenbeanman in Kansas

02-24-2011 12:32:46

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 Re: Propane filling in reply to farmer101IL, 02-23-2011 19:42:09  
Another option I just learned of is that of a hand pump shown at the link. It appears to compress vapor so I assume it works like the old compressor system we used to use to fill truck.

Worked like a wet leg tube in a barrel of liquid and when pressure is added to the barrel the liquid follows the path of least resistance and moves through the wet leg.

The old John Blue propane pumps worked well too. A Google image search shows one.

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02-24-2011 09:01:30

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 Re: Propane filling in reply to farmer101IL, 02-23-2011 19:42:09  
The L.P. can also gurgle in provided the storage tank is above the tractor tank. This would be a gravity fill. Quicker still would be two lines between tank and tractor; a vent line and a product line. The advantage of both methods is there is no waste or explosion hazard from vented propane.

I doubt if many people do it this way. A pressure fill at the farm requires venting the tractor tank.

Now don't ask me how they fill single port 20# or 100# tanks. They are frequently done inside and on a weight scale. No venting required. 33# and 40# forklift tanks are vented when being filled. Scale not required as liquid escapes through vent when filled to 80% capacity.

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Nebraska Cowman

02-24-2011 04:16:37

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 Re: Propane filling in reply to farmer101IL, 02-23-2011 19:42:09  
No pump need. See greenbean's post below, he has it pretty well covered. I have had my driver fill the tractor directly from the truck too. And if's farm use it may be tax free depending on your state rules.

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greenbeanman in Kansas

02-23-2011 21:10:02

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 Re: Propane filling in reply to farmer101IL, 02-23-2011 19:42:09  
You fill from a nurse tank, which is a tank that has what is called a wet leg, or a connection on the bottom of the tank. Basically the wet leg is a tube extending to the bottom of the tank with a valve above. Pressure within the tank forces liquid propane up the line and into a hose which hooks to the tractor tank. A fitting can be removed on the bottom of the tank to accommodate a valve and hose, but I'm of the opinion that isn't very safe. There wouldn't be a safety valve in it to stop excess flow should it be broken off.

Liquid propane begins to boil at -44 F so anything above that creates vapor (gas) similar to steam coming off of boiling water.

The larger nurse tank has more surface exposed to the elements so boils liquid more readily than the smaller tank of the tractor. When the pressure equalizes liquid from the larger tank ceases to flow so vapor pressure is bled from the smaller tank so that liquid can continue to move fill its space. There are alternatives, but that is the general way farmers fill their tractors without a pump or compressor.

To relieve the pressure within the smaller vessel a special fitting is applied to the tank vapor return fitting and when screwed partially down it allows vapor to escape. Generally a hose is attached to carry the vapor downwind.

As I previously mentioned tanks have safety valves which snap shut if there is a large amount of flow too quickly. When beginning to fill if you open the hose valve too quickly sometimes the safety will close off the flow. You can generally hear such. Just close the valve to allow it to reopen and proceed again.

Cheap, yes. A valve and hose and a couple of other fittings will allow you to do the process. With a bottle POL fitting you can also fill bottles. Oops, that is old school for the older style valve. The newer ones do have a different fitting though I think the POL one will fill those too.

Have filled my share of tractors; G 705, G VI, M-5, a Massey Ferguson, pickups, delivery trucks, and a few million gallons to homes and oil field engines. I used to work for a dealer (7 years), but dad and I had the tractors.

I hope I wasn't too in-depth.

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37 Cghief

02-23-2011 20:23:42

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 Re: Propane filling in reply to farmer101IL, 02-23-2011 19:42:09  
I just bleed the air out of the tank as it was filling, until you would see liquid comming out the vent hole. I don't think I would smoke doing this. I guess you would lose some fuel this way, but a pump isn't necessary. I stoped using propane, as the company came and took their 499 gal. tank, because not enough fuel was being used. Now the tractors just sit. I have the same tractors set up for gas, which is much easier. Stan

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