4 wheel drive all the time? or just when needed

   #1  

MiniDonkey22

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Feb 25, 2021
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10
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John Deere
I have a bobcat 2025 (kioti) with 55 hours so far; got it this spring. I really only need to engage the front axle when moving dirt or slogging through muddy trails. All my mowing and manure spreading are easily done in 2wd. Any reason to use the front axle every once and a while? I don't really notice a difference either way; power or steering etc.
 
   #2  

LD1

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Apr 30, 2008
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19,754
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Central Ohio
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Kubota MX5100
Only when needed.

I will add that if you live in an area with hills....use 4wd when going down hills.

Tractors dont have front brakes only rear. By engaging 4wd you are mechanically coupling the front and rear axle together. So when you hit the brakes, all 4 tires are trying to stop the tractor and not just the back two, which with a loader on and nothing on the rear coupled with down hill could be bad if only in 2wd.

Other than that, if you dont need the front for pulling traction or for braking traction....leave it in 2wd
 
   #3  

sea2summit

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Mar 6, 2012
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1,765
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Left coast of, GA
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Kubota 1860->25D, MX5800, M4D
For whatever reason this question pops up and seems to have some heated debate.

I leave mine in 4WD unless I'm getting on the pavement for something. I do have very hilly terrain and am always moving something really heavy so I do it mostly to reduce any wheel spinning I can and like LD said get better braking, if I was on flat ground I probably wouldn't unless I was doing ground engaging work.
 
   #4  

bearthebruce

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Jul 26, 2018
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289
Location
Property is in Floyd County VA
Tractor
'05 Massey Ferguson MF1533
Flat lander? Two wheel makes sense.

Hills, I got a story to tell:

Boss and I were talking about how after 250 hours in the seat I was getting pretty good with the tractor. He says, "Don't go getting over-confident. 250 hours you are still a newb."

I was working around the barn and on level hard pavement so I had dropped Missy Ferg out of 4 wheel into 2 wheel.

Well, wasn't 3 hours later he proved that I was a newb + and idiot. We are in the mountains. 4 wheel drive is required to manage the steep hills. We needed to carry a walk behind brush cutter to an area we cannot cut with the brush hog on the back of the tractor. We loaded the cutter on the forks and had nothing on the back. We don't run loaded tires. All the old tractor guys here are going - "Uh huh. I know where this is going!"

Now I know a tractor only has rear brakes. I know when you put a load on the forks, you need ballast. I know when you are going down hill with a load on the forks, you must be in 4 wheel or you will need to change your shorts if you survive.

Yep, shorts were changed and since I am writing you, I did survive. But it was a hell of a fun tobbagan ride with a high center of gravity machine.

Don't get over-confident. On hills use 4 wheel. Before going down.. check that the tractor will hold on a slight incline! Use ballast. Don't be an idiot like me.
 
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   #5  

sandman2234

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Dec 4, 2005
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Jacksonville, Florida
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JD2555 and a few Allis Chalmers and now one Kubota
Mine goes into 4wd only when needed, but I live in Flat Florida. I have a pond that I mow around with steep banks, and the 4wd gets engaged then, as it helps me steer and climb the banks. Use it when you need it, but like most things, it has a lifespan.
David from jax
 
   #6  

Avenger

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May 16, 2018
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971
Location
Spokane, WA
Tractor
LS XR4145C
As others have said, if you live on hills then you will want four wheel. I live in hills. I pop mine into 2 wheel on occasion, thinking I'm saving something, but it doesn't stay there long. Seems I'm going to be driving downhill or going over rough terrain and need the extra traction. Or have a heavy load on the FEL and need the traction upfront to simply move since the pressure is off the rears.
When in road gear, going down the road, its in 2 wheel for sure. But day to day on my property, its in 4 wheel 98% of the time.
 
   #7  

mrmikey

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Oct 17, 2010
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1,217
I only use 4WD in the winter when I'm plowing and the summer when I start spinning. Way I figure it, right or wrong, if I get stuck in 2WD I have a better chance of getting out in 4WD as opposed to getting stuck while in 4WD.............Mike
 
   #8  

JCoastie

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Aug 29, 2020
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283
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Coastal AL
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LS MT240
Way I figure it, right or wrong, if I get stuck in 2WD I have a better chance of getting out in 4WD as opposed to getting stuck while in 4WD.............Mike

same here, mostly flat ground, but muddy at times. Always 2wd in, and 4wd out if needed, less chance of getting stuck.
 
   #9  

IndyJay

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Apr 23, 2021
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S.E. Indiana
Tractor
Kioti DK4510MS w/Loader, Grapple Prev: Massey 1250
With my Massey 1250 I usually ran 4WD all the time except for on pavement. I have everything from fairly level to rolling hills, to steep hills back on the trails. I did have to have the front axle rebuilt after about 15 years of that. I just bought Kioti DK4510, I am more selective of when to use 4WD mostly because Kioti has a little more aggressive "front wheel assist" gearing than most tractors (according to several threads I've come across on TBN). I definitely have gotten into the habit of making sure that I take it out of 4WD when coming in from the field. Probably being overcautious but better than regrets later.
 
   #10  

Zebrafive

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Aug 5, 2010
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South West MI
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John Deere 2030, John Deere 6415
Good post about 4wd helping the braking, most people don't consider that. Some tractors engage 4wd when the brakes are applied. My JD 6415 does.
 
 
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