4 wheel drive all the time? or just when needed

   #21  

ljjhouser

Platinum Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2018
Messages
500
Location
Midwest
Tractor
Kubota L4701
Were you sitting in the same seat with me? See my earlier post.. did exactly the same as you.. hit the steepest part of our hill, had to make a 90 degree turn, the rears locked and sliding... I stopped about 200 yards downhill... It is a horrible feeling...
Ha- I did read your post. reminded me of my experience. And made me flash to that same sick feeling you had. But you went a lot farther than I. There was another time also - operator error. On my Kubota. My drive (luckily unlike yours) has the 90 degree turn at the top. The rest is somewhat straight. A turn at the bottom could be aweful. It is also concreted about 1/2 the distance (on top). I was on the road to help someone so slipped it into high gear to go there. Days later, I was going down the ma drive, so slipped into low gear. HST. As is turned the corner, the tractor accelerated quickly out of control (on concrete). I let up on the HST Pedal and still increasing. I slammed on both brakes and skidded the back tires. And came to a stop. I did not get it locked into low gear and it popped out of gear as I made the turn to downhill. Scared the hell out of me. I guess we, after something gets our attention, make mental notes of those events. I told my wife about both so she would not make the same mistakes I had learned from. But I am sure I will remember now. Hope she does also. Nothing like scaring you to get your attention. Anyway, great post and I will try to think of it anytime I decide to operate on a hill with ballast.
 
   #22  

Diggin It

Super Star Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
10,062
Location
Three Posts A Day. Or less.
Tractor
LS MT125 TLBM
There is never any one answer to this question. It's all about your own circumstances. I just rolled over 400 hours. Probably 350 of those have been in 4WD. I have NO level ground ... none. Going downhill in 2WD was something I did once. Never again. Uphill in 2WD in not possible.

The ONLY time I'm not in 4WD is when I'm on the paved road going over to a neighbor. When I cross my paved driveway, I'm careful about how I steer, if at all. Very gradual.


A comment on brakes. These small machines don't have any. Not in the traditional sense. None of the wheels have brakes at all. The only braking is called a 'wet brake' inside the transmission and it can easily be overcome by gravity, meaning even in 4WD, stepping on the brake pedal may not help (much) if you're already rolling too fast downhill.
 
   #24  

bearthebruce

Gold Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
Messages
295
Location
Property is in Floyd County VA
Tractor
'05 Massey Ferguson MF1533
One wild ride with weight in FEL going down hill in 2 wheel drive will rapidly train you.
Trust me on that.
Buckets make lousy brakes!

On my wild ride, I had the forks on - loaded with a 350lb machine - not the bucket.. I was not going to try putting the forks down... the bucket curled I might have tried.. but not forks. The fork frame catching something and me going pinwheel was what I was thinking.

You are correct. One wild ride will not soon be forgotten.

Enough. The OP I think has the idea. If he is on flat land, use 4w drive when better engagement is needed. If on hills, think and decide.
 
   #27  

old and tired

Platinum Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Messages
777
Location
Raleigh, NC / Hillsvlle, VA
Tractor
L2800 hst
I don't have a flat piece of ground so I'm always in 4 wheel drive... I don't mind having to buy new front tires or shoot, a new front axle if I have to. I've taken my share of uncontrolled down hill skids to know that one bad accident would cost more than tires and an axle....

Been there and done that and had to burn the underwear....

I have R4 tires and there is a good reason you can not buy a 2 wheel drive tractor with R4's...
 
   #28  

JasperFrank

Gold Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2018
Messages
391
Tractor
Ford 1220
Switching it up, got me in more trouble then it was worth, if I had forgotten it was in 2WD, due to the braking issues already addressed. So the default is always 4WD. The only time I'll set to 2WD is if I'm mowing/pulling -dry material on reasonably flat dry ground, driving for a distance and I can make wide turns. I rarely run on any pavement, which I would set for 2WD. Seat of the pants, I couldn't tell, power-wise, if it was in 2WD or 4WD. Recently, one of the front wheel-axials, just pulled entirely out of the drive hub. Easy fix, but I was surprised that the wheel-axial was held in by just a small Cir-clip. I was in 2WD when this broke, in a tight turn, with the FEL loaded. If I had been in 4WD, I'm thinking the stress on this axial would have been less as the wheel would have been pulling forward instead of being pushed hard to one side to get out of the hole it had fallen into. I had forgotten I was in 2WD cause I was in mowing mode, but thought, "Lets just transport some rocks with the FEL while I'm going that way." That was the mistake. Though the axial needed a rebuild here any way after looking at the old parts. So the take is.... sometimes using 4WD, most of the time, "saves money." :)
 
   #29  

Jstpssng

Super Star Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2005
Messages
15,729
Location
Maine
Tractor
Kubota L3301
I switch back and forth quite often, as I spend a fair amount of time on the road, running back and forth from garden to house and back again. Most of the time I'm in 4WD while working.
 
   #30  

Williy

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2020
Messages
1,025
Location
Texas
Tractor
Yanmar YT 235C Yannar YRC 60 rotary cutter, Yanmar RT72 rotary tiller B75 Backhoe & bucket & thumb
You could always get a couple of anchors boats use them
Then again you could always drop your bucket to dig in

willy
 
 
Top