4 wheel drive all the time? or just when needed

Doughknob

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2013
Messages
375
Location
ohio
Tractor
Deere X500, Bobcat CT4045
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.
Thank you. I rest my case. Why are we still debating this. In 4wd all the time is not good..... or they would be made that way.
 

SmallChange

Gold Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
259
Tractor
New Holland WM25 with 200LC front end loader, filled R4 tires 43X16.00-20 and 25X8.50-14 (had a Kubota B6200D with dozer and R1 tires)
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?

Even for a tractor that is built to handle drive train stress constantly, tight turns on a delicate surface will tear up the surface some in 4wd. Ag tires on a lawn, under conditions that might not have left any visible damage from just doing this once in 2wd, will make a big mess in 4wd.
 

deereman75

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Joined
Apr 29, 2011
Messages
1,906
Location
canada
Tractor
Deere 2120, Warner & Swasey 6000# offroad forklift, Case W9B loader, various non-running decorations
Armchair experts missing the point as usual.... No one is claiming that you should run 4wd all the time on every surface. That is obviously bad practice.
But as to the argument of "it will damage your tractor" or "you're wearing out the 4wd components"
No.
They are designed to withstand being ran in 4wd for the life of the tractor because there are people who run them in 4wd all the time. Saving wear on the front axle is hardly relevant if the rest of the tractor is ready for the scrapyard before you start having trouble there.

And for the average person who owns a compact tractor for hobby use and puts 50-200 hours a year on, it is a complete non issue.

The mfwd system is switchable because it tears up tires on hard surfaces and tears up the ground on loose surfaces, not because it is "bad for the tractor" to use it.
 

ptsg

Elite Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2013
Messages
3,599
Location
Portugal
Tractor
2017 Branson F36Rn (3515R)
Armchair experts missing the point as usual.... No one is claiming that you should run 4wd all the time on every surface. That is obviously bad practice.
But as to the argument of "it will damage your tractor" or "you're wearing out the 4wd components"
No.
They are designed to withstand being ran in 4wd for the life of the tractor because there are people who run them in 4wd all the time. Saving wear on the front axle is hardly relevant if the rest of the tractor is ready for the scrapyard before you start having trouble there.

And for the average person who owns a compact tractor for hobby use and puts 50-200 hours a year on, it is a complete non issue.

The mfwd system is switchable because it tears up tires on hard surfaces and tears up the ground on loose surfaces, not because it is "bad for the tractor" to use it.
I agree with you, if the tractor doesn't have a loader. Then, yes, the biggest issue you'll get out of it is bald tires, being that there is not much weight on them and the tires can slip.

Now, slap a loader on a tractor, thus increase the weight in the front axle, and yes, you're in for trouble sooner or later if driving with 4wd on hard surfaces. The extra weight won't let the tires slip and the entire stresses fall on the drivetrain components.

Unless the tractor has equal size wheels in front and back, then there will always be some differences in the speed which the front and rear wheels turn causing binding in hard surfaces.

But, I'm probably just an armchair expert, so what do I know...
 

IndyJay

Gold Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
439
Location
S.E. Indiana
Tractor
Kioti DK4510MS w/Loader, Grapple Prev: Massey 1250
Armchair experts missing the point as usual.... No one is claiming that you should run 4wd all the time on every surface. That is obviously bad practice.
But as to the argument of "it will damage your tractor" or "you're wearing out the 4wd components"
No.
They are designed to withstand being ran in 4wd for the life of the tractor because there are people who run them in 4wd all the time. Saving wear on the front axle is hardly relevant if the rest of the tractor is ready for the scrapyard before you start having trouble there.

And for the average person who owns a compact tractor for hobby use and puts 50-200 hours a year on, it is a complete non issue.

The mfwd system is switchable because it tears up tires on hard surfaces and tears up the ground on loose surfaces, not because it is "bad for the tractor" to use it.
Sitting in my armchair as I write this, I drove my Massey 1250 in 4WD all of the time, to the point where I usually forgot to take it out when I pulled onto asphalt. I had damage to my trans-axle that required splitting the tractor. About a year later the front axle chewed up some gears and I had to have that repaired at great expense. The phrase "better safe than sorry" applies to both personal safety and protection of your equipment. Running 4WD on dry hard surfaces may damage your tractor. It would be prudent to turn it off on hard dry surfaces unless there is a specific safety reason to leave it engaged.
 

lman

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
1,010
Location
Indiana
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New Holland 3040, New Holland 1530, Oliver 1850
Sitting in my armchair as I write this, I drove my Massey 1250 in 4WD all of the time, to the point where I usually forgot to take it out when I pulled onto asphalt. I had damage to my trans-axle that required splitting the tractor. About a year later the front axle chewed up some gears and I had to have that repaired at great expense. The phrase "better safe than sorry" applies to both personal safety and protection of your equipment. Running 4WD on dry hard surfaces may damage your tractor. It would be prudent to turn it off on hard dry surfaces unless there is a specific safety reason to leave it engaged.
It's too bad this thread wasn't available when you got your Massey. It might have saved your tractor.
 

Avocado

New member
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Messages
13
Location
Carpinteria, Ca
Tractor
Deere 1050, Kubota B9200
I to have have been close to death or injury by forgetting to engage 4WD when going down a hill.

If you have only flat ground, use 4WD when wheels slip.

If you have hills ALWAYS keep in 4WD.

If you forget to disable 4WD on pavement you may damage your tractor.
If you forget to engage 4WD on a hill you may damage your tractor and you may DIE or be injured.
Your tractor can be replaced, you cannot. Always default to safety.
 

k0ua

Epic Contributor
Joined
Jun 28, 2009
Messages
30,498
Location
Branson, Mo.
Tractor
Kioti DK35se Hydrostat
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?
2wd is best any time you have to make a turn on a hard surface. When I turn around on the hard asphalt and concrete of my driveway in front of the garage I always shift to 2wd. As soon as I leave it and start down the steep gravel portion of the drive I make sure each and every time that I am in 4wd. If I were to forget, I would run the risk of losing control of the tractor. Been there, done that and don't like it much.
 
 
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