How far can I lean this thing over?
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Thread: How far can I lean this thing over?

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    How far can I lean this thing over?

    In a previous life I taught would-be motorcycle road racers how to lean over further, thus going faster, through the turns. It was common to see a kid scared to death by 15 degrees of lean ankle in the morning confidently bending it in at three times that amount by the end of the day. Full disclosure...now and then one of them would skin up a nice set of leathers learning where that limit is.

    Now I'm a newbie tractor owner with a question. Sitting in the cab of my fairly narrow-track 3046R, high above the center of gravity, how do I learn how far over the tractor will lean. I REALLY don't want to find the limit by flopping it on its side! I see guys mowing ditches (one of the things I want to do) at what looks to me like ridiculous lean angle (as bike people call it) but I also notice they have VERY impressive roll cages. Any advice?

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    JD4044M's Avatar
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    Yes it may not tip on the Max angle you put it on till you move, turn, hit a rock or hole with a tire ect. It all depends on the surface your driving on how steep you can operate it at. Like on a Motorcycle try those turns on loose gravel once. Put it this way my tractor drove in a hole in the snow and started tipping over slowly! Lucky it slid a little into the deep hidden ditch and the rear tire held it up. Plus my skid plates helped hold the tractor off the ground and did not damage any hydraulic/electrical controls stuff ect under it. I am also glad my rear tires are full cause the one not in the ditch held the tractor up some. If I had only a rear mounted ballast it would have went over plus I dropped my loader and rear blade fast. Instincts help when things like this happen cause you don't have much time to think. I was saying to myself as it was going over, man I don't have my Safety Belt on oh crap!! My Lexan Side Windows and Windshield would have kept me in the seat area.Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	692544To get it out of the ditch my friend used his Case Backhoe rear bucket. I chained it to the Front End Loader Frame the strongest point on the side. It was easy for the backhoe to lift and pull it out of the hole with my help driving the tractor. If I had not put skid plates under my tractor my Hydraulic System Filters and Lines would have been damaged by the ground with all the weight of the tractor on top of them. It was not sitting on the left rear tire it was a deep ditch and had another foot to go!
    Last edited by JD4044M; 06-23-2019 at 11:38 PM.

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    My 3039R seems "stupid narrow" as well.
    etcallhome, BigJim55 and JD4044M like this.

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    Each tractor and combination on the tractor is very different. There is no hard rule of thumb other than when you feel yourself sucking up the seat cushion you might be approaching the critical angle. If you have no fear on a slope you are either oblivious to the danger or you're made of steel.

    When you are on a slope, the slower you go the better, is a good rule to follow. If it feels too hairy then it probably is, go do something else with the tractor. Far better to let the weeds and grass grow than to roll, so discretion is the better part of valor in this situation. I would also go slow over uneven terrain or terrain with holes in the ground, that will flip you pretty quick too. If you get wheel spacers and a fair amount of weight in the bottom of the tractor (loaded rear tires) that will help greatly on slopes.
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    Not good to dump a regular tractor

    LOL, in my misspent youth I dumped a cycle twice and have the scars from not wearing leathers. I have no intention of dumping a tractor although with a ROPS and seat belt it's normally not going to cause personal injury.

    Those mowing crews have armored cabs for a couple of reasons. One is to keep debris from taking out all the glass. The other is because they do roll them on occasion. A driver rolled one in front of my house several years ago. He cussed a few times, climbed out of the cab and called for help. A truck with a winch helped up right it and after letting it sit upright for a while for oil to drain back to where it should be, they started it up.

    BTW- that's one time when you want two doors in a cab. If you only have one and roll it onto that side, you are stuck crawling out a window.

    I'm a flat land person and steep slopes give me pucker factor really quickly. As mentioned above, it's not the static slope that gets you, it's the dynamic change from dropping one wheel into a little hole, running over a rock with the uphill wheel, a wheel sliding on wet or unstable groud or a load shifting. You can calculate/estimate/guess at the tip over angle on a static slope but better build in a little safety factor for those dynamic forces. That's why ballast, proper weighting etc. are so helpful. A tractor still won't be the equivalent of a race car because they are built more like a high riding pickup but the more weight you can get as low as possible helps. Implements up high are a danger, implements down low are an asset plus like the blade above provide a ground stop to some extent.

    Since you are used to pushing a cycle close to the limit, you might have to back off a bit on the tractor. Pucker factor is usually a pretty good guide but in your case the cycle experience might lead you to push it just a bit too far. Then you have to hope for a wheel, implement or lowering a loader to catch you.

    Treefarmer
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Myself - it is by feel or the seat of my pants but I have been running tractors and machinery all my life.

    You are correct in being concerned - that is good!

    Some folks use an inclinometer. There are some made specifically for tractors. This however will not tell you the tipping point - just a guide of how steep a slope you are on.

    As with all tractors and equipment - you always want to go straight up and down a hill - not sideways and not at an angle. Sometimes it takes more time and work to do so but well worth the safety aspect.

    Here is an old thread about inclinometers for your reading pleasure.

    Inclinometers
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    It doesn't take a hill to roll a tractor. It can be done in a flat field. A heavy load to high and a wheel suddenly drops in a hole and there she goes.

    Properly ballast the tractor.

    Keep all loads, including rear ballast, as low as possible. Good idea to practice this all the time, even when you are on flat ground, so that it becomes habit.

    Move deliberately and pay close attention to your surroundings.

    Be ready to react if needed.

    Trust your gut. If it doesn't feel right, don't.

    The only golden rule is common sense.
    Taking the easy way is what makes rivers and men crooked.

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    It has far more to do with terrain, surface, and load than just the angle.
    I wouldn't recommend leaning your tractor this far...
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    no one mentioned wheel spacers to help make tractor a bit wider to take the pucker factor fear a bit less
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    jim

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    Good input!

    As usual, common sense rules the day. Some of the great things about getting off the bike and into a tractor (and being newly retired) are having absolutely nothing to prove...having no reason to be in a hurry...and having clear memories of how much it hurts to break bones. No desire for more. Thanks to all!
    rtgt, mark02tj, jdforever and 4 others like this.

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