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  1. #1
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    Default Difference Between 4WD and MFWD ?

    It's probably been asked before, but, what is the difference between 4WD and MFWD ? Is one better than the other or have advantages ? Is one typically more expensive ? How about maintenance & repair, problems, etc. ?

    Appreciate any education you could provide me.
    John

  2. #2
    Super Star Member k0ua's Avatar
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    Kioti DK35se Hydrostat

    Default Re: Difference Between 4WD and MFWD ?

    I will take a crack at it and see what others say. 4WD, may or may not be "mechanical" as in MFWD (Mechanical Front Wheel Drive). Some front drive system are hydraulic with hydraulic motors on the front, not drive shafts, U joints, and differentials. Also some mechanical systems are not really designed to be full time 4wd system, but to only be used to assist the main rear drive, and are called MFWA as in "Mechanical Front Wheel Assist". Most CUT sized tractors are going to be Mechanical in nature, in other words, drive shafts, and such, not hydraulic, and are going to be considered "assist" not full time systems...One thing to note is the tires on most CUTS are much smaller on the front than the back, and do not have the pulling power that the rear tires do.

    Others may argue some or all of these points, but that is what I think.
    James KUA

    Kioti DK35se hydrostat with 2 QA buckets, 48 inch. King Kutter Rotary Cutter. 750 lbs ballast box. Loaded tires, Construction Attachments SSQA Lightweight Pallet forks. EA 50 inch single lid "wicked" Grapple. Satisfied Everlast PA160 welder owner How to add a link to a post . Best way to search TBN


  3. #3
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    Didn't intend to have a Deere fleet - it just happened 310C, F915 & 5200

    Default Re: Difference Between 4WD and MFWD ?

    In the ag world, A 4WD is an articulated tractor... That is it steers by bending in the middle. A MFWD is a tractor that steers the front wheels while driving them.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member ModMech's Avatar
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    Kubota B2410

    Default Re: Difference Between 4WD and MFWD ?

    ^^^ What he said, or "4 WD" can also refer to a "2 WD" tractor with 4 rear tires, but that's not common.
    JohnG
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  5. #5
    Veteran Member MHarryE's Avatar
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    Default

    What Hossworld said - 4wd in ag refers to large articulated. MFWD is Mechanical Front Wheel Drive - like an old time 2 WD tractor with mechanical front wheel drive that can be engaged or not engaged. The 4wd tractors have the articulation joint in the exact center so there is no differential needed between front and rear. Consequently front and rear tires are the same size. MFWD is typically disengaged for highway travel. Our John Deere and New Holland tractors have an auto position on their MFWD. When the tractor reaches a certain ground speed the front wheels are automatically disengaged - assumption is the tractor is being roadbed. If the brakes are engaged the MFWD is automatically engaged to reduce stopping distance.
    JD7720; KubotaM135GX; NH TS115A; JD6230; KubotaL5740

  6. #6
    Silver Member
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    Default Re: Difference Between 4WD and MFWD ?

    Quote Originally Posted by MHarryE View Post
    What Hossworld said - 4wd in ag refers to large articulated. MFWD is Mechanical Front Wheel Drive - like an old time 2 WD tractor with mechanical front wheel drive that can be engaged or not engaged. The 4wd tractors have the articulation joint in the exact center so there is no differential needed between front and rear. Consequently front and rear tires are the same size. MFWD is typically disengaged for highway travel. Our John Deere and New Holland tractors have an auto position on their MFWD. When the tractor reaches a certain ground speed the front wheels are automatically disengaged - assumption is the tractor is being roadbed. If the brakes are engaged the MFWD is automatically engaged to reduce stopping distance.
    Thank you for your response...however, I'm still unclear...must be me. I have an old Ford truck that I can lock out the front hubs and engage 4WD. I know some Ford's are equipped with hydraulics that enable one to shift on the fly from inside the cab. Is this anything like that ?

    On tractors, is the MFWD more desirable or advantageous over what I'll call full-time 4WD ?

    Sorry about my inability to grasp things. I appreciate your patience.
    John

  7. #7
    Elite Member Coyote machine's Avatar
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    '10 Kioti DK 40se/hst KL-401 FEL, loaded tires, KB-2485 bhoe, Tuffline TB160 boxblade, Woods QA forks, MIE Hydraulic bhoe thumb & ripper tooth, Igland 4001 winch, & GR-20 Log Grapple. Woods BBX72" Mower. Diamondplate aluminum canopy.

    Default Re: Difference Between 4WD and MFWD ?

    You're confusing apples/oranges. Your furd truck has the ability to engage the front axle to make all 4 wheels pull when the front hubs are engaged, locked IN, not locked out. When unlocked the truck is rear wheel drive only. In the cab is a button that actuates 4wd electrically, instead of manual hub turning at the front wheels.
    The posters were talking about articulating tractors which are pinned in the middle of the chassis/frame and allow all four wheels to turn, and the tractor front 1/2 can and does turn at the pivot point instead of the entire tractor following the front wheels in a straight line, therefore a more flexible turning radius, and all four wheels are independently turning and pulling at the same time. More traction, more maneuverability, etc. And they mentioned mechanical 4wd uses axles, differentials, etc. like your truck.
    2010 DK-40se/hst, Kioti KL-401 FEL, (reversible Kioti cutting edge), 72" Ratchet Rake. Fit Rite Top-N-Tilt hydraulics & diverter valve. HLA Series 2000 7' snowplow, Aquiline MPC rear chains. Samuri Sickle bar.

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  8. #8
    Elite Member Tx Jim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Difference Between 4WD and MFWD ?

    Back in the heyday of large 4WD tractors besides articulated models that pivoted in the center some manufacturers built "crab steering" where both frt & rear wheels steered similar to MFWD frt axle.

  9. #9
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    John Deere X748 Ultimate

    Default Re: Difference Between 4WD and MFWD ?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigcut View Post
    It's probably been asked before, but, what is the difference between 4WD and MFWD ? Is one better than the other or have advantages ? Is one typically more expensive ? How about maintenance & repair, problems, etc. ?

    Appreciate any education you could provide me.
    John
    bigcut, your profile says Garden Tractor. I too have a garden tractor. A John Deere X748 with HFWD (Hydrostatic Front Wheel Drive). There were previous models of the X700 series that had MFWD (Mechanical Front Wheel Drive). The difference is a MFWD has a mechanical drive shaft from the rear trans axle to the front axle. The front axle contains a traditional differential and transfer case all mechanically linked to the rear hydro static trans-axle where the power is generated.

    A HFWD's front axle is actually two variable displacement hydrostatic motors where the fluid for the motors comes from the hydro static pump in the rear trans axle. There is no mechanical connection between the front and rear axles.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Difference Between 4WD and MFWD ?

    Thanks ber,
    I now understand what HFWD is....but must confess my understanding is still unclear on my original post. Thanks,
    John

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