This can doesn’t leak

    Guest Posts on County 10 are provided by contributors and the opinions, thoughts, and comments within are their own and may not necessarily reflect those of County 10.

    My New Holland 1112 Speedrower is a great machine. It cuts alfalfa easily and handles the toughest grass at a good speed, but it’s a challenge to refill in the field.

    The diesel tank sits behind the cab under a cover that has to be lifted into place, and locked with a simple notched lever.


    It was designed to be filled from a pump, or farm tank, with the additional thought of using a five-gallon jug to pour in fuel in the field.

    The engineers at New Holland had no idea what lay in store a decade later from the geniuses appointed by our elected officials in Washington.

    If you want proof of the failure of the federal government, you don’t have to look any further than the simple five-gallon gas can.

    In short, these morons ruined it.


    Remember when you could fill a gas or diesel jug at the service station, replace the cap with a spout, and easily pour fuel into a lawnmower, truck, tractor, swather, or four-wheeler?

    Well, you can’t do that anymore. The “Nanny State” decided we were spilling too much fuel and needed to have special spigots that locked into place anytime you tried to use them, effectively rendering all portable fuel jugs totally useless.

    Maybe that’s what they had in mind when they revamped the classic design brought down to us from the “Jerry Cans” of World War II vintage.


    I used Jerry Cans for years, especially for filling tractors, self-propelled bale wagons, and swathers in the field. The ingenious design of a metal fuel tank, equipped with a wide, free-flowing spout and a valve that allowed air to enter, preventing vapor lock as the fuel was drained was marvelous.

    Airmen in World War II poured thousands of gallons of aviation fuel into B-29s stationed in India for bombing runs into China with these five-gallon wonders.

    Nope, won’t work today. They were too effective.


    A standard joke I cynically offer when anyone mentions the federal government is this, “Congress just can’t stand success, they have to regulate it into submission.”

    That’s what was once accomplished with the humble gas can.

    Modern fuel dispensers (note: not cans) are plastic, with no venting and a spout that has a spring-loaded locking device that never opens properly, and when forced into position, always pops back to block any fuel you might trickle out of it.

    It is annoying beyond measure.

    The modern “dispenser” is designed to prevent spillage by preventing any fuel at all from exiting the device.

    Ingenious isn’t it? You can’t spill if you can’t pour. It’s like welding the lid on a coffee cup so you don’t spill it in the front seat of your truck. You don’t get a drink either, but those intelligent folks who are busy protecting us from ourselves don’t care. There is no fuel on the ground.

    So, if you’re like me, you pack a variety of funnels to fill whatever you’re working with.

    I have a long funnel with a narrow business end and wide opening to fill my pickup and Kawasaki Mule. The funnel slides by the protective valve in the truck, so fuel can flow as I pour it into the wide opening from a gas can with the cap off.

    The people who designed the modern fuel jug had no idea that in some areas of the USA, you need to carry extra fuel. In their world, gas stations are on every corner. They’ve never been to the top of Union Pass or in the middle of the Gas Hills.

    I’ve drilled holes in all my plastic five-gallon plastic jugs to allow air to enter, preventing vapor lock as the fuel flows. I haven’t used a spout in years, and throw away the ones that come with the jugs when I buy a new one. They’re useless.

    For my New Holland 1112, I use the same funnel.

    The process is fairly simple. Lift the cover, lock it in place, remove the fuel cap, put the funnel in the opening, and grab the fuel jug.

    The New Holland engineers back in the 1980s and 90s who designed this machine put the cover and tank in a place where an average height or taller man could easily lift a five-gallon jug with a functioning spout into place from the ground.

    With the funnel in place, I throw the jug on the shelf in front of the cab. I climb two steps, open the cab door, lift the jug around the open door, rest it on my knee, and then lift it so the opening can pour directly into the funnel.

    Yes, I spill a little diesel as I start pouring it into the tank, but that’s my only option short of pulling up to a fuel pump and filling the tank somewhere in town.

    At a top speed of around 12 miles an hour, I don’t want to drive a few miles just to fill the tank, a portable jug is a much better option.

    Yep, I’m ranting, but if you have to fill anything these days with a gas or diesel jug, I guarantee you agree with me.

    It’s just one little segment of society, but it’s an indicator of a greater wrong.

    These appointed people don’t have enough to do, their budgets are too large, their workload too small and they must find ways to “help” the public by annoying them into anger.

    They found it with the five-gallon jug.

    It epitomizes the futility, irrationality, and ineffectiveness of those we elect.

    Something as benign as filling your lawnmower or tractor has become a worrisome, frustrating mess. We can do better and should demand better of those who are purported to “serve” us.

    Well, at least the funnel industry is having a field day.


    Related Posts

    Have a news tip or an awesome photo to share?