4 wheel drive all the time? or just when needed

LD1

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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"
No you aren't gonna "hurt" anything. Buy you wear out components faster and tires.

You aren't gonna "hurt" a chainsaw cutting hard dead trees....but you wear the chain out faster than cutting green pine.
 

K5lwq

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I would think having 4WD engaged full time would lead to forgetting it is in 4WD. You never think about until after for some reason you had to road the tractor for a few miles and something gives. I like to be aware of everything when operating equipment. I will continue to use it when I need it.
 

Doughknob

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Soooo, without reading back through everything, if it is OK to leave 4wd on all the time, why do manufacturers even make the switching on/off option?

Why don't they just make them full time 4wd? That'd be cheaper than having the switching mechanisms in place. When is 2wd better?
 

rScotty

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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"

I think we all have friends like that, and I cherish their friendship. But now my curiosity is up.

We know that what he says doesn't make sense mechanically, but what do you say to your buddy when he says something like that?
 

deereman75

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I think we all have friends like that, and I cherish their friendship. But now my curiosity is up.

We know that what he says doesn't make sense mechanically, but what do you say to your buddy when he says something like that?
Considering I have never had a front axle or transmission component off a Kubota smaller than an M7 in my shop, I am inclined to say that (other than tire wear if on hard surfaces) he is right.
The drivetrains are so robust on the smaller Kubota units that you'd really struggle to break one. They don't really have enough power to break themselves.
 

Martin Roper

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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"
A while ago I purchased a very second hand Ford 40 series which came on an unusual size mix of tyres and I checked with our main Ford dealer that this was alright and was assured it made no difference by their workshop manager. I found the transmission to be winding up so changed the tyre mix and it cured it. My point being that some times the "specialists" are not always giving sound advice (and they are also allowed bad days) which can be expensive to the consumer so if the Kubota has a central differential allowing to be in constant 4 wheel drive or a slipping mechanism, mechanical or electrical I would have doubts that is would be advisable to leave it in gear unless needed. Usually if it is safe to leave in constant 4 wheel drive you can not disengage as with our Land Rovers.
 

RoyJackson

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Deere recommends using MFWD as needed. Although my 4052 does have MFWD, it's rarely used. This is my 5th Deere since 1998-1999, all had MFWD, never stayed in 4WD unless necessary.
Just don't see a good reason for it as it adds unnecessary wear and tear on the drive line and front tires
 

lman

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Soooo, without reading back through everything, if it is OK to leave 4wd on all the time, why do manufacturers even make the switching on/off option?

Why don't they just make them full time 4wd? That'd be cheaper than having the switching mechanisms in place. When is 2wd better?
You have apparently never made a sharp turn on pavement while your tractor is in 4wd. The tractor will buck and it is obvious that it is not good for the tractor.
 

Smokeydog

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Owned and well used many of 2wd tractors before getting a 4wd Kubotas. Tire wear from spinning 2wd tractors has got to be considered. Safety on hillsides a definite plus for the 4x4 tractors. Mine stay in 4x4 unless on hard surfaces which is rare. Gravel, grass, pasture or woods are all loose surfaces. The braking advantage is as important as the pulling. Have not seen appreciable extra wear from staying in 4x4 with the Kubotas I have owned and maintained. Sure wouldn’t be able to do all the work we do as safe without 4x4 in our situation. Find what works best for you.
 

Jims1025R

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"Hurt" anything, vs needlessly wear are different. Sure, the front wheel drive components will keep working (they are robust) but needlessly running in 4WD is wearing the whole front drive for no need. It may also tear up your lawn at one front wheel. I run 4WD only when needed. To the point that when using it for improved loader traction, I'll switch in an out every time I dump a bucket.

4WD systems can be very different. Sure, all drive all four wheels, when in use, but how they do it varies. Before I retired as a firefighter, I did truck training. After some review, I came to fine that each of our four 4WD trucks had a different system, and required specific training. For my experience, compact tractors have a front and rear differential (the rear can generally be locked). They do not have a center differential - that being between the driveshafts which go front and rear. If tractors had this, it would have to be locked sometimes too, and would be adding complexity for no benefit. The result of not having a center differential is that during a turn, one front wheel will scrub relative to the rear wheels in a turn - it's mechanically inescapable.

The Audi Quatto I used to own, was a mechanical wonder in this regard. It was full time four wheel drive, with three differentials, so each wheel could find it's comfort zone. You could lock the rear and center differential for improved traction. You could not lock the front differential, probably because steering would become very difficult. If you dove on a hard surface road with the diffs locked, the car would track really straight, and buck when you tried to corner. But the traction was so good that way, that I'd use the Audi to pull out my Jeep CJ-7 plow truck when I got it stuck. The Jeep did not have diff lock, so it'd spin one front, and the opposing rear wheel, and you were stuck.

Understand your system and read your manual, but for myself, I only use 4WD when it's needed, and never when it's not.
 
 
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