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The Tractor that Runs on Cow Farts, December 29, 2022

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By Jackie Taylor

In rare cases, a new invention shocks the agricultural world and revolutionizes the way we do our jobs. While natural gas may not be a new technology for transportation, it is new and currently being beta tested in agricultural machinery. So what does this look like for American agriculture? A tractor that runs on cow farts!

All kidding aside, a one of its kind New Holland natural gas (methane) tractor was beta tested in Sanger, CA. Lucky recipient Curtis Taylor Farms was allowed to test this 130-180 horsepower T6.180 tractor to bale hay for the summer forage season in the Central Valley. Thanks to a partnership with Kuckenbecker Tractor of Fresno, the experimental use of the T6.180 tractor was approved for use through September.

There are two other T6.180 tractors in early production testing and only one other New Holland methane fueled tractor in the United States. Most of the development and testing of the T6.180 methane tractor was being conducted in Europe since 2013. Although the initial testing began in 2013, in 2021, the T6.180 tractors went into official production. The only model to offer this type of natural gas fueling is the T6.180. With a lift capacity of 17,337 lbs, you can rely on this tractor for just about any job. The T6.180 tractor also runs on the Electro Command™  transmission and can reach speeds of 35 mph on the road. With a max EPM horsepower of 180, the rated power is 110/150.

The T6.180 tractor may be really eco-friendly, but it does “require a refuel every two hours in the field”, according to Curtis Taylor. To refuel the T6.180 tractor in the field, a specialty methane tank had to be stationed near or in the field. To fuel the tanks in Sanger, the local bus garage is the easiest way to refuel using the natural gas. It may be convenient to refuel there but would require a lot of travel time from field to field to refuel the tractor itself. Without the local bus garage, the tractor or fuel tanks would need to be refueled in Fresno at the PG&E Fresno Service Center. The operator must be trained in refueling procedures and all of the new technologies inside of the cab itself.

If you are skeptical of the overall savings the biomethane T6.180 tractor, New Holland has a methane calculator to assist you in making an economical, ethical, and environmentally conscious decision. New Holland claims the T6.180 tractor is the “world’s first 100% methane powered production tractor” and that is something to brag about and allowed them to be the winner of the 2022 Sustainable Tractor of the Year Award.

To test out one of these tractors or see the methane tractor in use, contact Brian Burke at 559/485 9090 or

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