Green Tractor Talk banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I grew up always hearing about "brother" , a family friend who was killed in a tractor rollover maybe 60 years ago. I have no details at all other than it was a narrow front tractor and they found him deceased in the field. All that bunch was always against owning any narrow front tractor ever since.

I try to envision how the accident occured. Do you suppose a rear wheel went into a ditch causing it to roll? I wish I knew more about this. Being raised on such a story I always avoided narrow fronts. Some folks say they are every bit as safe, me, IDK. :unknown:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,911 Posts
Really hard to tell not knowing the whole story. What I do know is nothing is safer than the operator makes it. Sometimes stuff happens, but being conscientious about how you do things is the best bet.

By narrow front, do you mean a tricycle?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,278 Posts
I would agree with rtgt, would depend on the circumstances. If you mean the tricycle type front-end, when I was growing up that's the only kind of tractors there were in my area, mostly for row-cropping. And I drove a lot of them. I don't remember ever hearing of a roll-over or anyone even getting seriously hurt on a tractor.

Of course it might also depend some on the type of terrain involved, we were mostly flat land.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
935 Posts
Are tricycles any more dangerous than a normal tractor that has a pivot front axle ? It seems that in both cases the rear wheels do all of the stabilizing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,160 Posts
Are tricycles any more dangerous than a normal tractor that has a pivot front axle ? It seems that in both cases the rear wheels do all of the stabilizing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I wouldnt think so. But...I dont know specifics on most brands and sizes and I'm sure it will vary some. I would think by the time a tractor has rolled over far enough to hit the stops....its too late to stop it from going on over.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
770 Posts
Narrow fronts are no more prone to tipping than wides on flat ground.

Farting around and mowing ditches, and similarly uneven ground on a slope, is where the wide fronts have an advantage.

Woodchuck dens collapsing, and rutted up muddy fields on hill sides can be rather sporty of old tri-cycle tractors.
 

·
GTT's Pilot in Command (PIC)
Joined
·
8,558 Posts
I think it is a good post. It serves to remind everyone, that rollovers can, and do happen.

I have a 9141 Avery, that my granddad and my dad put a lot of hours on. I put a few. It is tricycle. No mishaps. But there are a lot of variables out there, from location of CG, length of tractor, to terrain. I believe all are safe, if operated according to their limitations, and the operator's limitations.

That being said, ground can shift and give way, and a person can have a lapse in focus, because they are over confident, since they have "done this so many times before". Accidents will always happen. It is our job to limit those accidents, by using our best judgment.

Again, nice to have the reminder. Thanks for starting the thread.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,698 Posts
I have always heard, myself, that tricycle front tractors have more of a tendency to tip over. Rather or not that is true, I don't know. One thing I do know, the tractor can flip over backwards if given the right circumstances. My old boss from years ago related a few experiences he had and heard about of this occurrence. I also was a first hand (sort of) witness of this.

One day while driving into town, I saw a JD two cylinder tractor, I believe it was an "A", on it's top near a pond. The tractor was a tricycle front tractor and the pond was man made, so there was a slope up to the pond. I drove on thinking it must have happen a day or two ago. It turns out, it just happened and the guy was still pinned underneath the tractor. After hearing this, I felt bad as I SHOULD HAVE STOPPED and see if any assistance was needed.

Anyways, the fact that a tractor can roll over backwards can happen if put in the wrong type of terrain without taking the necessary precautions. Can they tip over due to the tricycle front? I'm sure it can happen, but any tractor or vehicle can tip over if put in the wrong situation.
 

·
Senior GTT Super Slacker
Joined
·
36,056 Posts
Good thread. I always assumed the narrow (tricycle) front tractors had wider or adjustable rear tire spacing for added stabilization.:dunno:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,106 Posts
Good thread. I always assumed the narrow (tricycle) front tractors had wider or adjustable rear tire spacing for added stabilization.:dunno:
My Uncle had Farmal a H, C , and M all narrow (tricycle) fronts. I remember him having the rear wheels out as far as they could go. Some of his land so near level ,but the most of it was sloping . He also had I think a Farmall that only had 1 wheel on the front. He or my Aunt did rolled it or it put it on its side, don't remember if they were hurt. I do remember the next week we went to the farm the single wheel tractor wasn't there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,278 Posts
The real point of these tractors was to be able to make sharp turns when plowing / planting rows. They all had individual brakes for each rear wheel, so that turning steering wheel all the way and braking the inside wheel, it could spin around much like a zero-turn today. Back when all the equipment was for only 2 rows, at the end of a row you could turn around quick and keep the rear wheel in the same middle to go back the other way.

