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jbneb
Contributor

Track Tractors

Just curious as to how many of you run tractors with tracks on them?  Also what pros and cons do you find most often running these tractors?  I currently run a wheeled tractor, but with a possible trade coming up I was thinking about a track John Deere 8430 or maybe the R series track.  I use the tractor for a little bit of tillage, planting (which i have sidequest tanks on so I figured it would spread out the weight), grain cart, and a little bit with a manure spreader.  Now it seems to me spreading out the weight and having less compaction while doing all of these tasks would make sense.  However in my area track tractors are like a foreign language.  No one knows anything about them and no one is really interested in looking into them and I really don't know why.  So if any of you could share any experience that you have with them I would appreciate it. 

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5 Replies
jonno
Contributor

Re: Track Tractors

I bought a used case IH quad trac this past fall, I love it over a wheel tractor for pulling my no-till drill (really like it over articulated wheel tractors).  I live in the Pacific Northwest and a wheeled tractor would need to have a lot of weight added to pull my drill on the hills.  Several years ago, we demo'd a john deere tracked tractor to pull a chisel, it couldn't do an uphill turn with it in the ground (ran out of poop).

 

Just my thoughts....

 

Jon

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nwobcw
Advisor

Re: Track Tractors

  Don't you raise the tool at the ends to make your turns?

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Red Steele
Veteran Advisor

Re: Track Tractors

I own a couple of 400 hp 4wd wheel tractors. I could have purchased tracked tractors for about half of what these cost, in the used market for comparable hours. I asked around and saw that the coops, who use these type of units a lot, were getting rid of them and going back to the wheeled tractors. Employees said that the wheeled tractors are smoother to ride in, and that if you get the wrong mix of freezing in the fall you cannot get traction with a tracked unit.

 

I can look at a wheeled tractor and see what type of tread is on the tires and if the axle seals are leaking. I am not the world's greatest mechanic by any means, but this much I can do. However I cannot look at tracked machines and have any idea if they need nothing , need $10,000 worth of belts, or need $40,000 of undercarriage work.

 

I would think long and hard about it before buying one.

 

My two cents.

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jonno
Contributor

Re: Track Tractors

when chiseling or cultivating it is uncommon to lift the implement, as tire tracks (track tracks) on our hills lead to erosion if you are a conventional farmer.  If you plow, yes, you lift the implement.

 

I am doing no-till, and use a Quad Trac to pull my drill.  I have to pick up the drill for most corners, but prefer the tracks (on my Quad anyway) as I would not have enough traction with tires (without triples and weight).

 

Jon 

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cowfarmer
Senior Contributor

Re: Track Tractors

Traction is a real problem when it's greasy. I ran one for a coop for a couple days last spring when one of there employees got injured, it was a joke.

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