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Farmall & IHC Tractors Discussion Forum
Show Parts for Model:

narrow front tractor stability

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Richard McClain

10-28-2011 09:21:20
130.114.88.159



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Would like to get some information from the guys who are using narrow front tractors for general farming operations on sloping to hilly ground. How much does the narrow front actually effect stability? I have experience with wide front tractors 2 and 4 wheel drive and own one of each, but have none with the narrow front tractors.




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Tom Fleming

10-29-2011 11:59:42
206.193.250.146



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 Re: narrow front tractor stability in reply to Richard McClain, 10-28-2011 09:21:20  
Well, each person has their own preference. I like row-crop (narrow front end) tractors. From a stability standpoint, if I have lots of work to do on hilly conditions, the only way to really be safe is a track machine. Wide front or narrow front, either can roll, and as has already been stated, the operator determines the danger. 2 things cause tractor accidents:

Main cause, is not paying attention. 2nd cause, panic. Either produces deadly results.

My view is simple. If the operator does NOT feel comfortable under the operating conditions, they shouldn't do it. So, if you think that the "trike" config is going to make you nervous when operating, don't buy it. I skid logs out of the woods with my BN, with the front tires off the ground more times than not (steering with the brakes). you have to pay attention, feather the throttle, and be prepared to hit the clutch. I DO NOT condone anyone operating that way if you are not comfortable with it. Learned to steer with the brakes when the front wheels were light years ago. If that takes your breath away, don't try it at home......... IMHO

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Matt (NEIA)

10-28-2011 22:16:09
173.22.176.35



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 Re: narrow front tractor stability in reply to Richard McClain, 10-28-2011 09:21:20  
I've always been told there basically the same, a wide front has just slightly a better chance at not tipping but once you break that point she is gunna go anyway.



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J Birthman

10-28-2011 19:16:51
72.100.173.181



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 Re: narrow front tractor stability in reply to Richard McClain, 10-28-2011 09:21:20  

narrow front works until you add a loader lost too many customers that way.



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oldtanker

10-28-2011 15:59:05
66.228.255.223



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 Re: narrow front tractor stability in reply to Richard McClain, 10-28-2011 09:21:20  
This says it all, you can't argue with physics!

http://www.nstmop.psu.edu/tasksheets/4.12%20Tractor%20Stability.pdf

On flat ground it's six of one and hal dozen of the other. On hills a wide front is more stable and way better going down hill.

Rick



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Brendon-KS

10-28-2011 15:52:35
63.245.190.37



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 Re: narrow front tractor stability in reply to Richard McClain, 10-28-2011 09:21:20  
My senior design project in engineering school was developing a model to mathematically determine the relative stability of a tractor during operation. The model took into account the slope, speed, turning radius, tread width, wheelbase, weight, center of gravity location, and other data. Tricycle tractors could be simulated by entering "zero" for the front axle pivot height. Complete instability was defined when the weight on either rear wheel went to zero. (Note that a front wheel did not have to come off the ground to have "no stability". The front axle width was actually not even used in the equations since it doesn't matter by this definition.) Using this model it was easy to determine the conditions that would cause a rollover with a tricycle tractor where a wide front would still have been upright. It is all based on the relationship between the forces acting on the center of gravity and the "tipping axis" which is a line from where the rear wheel contacts the ground to the front axle pivot location. For both slopes and turns the wide front is physically superior when it comes to stability. As others have said, though, both are capable of being rolled over given the right (wrong?) set of circumstances.

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D Slater

10-28-2011 16:46:24
184.15.3.93



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 Re: narrow front tractor stability in reply to Brendon-KS, 10-28-2011 15:52:35  
Growing up on a farm in West Virginia I wonder if there's another factor for a dual wheel narrow front. Going by the seat of pants feel when going around a slope the upper rear wheel will keep more weight on it when the front wheels are straight ahead. Cutting the wheels sharp especially down hill when the weight is light on the upper rear is a no no. Real sidling ground I always try to keep the front end higher on the slope than the rear and don't turn the front end down hill at a angle when real steep. H and M tractors with weight on rears and wheels spread if needed will go around steeper ground than a person should. After having zero weight on the upper wheel at times when I was younger. Now I say why take the chance, If it feels dangerous most times it is. Back then we also had some older 2 wheel drive utility type tractors. One a ferguson 40 was used on steep ground, with the lower center of gravity, spin out wheels on rear set wide, it would go around a hill so steep it would slide down before turning over unless something caught the rear wheel. Also on uneven slopes the rear wheel could come off the ground and the front end stop it from going on over, getting close though. On the H they get light on the front going up hill sometimes.

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BoonvilleKid

10-29-2011 08:44:19
24.206.167.119



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 Re: narrow front tractor stability in reply to D Slater, 10-28-2011 16:46:24  
Slater, does it kinda give you chills today when you think of what you did when you were 15 years old?



