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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,
Following a discussion in the MCUT forum, I've been curious about other people's experience with HP, traction and ballast. Since this forum represents a great opportunity to gather data, I figured I'd put it to good use. If you wouldn't mind, please answer the following.

When doing un-powered ground engagement such as pulling a box blade, land plane, plow, disk harrow, etc. (so NOT a tiller), do you find yourself running out of traction before running out of power, or running out of power before running out of traction?

Also...

What kind of tractor do you have? What kind of transmission (gear or hydro)? What type of tires? And finally, what kind of ballast are running (e.g. filled tires, wheel weights, etc.)?

Thank you for your help!


EDIT: If you ran out of power, was it your engine that quit on you or your transmission?
 

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CC/Yanmar ex3200, 32hp. Loaded R4’s, 60” land plane, dirt driveway, incline, run out of traction in A range 4x2 when box really loads up
 

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I've bogged down with a box blade in low range with MFWD engaged before losing traction. Discing is different because I'm on ground that is already loose from chisel plowing, so there I will lose traction before I lose power.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've bogged down with a box blade in low range with MFWD engaged before losing traction. Discing is different because I'm on ground that is already loose from chisel plowing, so there I will lose traction before I lose power.
Was it the engine that was “overloaded” or the transmission?
 

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This is probably going to depend what surface you're on. If you're on a surface that the wheels can grab really well without spinning, you might run out of power when the relief valve opens on the hydrostatic drive. If the ground allows the wheels to spin, you're going to lose traction and spin. I've done both on my 1026R.
 

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I always run out of traction. I have a 2009 2520 with a hydro tranny, and R4 tires. I run a ballast box capable of weighing 980 lbs, but I rarely have it that heavy. Usually half to 3/4 max weight.
 

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2038r, 2 range hydro, no wheel weights and don't have loaded tires.


I've never run out of power, I always run out of traction.
 

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Im assuming we are all talking about being in low gear as well.
I dont still have it, but used to have a 955 with rear tires filled. It had R1 tires all around.
It would always run out of traction long before power. I could dig ruts to China if I wanted with that thing, MFWD and diff lock engaged.
Ive not heard of too many tractors that run out of traction before power. Following to see if anyone does have that "problem."

My current 2025R does this too, but less aggressively as it has R4s on it. No loaded tires, but do have wheel weights plus about #500 pounds on the Imatch.
I dont do ground engaging work with it much, mostly its pushing logs around or skidding logs/trees.
The one time it came close to running out of power, I had a tree on the bucket and was lifting as I was trying to push it. It lugged down pretty good, but still spun.
 

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2038r, 2 range hydro, no wheel weights and don't have loaded tires.


I've never run out of power, I always run out of traction.
The first statement is the reason for the second statement. These small plastic/aluminum tractors just do not have enough weight to put the HP to the ground.
 

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I easily run out of traction well before power.
And I don't think its a power issue really but a gearing issue.
You will run out power if you try to do everything in high gear.
I guess we could argue if its the hydro or the engine but if you try the same work in low you have no problem. So I guess its really a gearing issue.

Just try driving up a steep hill from a dead start at the bottom in high. Its not hard to find a hill that you'll die on.
Shift to low and its no issue.

I remember my Dad's old 1 ton "spray truck" with the old school 4 speed that had 1st really low geared. The infamous granny gear. In normal driving you'd start in 2nd from a stop. If your pulling a load or on a hill you'd use 1st. It was the gearing that made the difference on what could be done.
2wd with duals on the rear.
Also if he had the tanks in the back full (two 75 gallon mixing tanks) he really had pulling power.
I remember him pulling a stuck semi out of the mud with his spray truck. Just walked it out in 1st.
After he did that the semi driver was impressed. He exclaimed "you could pull the balls off a bull elephant with that thing".

Back to tractors.
I seem to run out of traction when I'm carrying heavy loads even with ballast on the back. Its a weight on the drive wheels problem. So I have to use the 4wd at that point. Seems to me that if Tractors had the front wheels driving and the back wheels steering you would not need 4wd. I have seen flail mowers that were front mount and look at all the implements that are available for skid steers/track loaders for front mount only. New design for Deere, the backward tractor, I hope they cut me in on the patent.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The first statement is the reason for the second statement. These small plastic/aluminum tractors just do not have enough weight to put the HP to the ground.
It *could* be the reason for the second statement. That's what we're here to find out. So far we have one guy with loaded tires who also ran out of traction before power.