The rear wheel spacing was set for the distance between the rows when planting / cultivating / bedding. The front wheels ran in one middle, and each rear wheel ran in the next middle over each way, so the tractor straddled 2 rows.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,232 Posts
My great uncle had a Farmall C (I believe it was a C or maybe larger) with a tricycle front end and an FEL. He was out on a ledge/rock behind the house (which dropped down into a steep slope down into a sloped field) putting soil into the rocks with it for my Aunt so she could plant some flowers in the different indentations of the ledge. He rolled it in the process and was able to jump off and was not hurt. The good thing is that he sat up high on the tractor and was able to jump off. He replaced it with a brand new International Harvester utility which I believe was a 340 Industrial TractorData.com International Harvester 340 tractor information which had a wide front end and an FEL. You sat down in on this one. He then sought to do the same thing with that tractor. Well he rolled this one as well although he could not jump out of this one. It killed him rolling onto him. I was 7 years old at the time and we were up at the Expo in Montreal (we lived in NH) and we got the call. we drove back. It turns out my cousin (his daughter)who was only 3 years older than me found him dead under the tractor. No ROPS in those days with seat belts.

My dad was always against tricycle front ends as well due to the impression you could tip over with them more easily. We had a MF 35 we FEL TractorData.com Massey Ferguson 35 tractor information when I was little, then traded up to a MF 20 industrial with FEL and BH TractorData.com Massey Ferguson 20 industrial tractor information and then my dad had a series of heart attacks and we had to sell the MF 20 to pay the bills and then when he got better we bought an old used International harvester 330 utility with FEL TractorData.com International Harvester 330 tractor information. All of these had wide front ends. We never rolled them (none had ROPS on them) but I think we came into precarious situations at times especially when sugaring in the spring in the woods gathering the sap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
740 Posts
Because the wide fronts on older tractors have a much larger range of motion than a newer machines they are more dangerous comparatively and in fact only marginally more safe than tricycle front ends of the same era. I wouldn't trust either on a side slope. Old row-crops have a very high center of gravity and that is what makes them so dangerous.

Personally, I think the most dangerous thing you can do with an old tricycle row crop is to load or unload it from a trailer without a center ramp.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,963 Posts
Tricycle front

I grew up always hearing about "brother" , a family friend who was killed in a tractor rollover maybe 60 years ago. I have no details at all other than it was a narrow front tractor and they found him deceased in the field. All that bunch was always against owning any narrow front tractor ever since.

I try to envision how the accident occured. Do you suppose a rear wheel went into a ditch causing it to roll? I wish I knew more about this. Being raised on such a story I always avoided narrow fronts. Some folks say they are every bit as safe, me, IDK. :unknown:
We had Allis Chalmers tractors WD-45 when I was growing up and they were tricycles. They were great when cultivating but not very stable. You could flip one on a hillside, (my Dad did that once) or even turning them too short and fast although we never tried that. The front axles were set so the separation between the tires was much wider at the top than at the bottom and consequently they ate wheel bearings frequently. I suspect that more than one accident occurred with that model when a bearing let go on a turn. I wouldn't use one today for any work but at the time, we thought they were great!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
740 Posts
Narrow front ends make a lot of sense when you don't have power steering. In the 50's, Deere introduced the roll-o-matic narrow front which allowed each wheel to move up and down independently. This saved a lot of wheel bearing and operator fatigue especially when plowing.

I still maintain that old row crops with narrow front ends were/are just as prone to rolling as if they had wide fronts. Their tendency to tip comes from their high center of gravity. The main reason narrow fronts are so often blamed is because most old row crow tractors have narrow fronts.

So long as the operator is careful, they are reasonably safe machines. My family has been farming with row crop JD's since 1936; 4 generations, without serious mishap. Of course there are safer tractors, but there aren't any that are cooler!
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top