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D Slater

10-29-2011 17:35:24
184.15.3.93



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 Re: narrow front tractor stability in reply to BoonvilleKid, 10-29-2011 08:44:19  
BoonvilleKid done a lot of stupid stuff way past 15. After leaving the dairy farm at 20 to visit uncle sams army and on return running construction equipment on the hills valleys and drop offs for a bunch of years. Recently retired. Oh to be young and smart agian.



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Mike1972chev

10-28-2011 14:24:56
99.50.226.189



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 Re: narrow front tractor stability in reply to Richard McClain, 10-28-2011 09:21:20  
Something I have not seen mention yet is how far out are the rear wheels set????? That will make the BIGGEST difference on a hillside.

I mow a pretty steep hillside with my Super M.The rears are "dished out" and set about 4" from the end of the axle stub to the wheel hub.it is VERY stable on my hillside!



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DeltaRed

10-28-2011 13:32:48
71.215.96.111



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 Re: narrow front tractor stability in reply to Richard McClain, 10-28-2011 09:21:20  
The wide front vrs. narrow front being safer is mostly an optical illusion.All tractors have "3point suspention"-the wide front just puts the "pivot point"approxamatly two feet higher.By the time the stops hit the frame-too late,its over.Like the other guys said,no difference.Just be carful!!Actually the wide front may be less safe-you are overconfident in the tipping factor and take more chances on the hills.Again,work safe and be careful!!Steve

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IH fan

10-28-2011 12:53:11
99.95.236.57



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 Re: narrow front tractor stability in reply to Nebraska Cowman, 10-28-2011 09:21:20  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Had an uncle with a Super C that farmed some pretty hilly land (always said it was more efficient to farm both sides of the dirt). It had a wide front when he bought it new and when it got worn loose, he replaced it with a narrow. I asked him if it made any difference, and he said all it did was turn tighter. Next tractor he bought was a narrow front.

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Richard McClain

10-28-2011 12:17:27
130.114.88.159



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 Re: narrow front tractor stability in reply to Richard McClain, 10-28-2011 09:21:20  
Thank you all for your input. The reason for my question is that I have an oppurtunity to pick up a nice straight, original H with the narrow front and since it is to be a using tractor I was a little skeptical about the stability issue, hence talk to the experts.



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old

10-28-2011 12:27:14
209.86.226.19



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 Re: narrow front tractor stability in reply to Richard McClain, 10-28-2011 12:17:27  
I own and use tractor that are both wide and trike type and as long as you think before you do your ok. I could post a picture of a 8N ford that has the wide front but is up a tree because the guy drove it along the hill side and slide side way and got lucky the tree stopped it from rolling over on him. For the most part a narrow front will flip just a tad bit easier then a wide front but both in the wrong place will flip

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Fullers Farmalls

10-28-2011 11:12:54
24.239.77.45



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 Re: narrow front tractor stability in reply to Richard McClain, 10-28-2011 09:21:20  
Gotta say we had a guy killed 2 years ago on a tractor. Narrow front. He knew what he was doing and had farmed that ground for over 25 years but accidents happen. They are less stable. But any tractor is less stable on a hill side. That my opinion.



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rustyfarmall

10-28-2011 12:13:12
216.248.71.224



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 Re: narrow front tractor stability in reply to Fullers Farmalls, 10-28-2011 11:12:54  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Lots of guys been killed on wide front tractors also. Operator error is what causes it, not the configuration of the tractor.



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rustyfarmall

10-28-2011 11:06:44
216.248.71.224



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 Re: narrow front tractor stability in reply to Richard McClain, 10-28-2011 09:21:20  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

There is basically NO difference in stability between a narrow front and a wide front. Any given tractor has between 60% to 70% of its entire weight already on the rear axle, and that is where the stability comes from. If the slope you are driving the tractor on is too steep for the narrow front to be stable, a wide front axle will not make any difference. Adding weight and ballast to the rear wheels is the only thing that will make a difference.

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Dave H (MI)

10-28-2011 16:13:00
66.87.4.43



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 Re: narrow front tractor stability in reply to rustyfarmall, 10-28-2011 11:06:44  
EXACTLY! And there have been studies done in the past that stated exactly that. Pretty much it boils down to operator error. I have had my share of close calls...most of those had to do with wide front tractors and loaders.



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Zachary Hoyt

10-28-2011 10:40:20
184.12.70.149



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 Re: narrow front tractor stability in reply to Richard McClain, 10-28-2011 09:21:20  
I don't do tillage but I do cut and bale hay on hilly ground and skid logs and pull wagons in the woods with a Farmall H. It does not feel much tippier than our MF 35, but I have never pushed the limits with it, there are some places I just don't go with either tractor. The H has one set of wheel weights and loaded 14.9/38 tires so there is quite a bit of weight holding the rear end down.
Zach

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randy hall

10-28-2011 09:56:27
216.255.28.112



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 Re: narrow front tractor stability in reply to Richard McClain, 10-28-2011 09:21:20  
any tractor is only as safe as the operator driving it. i have never upset a tricycle tractor. just be careful.



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