But that's why this post is here! Let's see what happens.

Also, does anyone have a good way to tell if you're running out of transmission power or engine power? I would think that if your engine is still revving strong but you're not moving, that's the transmission and its relief valve. If the engine RPMs fall drastically and it would stall if you didn't let off the forward peddle, that's the engine.

Does that sound right?
 

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It *could* be the reason for the second statement. That's what we're here to find out. So far we have one guy with loaded tires who also ran out of traction before power.

But that's why this post is here! Let's see what happens.
I agree. I just thought it worth mentioning that without adding a LOT of weight you will never run out of engine power before traction, especially with a hydrostatic transmission.

Also, does anyone have a good way to tell if you're running out of transmission power or engine power? I would think that if your engine is still revving strong but you're not moving, that's the transmission and its relief valve. If the engine RPMs fall drastically and it would stall if you didn't let off the forward peddle, that's the engine.

Does that sound right?
Yes, I totally agree with that. There are a lot of variables and the relief valve issue is one of them. I once tried to pull out a stump with my 2720. I had the loader on, 4WD engaged, 800 lbs. in the ballast box and loaded rear tires. In low range the tractor would not move. It just sat there and whined at me. This was with me just barely pressing the forward pedal. I had a similar situation once when pulling a sub-soiler. I hit a rockey section of ground and the tractor just came to a halt and whined at me. In neither instance did the engine bog down at all. This is simply a situation where the relief valve opened yet the tractor still had plenty of engine HP.

There seems to be some folks who have similar tractors and they can stall out the engine while pulling something if there is a lot of traction.

I think we can agree that when it comes to pulling power with a hydrostatic tractor, it has more to do with your relief valve than it does engine HP or weight.
 

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I agree. I just thought it worth mentioning that without adding a LOT of weight you will never run out of engine power before traction, especially with a hydrostatic transmission.



Yes, I totally agree with that. There are a lot of variables and the relief valve issue is one of them. I once tried to pull out a stump with my 2720. I had the loader on, 4WD engaged, 800 lbs. in the ballast box and loaded rear tires. In low range the tractor would not move. It just sat there and whined at me. This was with me just barely pressing the forward pedal. I had a similar situation once when pulling a sub-soiler. I hit a rockey section of ground and the tractor just came to a halt and whined at me. In neither instance did the engine bog down at all. This is simply a situation where the relief valve opened yet the tractor still had plenty of engine HP.

There seems to be some folks who have similar tractors and they can stall out the engine while pulling something if there is a lot of traction.

I think we can agree that when it comes to pulling power with a hydrostatic tractor, it has more to do with your relief valve than it does engine HP or weight.
I would be one of them - and what you say is very true. It was mentioned somewhere in this thread of someone else's hydro going off on relief before loosing traction.

In the 12 years I've had my 2520 I've never heard it go off on relief. There are a few times I could have stalled the engine if I kept on the go pedal. But I don't treat my equipment like that. There is only so much these little tractors are capable of. Working within those capabilities is the key.
 

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Keep hoping

I easily run out of traction well before power.
And I don't think its a power issue really but a gearing issue.
You will run out power if you try to do everything in high gear.
I guess we could argue if its the hydro or the engine but if you try the same work in low you have no problem. So I guess its really a gearing issue.

Just try driving up a steep hill from a dead start at the bottom in high. Its not hard to find a hill that you'll die on.
Shift to low and its no issue.

I remember my Dad's old 1 ton "spray truck" with the old school 4 speed that had 1st really low geared. The infamous granny gear. In normal driving you'd start in 2nd from a stop. If your pulling a load or on a hill you'd use 1st. It was the gearing that made the difference on what could be done.
2wd with duals on the rear.
Also if he had the tanks in the back full (two 75 gallon mixing tanks) he really had pulling power.
I remember him pulling a stuck semi out of the mud with his spray truck. Just walked it out in 1st.
After he did that the semi driver was impressed. He exclaimed "you could pull the balls off a bull elephant with that thing".

Back to tractors.
I seem to run out of traction when I'm carrying heavy loads even with ballast on the back. Its a weight on the drive wheels problem. So I have to use the 4wd at that point. Seems to me that if Tractors had the front wheels driving and the back wheels steering you would not need 4wd. I have seen flail mowers that were front mount and look at all the implements that are available for skid steers/track loaders for front mount only. New design for Deere, the backward tractor, I hope they cut me in on the patent.
It wouldn't be hard to do, just take a combine cab and chassis and go from there. When we ran combines they weren't 4wd and usually you got stuck when the rear wheels went down. The fronts could keep churning but the rears would be too much anchor.

