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Discussion Starter #1
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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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. 100_3006.JPG 100_3007.JPG 100_3008.JPG To 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!
 

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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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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.
 

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:unknown: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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Discussion Starter #10
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!
 

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:unknown:no one mentioned wheel spacers to help make tractor a bit wider to take the pucker factor fear a bit less
All 4 tires are full and I have 2 1/2" Spacers on the rear and 2" on the front so my Winter Tire Chains clear stuff like my hydraulic hose I busted once with a front chain turning sharp. If you run chains you need them. 100_2221.JPG 100_2223.JPG
 

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^^^^^^

I've been giving some thought to spacers, so I'm asking, not challenging.

Does 4" in track width on 60" (5%) make enough difference to take a chance with axle stress and warranty issues? The other concern I would have is that making the rear wheels wider than the 59" snowblower might make getting a clean surface difficult. The wheels would be driving over the edges of unblown areas.

Not quite sure what I'll do.
 

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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!
Learning your terrain is a big help. My ass just naturally starts to pucker the closer I get to bad spots that I’ve hit before. I make a point of going back and filling or grading the ones that are jeans soilers. I have rocky and hilly land. I grow rocks as a past-time in my retirement. They aren’t kidding about a smallish rock or hole even on flat land changing your whole perspective real quick like. Go slow, be safe.
 

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I bet the angle the angle is steeper than most think.

If you ever stand on a race track with 30 degree corner banks it is steep but you would expect your tractor to roll sitting there. I also would not sit there raise the loader and turn up hill either though.
 

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How far can I lean this thing over............. till it hits the ground :dunno:

All I know is my land is flat except the ditch and pond. So I ain’t got much advice except stay away. Since you were on bikes laying over may not scare you much so just think about how much it could hurt the wallet. Maybe that will scare you :laugh:
 

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In my motorbike riding years the guide to how far the rider could lay the bike over at speed was to stop once your knee hit or scraped the ground!
Then just pull your knee in closer to the tank!

I know of guys that were dragging elbows in corners! And really crazy is seeing 2 up with BOTH people dragging knees!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Happy to see some kindred spirits in the tractor world. Elbow dragging is pretty common now in Grand Prix racing with the occasional madman getting his helmet on the pavement. If you haven't seen MotoGP in a while, it's worth checking out. The World Champ routinely loses the front in practice, feeling for the edge, then picks the bike up off his knee and keeps on keepin' on. It's quite a spectacle.

The Best Saves Marc Marquez in MotoGP - YouTube
 

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My 2 cents. Walk the property. Get to know the hazards. If you can, fill in any depressions. Keep the load low, including empty FELs. If you have a backhoe, turn stow it uphill, and when the anal vent starts to pucker stop. My place is basically flat but I've had that 2 second heart attack a number of times. It's not a nice feeling.
 

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^^^^^^

I've been giving some thought to spacers, so I'm asking, not challenging.

Does 4" in track width on 60" (5%) make enough difference to take a chance with axle stress and warranty issues? The other concern I would have is that making the rear wheels wider than the 59" snowblower might make getting a clean surface difficult. The wheels would be driving over the edges of unblown areas.

Not quite sure what I'll do.
Most certainly the wider the stance the less likely you are to flip. That said, most of these 2” spacers make for much more of a placebo effect than anything. I had a 3046 cab and it was fine for what I did and the ditches I mowed.

Filled rear tires help out the most. Put wheel weights on to make it even better.


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