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Puller Fuel and Additives

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This page is still under construction so why not pop back to see how it develops: -

As you all probably realise, Tractor Pullers run on a variety of fuels, in many cases dictated by the class in which they run but we thought it might be useful and informative to list not only the base (what the Puller actually runs on) but also some of the 'performance' additives they may be using. This list is in alphabetical order and is not in order of usage: -


Avgas (aviation gasoline), also known as aviation spirit in the UK, is an aviation fuel used in spark-ignited internal-combustion engines to propel aircraft. Unlike conventional road petrol (mogas), which has been formulated since the 1970s to allow the use of platinum-content catalytic converters for pollution reduction, the most commonly used grade of avgas still contains tetraethyllead (TEL), a toxic substance used to prevent engine knocking (detonation), with ongoing experiments aimed at eventually reducing or eliminating the use of TEL in aviation gasoline.

In the UK the two standard grades available are Avgas 100 and Avgas 100LL (Low Lead), both of which are 100 octane rated.


In diesel engines, unlike their petrol counterparts, ignition takes place without any spark, as a result of compression of the inlet air mixture and then injection of fuel. The heat generated by the compression of the air in the combustion camber results in the the ignition of the injected fuel.

In the UK, diesel fuel for on-road use is commonly abbreviated DERV, standing for diesel-engined road vehicle, which is subject to a tax premium over equivalent fuel for non-road use, which is known as Red Diesel.

Diesel engines have become popular because of their higher thermodynamic efficiency which results in better fuel efficiency. This is particularly true where diesel engines are run at part-load; as their air supply is not throttled as in a petrol engine, their efficiency still remains very high.

Note: Puller diesel engines are by nature 'over fuelled', in other words they have to be run with more diesel being injected than it may need to ensure it will always works at maximum power. The 'black smoke' you see is actually partially combusted fuel being ejected as soot. These partially combusted hydrocarbons have been broken down and no longer present any threat to the environment. Unsightly maybe but harmful to the environment, not...

There are three distinct forms of Diesel fuel available in the UK: -

Hydrazine (Included for information only)

Hydrazine is a total no-no as a Tractor Pulling fuel additive but has been included for information only. Please click here to see a fascinating article by Tony DeFeo which has been reproduced by kind permission of the author...

Jet Fuel (see Kerosine)


Methanol (as a base fuel)

Methanol (as an additive to water injection)




Petrol (gasoline)

Primary Sources