4x4 vs 2x4

   / 4x4 vs 2x4 #1  


Mar 15, 2013
Ludowici, ga
Looking to purchase a new or very good used 45 - 50 hp tractor (Kubota, New Holland of Mahindra). I am wondering if I should get 4x4 or 2x4? I have 25 acres and will mainly be using the tractor to maintain a 1.5 acre garden and for keeping the fence line BushHogged. I want a loader on the tractor. I like the looks of 4x4 tractor compared to 2x4. Looks like it would handled more of a load.
Any Advice? Is 4x4 worth the extra money?
   / 4x4 vs 2x4 #2  
Well worth the money, esp with a loader.
   / 4x4 vs 2x4 #3  
If it is going to have a loader, 4x4 is the way to go, Not saying you can't "get by" on flat ground with a 4x2, but throw in some hilly terrain and you are in trouble. as soon as you scoop up a load up front, you "unload" the rear wheels when you need them the most. Also 4x4 front axles are much stronger than 4x2 front axles. A loader puts a lot of strain on front axles.

James K0UA
   / 4x4 vs 2x4 #5  
What is your terrain like? I would have a very hard time making a 2x4 loader tractor work at my place.
   / 4x4 vs 2x4 #6  
For loader work the FWA makes a big difference, but your tire selection also has a significant impact on overall ability. My LS and Massey are 47hp and 48hp machines of similar weight, the LS has FWA with R4 tires, and the Massey is 2wd with R1 tires. I've worked the exact same area (essentially flat) that had some muddy spots, on the same day, with both machines, and the LS with R4s was slipping, and sliding, where the Massey just cruised right through. I was able to get by with the LS, because of the FWA, but it still wasn't as good as the Massey with the R1s….part of the reason I have each machine set up with different tires. You can put R1s on a FWA machine, but they aren't as good for doing loader work on dry/flat surfaces because they have a much smaller contact patch (less stability). I guess that's a long way of saying there isn't any one perfect answer….either is a compromise.
   / 4x4 vs 2x4 #7  
I have used a 2x4 for 17 years with a loader. Farm before that had a 2wd tractor. Once in a while I get annoyed at not having 4x4 when trying to bring compost up out of the low spot where it composts to a customer's truck. South of Savannah maybe your property is relatively level like mine. My neighbor has two 2wd tractors and he makes hay, moves manure, and mows. His neighbor has two 4x4 machines to make hay. Lots of people using 2x4 tractors but they usually have old heavy tractors that do not need 4wd to work. Lightweight tractors sometimes do better with 4wd. Sometimes it is a question of what you can find at the dealer or in the Georgia Market Bulletin.
   / 4x4 vs 2x4 #8  
I agree w/others on 4WD.
Sooner or later you'll get stuck/hung up and the little extra traction will come in handy

FEL 4WD w/power steering great combo.
   / 4x4 vs 2x4
  • Thread Starter
Mainly flat sandy soil. Can get a little muddy when we have a lot of rain.
   / 4x4 vs 2x4 #10  
4wd is great if you have it. I worry about it being another thing to break. Thomas is correct that it will be handy one day but farmers have done 2wd for years. Power steering is a must for loader work. Probably hard to find a modern tractor without power steering.

If you did not gather, counterweight on the back end is good if you are doing heavy loader work. Otherwise the back wheels are could lift off or get light. Kind of hard on some FWD axles to do heavy work. I have read but have no first hand knowledge that some FWD axles are built a lot lighter duty than the rear axles so if not properly counterweighted the front axles does too much work and fails. Again no first hand knowledge so maybe I was reading wife's tales. My brush cutter or something heavier is on the back when moving the wet manure pile.

My tractor is not going anywhere on the property as we had 4 inches of rain the past day. It will take a week to dry out before I can move the manure pile. On the other hand I can scrape the road to try to fill in potholes now that the gravel road bed is a bit softer.