Off road fork lifts are also built with the drive in front and steering in the rear. It works well if you have your implement in front but maybe not so good if you are pulling an implement in the back. Perhaps you should add to your patent with 3 ph front and rear, lol. People wouldn't know if you were coming or going.


Treefarmer
 

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It wouldn't be hard to do, just take a combine cab and chassis and go from there. When we ran combines they weren't 4wd and usually you got stuck when the rear wheels went down. The fronts could keep churning but the rears would be too much anchor.

Off road fork lifts are also built with the drive in front and steering in the rear. It works well if you have your implement in front but maybe not so good if you are pulling an implement in the back. Perhaps you should add to your patent with 3 ph front and rear, lol. People wouldn't know if you were coming or going.


Treefarmer
There's a tractor out there that was built like that. I can't recall the Make and Model off hand tho. It's an odd looking machine, and makes ya do a double take when ya see it. I'm sure someone on here knows which machine I'm referring to.

Found it; Versatile.....
FARM SHOW Magazine - The BEST stories about Made-It-Myself Shop Inventions, Farming and Gardening Tips, Time-saving Tricks & the Best Farm Shop Hacks, DIY Farm Projects, Tips on Boosting your farm income, time-saving farming advice, farming tractors and Agriculture equipment reviews
 

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I would be one of them - and what you say is very true. It was mentioned somewhere in this thread of someone else's hydro going off on relief before loosing traction.

In the 12 years I've had my 2520 I've never heard it go off on relief. There are a few times I could have stalled the engine if I kept on the go pedal. But I don't treat my equipment like that. There is only so much these little tractors are capable of. Working within those capabilities is the key.
So, what I'm taking away from this is every tractor is different as to where it will go into relief. I think it also has a lot to do with how hard you are driving when "finding" something. Last year I was using my box blade to level up a road that goes around the barn where we store our square bales (it had tire grooves and a large hump in the middle). Running easy with the scarifiers all the way down I encountered a tree root that immediately put the tractor into relief, after the third pass the tree root finally gave up the fight but I've also had times where I could have stalled the tractor had I kept pushing when doing to FEL work, much like you mentioned above, but just like you I stop because I won't beat my tractor like that.
I still believe very much of it has to with surface/traction, as I stated earlier, when I'm discing our potato field that has been chisel plowed I very easily lose traction even with MFWD engaged.
But as jgayman said, if you have a tractor with no wheel weight or loaded tires you could/should very easily lose traction first, I would rather have traction and let the tractor work.

WHAT GOOD IS HORSE POWER IF YOU CAN'T UTILIZE IT
 

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There's a tractor out there that was built like that. I can't recall the Make and Model off hand tho. It's an odd looking machine, and makes ya do a double take when ya see it. I'm sure someone on here knows which machine I'm referring to.

Found it; Versatile.....
FARM SHOW Magazine - The BEST stories about Made-It-Myself Shop Inventions, Farming and Gardening Tips, Time-saving Tricks & the Best Farm Shop Hacks, DIY Farm Projects, Tips on Boosting your farm income, time-saving farming advice, farming tractors and Agriculture equipment reviews
This New Holland is the one that came to mind:

New Holland T4 Reverse Review - YouTube

The audio isn't English, but if you can't understand it (I can't) you still get the idea.
 

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I seem to run out of traction when I'm carrying heavy loads even with ballast on the back. Its a weight on the drive wheels problem. So I have to use the 4wd at that point. Seems to me that if Tractors had the front wheels driving and the back wheels steering you would not need 4wd. I have seen flail mowers that were front mount and look at all the implements that are available for skid steers/track loaders for front mount only. New design for Deere, the backward tractor, I hope they cut me in on the patent.

If that were true the JD F-series machines would be the ultimate snow removal solution. Do a Google images search, you will see plenty of them with tire chains.

 

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This New Holland is the one that came to mind:

New Holland T4 Reverse Review - YouTube

The audio isn't English, but if you can't understand it (I can't) you still get the idea.
This is also the one i was thinking DR, I've seen a few different videos on YouTube featuring it with a 3 point snowblower and another one with a disc mower. Popular in Europe apparently, the few i've seen were all over there.
 
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