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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am taking delivery of a 2018 2025R with FEL, Frontier RC2060 rotary cutter, ballast box, auto throttle, I-Match and 3 point tractor receiver hitch this week. I have no tractor experience other than garden tractors. I did drive forklifts of many sizes for a company for several years. I realize that this is not a monster machine by any means but am sure one could get hurt or worse on the smaller machines probably easier than the big boys.

What advise and tips can one and all give me about operating a tractor safely and competently? Of course a cover to cover reading of the owners manual will be a must. Thanks!
 

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Watching "Tractor Time with Tim" videos on YouTube would be a great place to start. I'm not sure if he actually has a video on operating a tractor, but just observe him in his many videos.
 

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And “tractors with Mike” videos
As for bucket work, use proper ballast and keep it low and slow.
You are off to a good start by just asking your question
Enjoy that new :greentractorride:
 

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Where is the post someone put up, it was from some tractor think tank about proper tractor operations.
It was a very good read....and perhaps either a stickie or posted prominently on forum for anyone to read:bigthumb:
 

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Safety tips

These will all be in the owners manual that you are reading cover to cover but they are worth drilling into your work habits.



  1. Before starting the tractor do your safety and fluid checks.
  2. Lubricate as per the book(s). If you don't have a grease gun, get one and the proper grease. Use dry lubes or Fluid Film on moving parts without grease fittings.
  3. ]Use the seat belt. You have a ROPS and it's designed to work with the seat belt.
  4. Keep observers, especially children away from the machine. The mower can thrown things a long way. It's easy for a child to decide to walk behind a unit and you don't know they are there. Teach children and observers to approach you on a 45 degree angle from the front and stay a safe distance away until you have seen them and stopped the implement, lowered everything to the ground and shut off the engine.
  5. Become very familiar with the controls and how to attach and remove implements, loader buckets and the loader itself.
  6. Go very slow when operating on unfamiliar ground or ground with high ground cover where you may not see holes or obstacles.
  7. Like others have said, go slow with a load on the FEL and keep it as low as possible. It doesn't take much of a dip to flip the unit if you have a load up high.
  8. Become familiar with the unit before operating on steep slopes. Plan your work so you are going up and down a slope. Go down hill on the steepest slopes and use 4wd.
  9. Lower implements and the FEL and shut implements and the tractor down when you get off the tractor.
  10. Strive for smooth operation of the tractor, not speed as you are learning. The very best operators don't look like they are rushing but get more done than the person who looks like they are frantically working the unit.


Your forklift experience will help as you are used to the difference between a load up high and one close to the ground. The big difference is most fork lift operators are running on known ground- it's either concrete, asphalt or hard packed material and any defects are easily seen. That's not always the case with tractor work.

Enjoy learning your new tool. Don't try to rush the learning process and just because someone else tells you they can do something, it doesn't mean it's a good idea. Get a feel for the machine on safe simple tasks and then step up to more challenging tasks.

Above all, stay safe.

Treefarmer
 

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I pile a lot of brush with my loader/grapple. (See my burn pile threads).

Do NOT turn and raise the bucket/grapple (when loaded) while turning. The tractor will become unstable turning, when it would not become unstable going straight. If I start to raise a load of brush as I approach the burn pile, then decide to turn to get a different angle, I can fell the inside rear wheel get light. If I had more rear ballast, this may not be a problem :flag_of_truce: Just one more thing to keep in mind.

Also keep a hand on the loader joystick and be prepared to lower the load if you feel/sense the tractor tipping.
 

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I had about 20 hours on my first tractor (30 hp Kubota) and was starting to get a bit confident using the loader; I was helping a buddy by clearing out a drainage ditch and almost laid that tractor over. Scared the crap out of me but it was a good wake up call.

Everybody has given great advice, I don't have anything much to add except read and reread their advice. Using the loader with either ground contact or lifting something is where things can go south in a big hurry.

