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We have a JD4020 and Massey Ferguson 135 that to-date have both done everything expected. DH has a hankerin for a 4x4 tractor thinking it will help him in the winter and spring when the ground is thawing and freezing and so slick...sometimes deep with mud where the cows eat hay.

We've looked at a few 4x4 tractors and find that feature to be an expensive option, whether the tractor is old, new or used.

The question is whether you have found your 4x4 tractor to be worth the extra $. We have found that the old tractors are much heavier than the new ones and we wonder if the new lightweight tractors experience problems in mud because they are so much lighter.

Before DH sells his very find old and rebuilt tractors...he really needs to know if his expectations of a 4x4 tractor are way to high. :shrug:
 

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I've had heavier/older John Deere and Massey Ferguson (165) two wheel drive tractors that had traction problems in the muck. A few years ago I bought a Kubota with 4x4, and many times it has gotten me out of trouble or allowed me to get work done when otherwise I could not have done so. I've heard it said (and I now agree) that having 4x4 makes a tractor seem 10 horsepower stronger than it is, just from the added traction. All that being said, I believe any "paid for" tractor that gets the job done when you need it is the best tractor.
 

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I have had several 4x4 and 2x4 tractors and in mud the 4x4 are worth the extra money.
 

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We used our 4x4 tractor to pull our non-4wd vehicles (my minivan and DH's 4x2 truck) out of the mud a couple times. We have black gumbo soil... lots of stuff gets stuck in that when it's wet.
 

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Yes, 4x4 is good to have with a front end loader. Without a lot of weight on the back end you will have trouble moving with a load on the front. If you are moving big bales on a 3-point carrier, it isn't so important because you have the added weight on the backend to give you extra traction. Another benifit to 4x4 is you don't spin and dig up the ground as much.
I ground hay today using my old Hesston 4x4 with fdrloader. I would have had a very hard time lifting a bale and backing from the bale pile on frozen ground without the front wheel asst. With it, I didn't have a bit of trouble puting bales into the tub grinder.:rock:
 

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I've had a couple of 4x4 tractors. If you absolutely positively have to have it then stop worrying about the costs. I don't need it, got rid of the 4x4's and their tire expenses and repairs, and so far am living very well without them farming over 200 acres. 4x4 lets you try lots of things you probably shouldn't but yeah it'll grind you out of a few mistakes too.
 

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I have no use for a loader tractor without 4x4, but then I'm putting an average of 3 hours a day on my loader tractor every day of the year. If all you really need it for is a few muddy days a year it probably isn't worth it. Particularly if you're buying a used one and you can expect some repairs shortly (last time I rebuilt a front end on a 4wd tractor it cost me $10,000). When I'm doing tillage with one of the two bigger tractors I generally prefer to leave the 4wd disengaged until I need it, if I need it on all the time then it's too wet to be working anyway (only exception is on some of my hills)a.

You'll have to figure out how much work you need it to do though.

Got out doing some logging yesterday, even at -30 we found two feed of mud under a foot of snow. 4x4 was handy.
 

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I have always found 4X4 to be extremely to have, in trucks and tractors. On the rare occasions that I have been without it, I have invariably found myself very much in need of it.

I personally will never again buy a truck or tractor that is not 4WD.
 

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My husband and I would agree that 4X4 is the way to go. Every tractor he has is a 4X4and he actually sold Massey Ferguson tractors for awhile till he got too busy at his other job selling Peterbilts. Even today when we were doing firewood in 2 feet of snow on a hill I was positive he was going to get stuck but sure enough as soon as the 4X4 kicked in the tractor pulled itself right up the hill with no problem.
 

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ET1 you'll be doing well as long as you don't get your trenches mixed up.
 

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Only good if you need them , that's all we have 265 hp and up and working ground with a 36 ft disc and packer reduces slippage and gives a lot more pull.. When that 4020 was new is sold for around 7500. now used they are bringing around 12,000..
 

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I'd just buy a set of chains for the 4020, if it would be too muddy for it then you have no business being in mud that deep. 4 x 4 tractors are nice, but would you want to go in debt just because you wanted one. We've gotten by with a two wheel drive tractor and changes for the last 40 years and never needed a 4 x 4.

Bobg
 

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The "need" of a 4x4 tractor is mainly a function of your land, your weather, and your farming needs. For there are times and places where a 4x4 tractor is indeed indespensible.

It's about the same argument as a 4x4 truck. Many times those extra driving wheels aren't needed. But when they are needed, they very much are needed.

If you're spending time winching a tractor, or not doing necessary work because it's stuck or your afraid it will get stuck, then a 4x4 model is probably justified. If you've not been having problems with the equipment you've got, then you may well not need it after all.

Keep in mind a 4x4 lets you get better stuck. And that can be a very ugly situation.
 

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The first day that I drove my new tractor, I got it stuck.

4 paces from our driveway, it sunk down into wet soil and began churning soil into mud.

With the backhoe I quickly lifted the backend up out of the hole it had made, filled the hole with brush, and was soon moving again.

My land is mostly forest, and fairly wet. it does not drain well.

A 2WD tractor would be winching every 10 feet.
 

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I find an older utility class farm tractor is a very different thing than a newer compact tractor.

I own both, and have a muddy, hilly, deep snow in winter, farm, so have some experience.

The big old 2wd farm tractor has more clearance under it, so will handle going _through_ snow or some mod much better than the smaller compact 4wd tractor.

I find them about equal to each other in mud & snow. The little compact low to the ground fella with a loader on it _needs_ the 4wd, don't get one without!

The bigger heavier old farm tractor can be properly balanced - even for a loader - and will do just as well being a 2wd. They straddle over the top of muck & snow. The bigger rear tires have a lot more traction than the little compact tires do.

I would be real, real careful getting anything older with 4wd - most of those early front axles are no longer made, and parts are very very expensive, or not even available.

So, what you have for tractors are pretty good as is.

If you feel the need to get a smaller compact tractor, then on those yes you need 4wd.

--->Paul
 
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