Diesel Fuel Sources After SHTF / Doomsday

   08.27.18

Diesel Fuel Sources After SHTF / Doomsday

Why should we think about diesel fuel after a full blown collapse /SHTF/ Doomsday event?  For one, most farm equipment uses diesel.  There are a few pieces of equipment which use gasoline, such as garden tillers, and old tractors such as the Ford 8N.

If we want to grow food on an industrial scale after a collapse, then we will need industrial equipment.  The alternative is to farm by hand, or if someone is lucky enough to have a horse and everything needed to use the horse to plow a field.

Let’s be honest, horse and plow equipment has been relegated to antique dealers.  Except for the Amish, most people use tractors and attachments to farm.  Modern farm equipment has to have diesel fuel.

So where can we find diesel fuel that would be easy to access?

Tugboats

Tugboat in Port Arthur Texas

Tugboats of all sizes use diesel, and the fuel tanks are easy to access.  Somewhere along the deck of a tugboat will typically be an enclosure where the fuel hose attaches.  From there, the fuel is pumped into holding tanks in the engine room.

One tugboat I worked on held somewhere around 15,000 gallons of diesel.

Why is this important?  Because tugboats travel along just about all major waterways in the United States.  Plus, there is an Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) that is an estimated 3,000 miles long. The ICW runs inland along the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic seaboard. It is not uncommon to see tugboats traveling or even along the banks of the ICW.

Then there are major rivers, such as the Mississippi which have a massive amount of tugboat traffic.

Logging Equipment

Logging skitter

While tugboats and other industrial equipment will be centralized along waterways and refineries, logging equipment will be found in rural areas.

  • Skitters – Cuts the trees down and brings it to the delimber.
  • Delimber – Removes limbs from the trees.
  • Loader – Loads trees onto the logging trucks.
  • Logging trucks – Brings the trees to the mill.

What do all of those have in common? They use diesel fuel.  Some of the logging equipment will hold hundreds of gallons of diesel.  All that is need to get the fuel out of a simple hand pump, or siphon hose.

How Much Diesel Fuel Do We Need

Farming tractor

On average a tractor is designed to get a full work day from a tank of fuel, maybe a little more.  The amount of fuel used depends on load, RPMs the tractor is running at, what it is doing…. etc.

The tractor here on the farm has an 8 gallon fuel tank.  With that 8 gallons I could brush hog, disk, and plow a couple of acres in just a few hours.  If I were conservative with the fuel, 8 gallons may be enough to plant a spring and fall garden large enough for my family.

Here on the farm 16 gallons for a single year would be plenty to plant a garden large enough to barter with and can the extra.

Then again, a lot of it depends on the size of the tractor and what people are doing.  Some people may have to clear the land, then plant, while others may have fields ready to go.

Final Thoughts

If we go back a few generations:

Papa had the horse or mule, and a plow.  He would work the cash crops, such as cotton, and grow corn for the livestock.

Granny took care of the small family garden.  This is where a lot of the families food came from.

Just about everything was farmed by hand, or with horse and mule power.

The along came garden tillers and tractors.  Over time the people who were grew up farming with a horse drawn plow gave way to power equipment.  With them also went their generations of knowledge.

 

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