The Ford 4600 after its biofuel conversion.

Our Ford 5600 tractor was given a biofuel conversion by Vineyard Alternative Auto under a Vision Fellowship grant to encourage sustainable farm practices on Martha’s Vineyard.

Our main tillage tractor from 1984 to 2000, it now can run on pure used fryer oil — biodiesel is not required.

With 9,000 hours of operation, this machine has seen a lot, including a severe engine fire while running at Waller Field in late 1980s. It came with a nice cabin, since decommissioned to only a roof, and it traded wheels with the 5610 in 2004 to accommodate the wider spacing needed for our two-row pull-type John Deere cultivator.

Before the wheel change, this was Dan’s favorite tractor, but it’s slower now and doesn’t get the traction it did with its original wheels. It also has poor steering control and a lot of smoke in the cabin. But the old 4600 pumps a lot of water, spreads a lot of compost and can pull the disc harrow as well. 

Model 4600
Brand Ford
Engine 3.3L 3-cylinder
Fuel diesel
Year 1975-81
HP 52 PTO, 43 Drawbar
Special tools Dual remotes, cab, engine conversion for
biofuel burning

Meet the fleet:

Originally published April 17, 2017