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Michigan Soybean Farmer Finds Success Pulling with Biodiesel

Michigan Soybean Farmer Finds Success Pulling with Biodiesel

Have you ever wondered what biodiesel smells like in a pulling tractor? Rob Trowbridge, a Michigan soybean farmer and National Tractor Puller Association (NTPA) competitor says it smells like French fries. And he would know. Trowbridge fueled up his tractor, which he named Disturbed, with 100 percent biodiesel, or B100, in more than 25 pulls this season.

Trowbridge was one of the first few in his Super Farm pulling class to use that French fry smell to his advantage. Thanks to a new NTPA rule, pullers were able to use B100 in all diesel pulling classes this season. We’ve been following Trowbridge throughout the season, learning about his use of the fuel that can be made from U.S. soybean oil.

Trowbridge says it didn’t take long for his pulling opponents to warm up to biodiesel.

“Now, 99 percent of the guys we pull with have switched to using 100 percent biodiesel, so our pulls have gotten a lot more competitive,” says Trowbridge with a chuckle.

For Trowbridge, using America’s advanced biofuel instead of petroleum diesel added horsepower and decreased maintenance.

“We pulled the injectors out last week just to check them, and took the fuel pump off and sent it out,” he said. “The mechanics returned it and said that there’s nothing to even change on it. This was the first time ever that we haven’t had to do some mechanical work midway through the season.”

As the season progressed, Trowbridge won the Super Farm class at several events. And he never finished outside the top 10 while using B100. If you’re wondering how he got 100 percent biodiesel to work so well for him, here’s his answer:

“When we warm our tractor up, the tractor has to run a little faster and get some heat into it,” he says.

With 10 pulls left this season, he plans on using biodiesel in all of them and then going right back to it next year.

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