When I had my dozer (Komatsu D61P) I wanted a bunch of seat time before I used it on slopes to tidy up my borrow pit. There's nothing quite like having your 20,000 pound piece of equipment sliding sideways on a grade (actually it was quite safe due to the low center of gravity and wide tracks but it still puckered my butt.)
 

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I am taking delivery of a 2018 2025R with FEL, Frontier RC2060 rotary cutter, ballast box, auto throttle, I-Match and 3 point tractor receiver hitch this week. I have no tractor experience other than garden tractors. I did drive forklifts of many sizes for a company for several years. I realize that this is not a monster machine by any means but am sure one could get hurt or worse on the smaller machines probably easier than the big boys.

What advise and tips can one and all give me about operating a tractor safely and competently? Of course a cover to cover reading of the owners manual will be a must. Thanks!
As raco232 mentions, we attempt to show how to use a tractor ‘by doing’, rather than a more classroom academic approach.

Occasionally, we stop to explain a specific function (like loader float), and we often show mistakes...so that others might learn.

Check us out on YouTube ‘Tractor Time with Tim’, and at http://Tractortimewithtim.com
 

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If you're married, don't let the wife use it or YOU will never use it again. :lol:
Amen to that. Although you should at least educate your wife enough on the tractor for her to be able to pull you out when you get your zero turn mower stuck. :hide:
 

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Ouch!

Amen to that. Although you should at least educate your wife enough on the tractor for her to be able to pull you out when you get your zero turn mower stuck. :hide:
:laugh:

Treefarmer
 

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Amen to that. Although you should at least educate your wife enough on the tractor for her to be able to pull you out when you get your zero turn mower stuck. :hide:
So true. :lol: :thumbup1gif:
 

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So true. :lol: :thumbup1gif:
If you look at my signature I also have a ztr. I mow with the ztr and shorty mows with the tractor. No more explanation needed.:lolol::banghead:
 

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Major Kudos for asking this question and you have a great tractor and package of accessories. You will learn new things everyday. I think the most important thing I learned about was ballast and it’s necessity. I saw you have a ballast box added. Make good use of it. Have a great time and congrats.

Spent a little time deer hunting about one mile North of Cuba. What a cool place you live in.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Major Kudos for asking this question and you have a great tractor and package of accessories. You will learn new things everyday. I think the most important thing I learned about was ballast and it’s necessity. I saw you have a ballast box added. Make good use of it. Have a great time and congrats.

Spent a little time deer hunting about one mile North of Cuba. What a cool place you live in.
That is high praise for someone who lives in Michigan one of my favorite states! I consider Fulton county to be one of the prettiest counties in west central Illinois. Live in a subdivision just East of Cuba. We Ma Tuk is the subdivisions name. Old strip mine area that was leveled and reclaimed and lots sold on the lakes left from the strip mining. Really like it here.
 

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Other than your wife,, let no one operate your tractor,,
if you do, consider it the same as giving the tractor to the other person,,

That way, when it comes back broken, you will not feel bad.
It is like they broke their own tractor.

If you lend it to another,, IT WILL come back broken,,,

:flag_of_truce:
 

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Other than your wife,, let no one operate your tractor,,
if you do, consider it the same as giving the tractor to the other person,,

That way, when it comes back broken, you will not feel bad.
It is like they broke their own tractor.

If you lend it to another,, IT WILL come back broken,,,

:flag_of_truce:
Truth.
Anytime someone says they want to borrow some tool or something else to do a job, I either say no, or offer to bring it/operate it myself to help. Depends on how good a friend they are, and honestly, I dont have that many close friends, so it doesnt happen much.

As to the operation, easy does it. You will learn the limits the more you use it, but everyone has given good advice.
Watch grades, and watch having the load on the loader too high while turning (flat ground isnt too big a deal, but flat ground can turn into uneven ground REAL quick if its anything other than concrete).
 
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