How to Set Electrical Timers on Old Tractors


Old tractors usually run on diesel, kerosene or gasoline, all fuels that have a difficult time igniting in cold weather. In order to use less fuel and get your old tractor running in the winter, an engine block heater can be used. This heats your engine so that it doesn’t have to start cold. However, instead of wasting energy by keeping the heater on overnight, you can also use a tractor-heater timer. The timer will turn on the heater for a specific amount of time so that it only heats the tractor’s engine when you need it warmed up.

Step 1

Plug the tractor-heater timer into the tractor’s heater and a grounded outlet.

Step 2

Turn the timer’s run-time dial to the amount of time the tractor heater needs to be on. Set it to about two hours if the weather is below freezing. If the weather is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, you can set the timer for between an hour and an hour and a half.

Step 3

Turn the timer’s time-of-day dial to the time you want the heater to come on. If the dial is set on a 12-hour clock, click the “AM/PM” button or switch for the proper time of day. If the dial is a 24-hour clock, you don't have to click any button for the proper time of day.


  • University of Tennessee: Cold Weather Diesel Engine Starting Tips
  • Wisconsin Public Service: Tractor Heater Timers
Keywords: tractor timers, tractor-heater timer, old-tractor timer

About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer and contributing editor for many online publications. She has been writing professionally since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. She has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.