4 wheel drive all the time? or just when needed

cruz54982

Silver Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2014
Messages
119
Location
Wautoma, Wi.
Tractor
TYM T503 cab , 1946 Farmal M , case 310 industrial /w fel
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.
my take is use often enough to keep all moving parts free IE levers & links as they tend to stiffen or freeze from no use .
 

LD1

Epic Contributor
Joined
Apr 30, 2008
Messages
20,438
Location
Central Ohio
Tractor
Kubota MX5100
You may be a "super star member" but if you instruct a "rookie" to use 4 wheel drive all the time on a machine that is not designed for it they may find that it isn't there when they really need it. Every machine is different and needs to be operated accordingly so it is about how the machine works and how it is applied to real life situations with safety as a priority.
Maybe my "super star member" status has you awe-struck?

Pleas quote the post where I said to use 4wd all the time.....I'll wait.
 

jfh0jfh

Silver Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
134
Location
EC Ohio
Tractor
Kubota MX5100, JD 710, Case 450
I only engage 4WD when I need it (Kubota 5800; Kubota FS-30). I try to anticipate; I don't engage when a wheel is spinning.
 

hube2

Platinum Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2020
Messages
528
Location
Paris, NY
Tractor
Masey Ferguson GC1725M
I only use 4wd only when I need it, which is rarely when there's no snow and ice. I think I've had to put it into 4wd twice this summer because I pulled too far into the ditch along the road to get back out with only the rear wheels.

My rational for not using 4wd unless I need it is this: If something is going to go wrong it will happen when I need the tractor the most, it will happen when I need the tractor because I'll be using it at the time. My main concern is winter, it is my only means on clearing snow. I must have the 4wd in the winter for moving the snow. If I put unnecessary stress on the 4wd when I don't need it or use it when I don't need it then I am going to reduce the life of my front axle and more than likely this will leave me without my tractor when I need it the most when it breaks.

I don't get the down hill part, mostly because I was taught to move up and down hills with the load pointing up hill which means if I have my bucket full I am backing down the hill. I once had a job where I drove large fork trucks and other equipment for moving things around. It only takes one time trying to go uphill with a 20+ ton load in the wrong direction to figure out why it's wrong. Not to mention the hours and hours I had to spend in operator safety classes over the 17 years I had that job.
 

bearthebruce

Gold Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
Messages
317
Location
Property is in Floyd County VA
Tractor
'05 Massey Ferguson MF1533
I was taught to move up and down hills with the load pointing up hill which means if I have my bucket full I am backing down the hill.
That's helpful and makes sense. I have never thought about that. Was not a heavy equip operator and did not think about this. If backing down, all the weight remains on the back wheels.. as said, good point and helpful.
 

ning

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Joined
Mar 30, 2017
Messages
1,668
Location
Northern California
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Branson 3520h
That's helpful and makes sense. I have never thought about that. Was not a heavy equip operator and did not think about this. If backing down, all the weight remains on the back wheels.. as said, good point and helpful.
As long as the load is well-ballasted! (of course, not being well-ballasted is a huge problem going downhill as well, potentially worse than merely not being able to stop depending on the circumstances!)
 

LD1

Epic Contributor
Joined
Apr 30, 2008
Messages
20,438
Location
Central Ohio
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Kubota MX5100
In a perfect world yes, load always on the uphill side.

In reality it's not always practical or possible. Just depends on what you are doing
 

rScotty

Super Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Messages
5,145
Location
Rural mountains - Colorado
Tractor
Kubota M59, JD530, JD310SG. Restoring Yanmar YM165D
With steep slopes, loose dirt, and needing to cross significant pavement often, I shift back and forth from 2wd to 4wd a lot. Maybe my next tractor will have a button to push instead of a lever that's often reluctant to go out of 4wd. Backing up 3' or so usually loosens it up but sometimes I have to raise the front tires off the ground with the loader.

Does the lever feel like it is stuck?
Why do you think it is sometimes hard to shift out of 4wd?
 

rScotty

Super Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Messages
5,145
Location
Rural mountains - Colorado
Tractor
Kubota M59, JD530, JD310SG. Restoring Yanmar YM165D
I can see y. When in 4wd, are the front and rear axles actually locked together? On some all wheel drive cars they are Not. So maybe being in 4wd just hooks the front axle to the engine and not directly to the rear axle.

It is easy to see a question? If the front and rear axles are locked, that means there is no differential between them. Really? Could be, but easy to see such confusion?

Even if the brakes were not connected when in 4wd, being in 4wd would still help slow one down downhill because of engine braking.

For 99+% of compact tractors there is no question:

Yes in 4wd the front and rear axles are locked together.
No, being in 4wd doesn't hook the front axle to the engine. It hooks directly to the main transmission output shaft.

Correct. There is no differential between front and rear axle.
The brakes don't change in 4wd. What changes is that in 4wd the front and rear axles are solidly connected together; so the rear brakes are now braking both the rear tires and the front tires.

Engine braking works the same as friction braking, i.e. in 2wd it only brakes the rear tires. In 4wd engine braking works on all 4 tires.
 

deereman75

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Joined
Apr 29, 2011
Messages
1,912
Location
canada
Tractor
Deere 2120, Warner & Swasey 6000# offroad forklift, Case W9B loader, various non-running decorations
Well here's something to consider. My company does a lot of work for a large Kubota dealer near by, and their service manager is a friend of mine. I asked him today while I was there for something unrelated and his answer was "you can run a Kubota in 4wd all the time and not hurt anything"
 
 
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