Dropping the bucket when going downhill out of control can lead to less than desirable results.
Ha. There is Always a debate here! . But i agree - only when needed.
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.
Agreed. But, ANYTHING when going downhill out of control can lead to less than desirable results.
We're making this too complicated. It's simple:
1: When you need 4WD, in low traction conditions especially with too much front weight and not enough rear, use it.
2: When you need 2WD, in high traction conditions especially with lots of tight radius steering on grippy or sensitive surfaces, use that.
3: When either will work fine, congratulations, you're golden.
4: When you have started down a hill in 2WD and then the rear loses traction, without question you should time-travel back to before you started down the hill, and engage 4WD. You're welcome.
Never on pavement [...]
A 'little extra wear' isn't the issue. There have been a few posts here over the years where the front drive system breaks and locks up when driving on pavement, causing a very sudden stop. As I recall, one guy almost got tossed over the hood.I use it going down my steep paved driveway if I'm carrying something big up front. And I have an 800 lb ballast box, plus filled rears. I figure it's worth a little extra wear to have the extra safety. Now, if I had a gage that told me what downforce my rear tires were experiencing....