Tracks Vs Tires – John Deere Tractors

Track tractors and tire tractors ride differently, therefore, one needs a deeper understanding of its advantages and disadvantages before making a purchase decision. It is wise to understand the operability of both types by analyzing their flipsides and their strongholds.

Advantages of tracks over the tire on a John Deere tractor

  • The equipment exhibits better floatation and a smooth ride even on rough fields.
  • Tracks exhibit higher traction compared to tires leading to higher efficiency.
  • Track tractors exhibit high stability on the hilly surfaces compared to tractors using tires.
  • It has high maneuverability (i.e zero-turn radius).
  • It is easier to implement hookups.
  • No need to adjust tire pressure even when the ballast changes.
  • There is no power hop.

Disadvantages of John Deere using tracks instead of tires

When under heavy load, it is difficult to control with the steering because it follows contours and terraces. But this can be dealt with by implementing a wide tread option on the track.

  • There will be PTO interference, especially when making sharp turns.
  • It is not easily compatible with dozers or loaders.
  • There will be a rough ride or extra vibration, especially on a hard surface.
  • Increased soil berming. If working on a farm, there is increased crop damage compared to John Deere tractors on tires.
  • While on a farm, it is harder to adjust in varying row spacing to minimize damage.
  • If the tractor was meant for transportation, tracks are extremely slow compared to tires.
  • Trash can build up hence require regular checking and cleaning for improved efficiency.

Other considerations to closely look at before deciding to buy a tractor with tracks instead of tires include:

  • Tractors with specialised John Deere tracks come with high-end prices. Their initial cost is surprisingly higher than those with tires.
  • Their cost of maintenance is high when compared to their counterparts.
  • It is not easy to determine their resale value for a specific trade area because it is difficult to tell whether a wide tread or standard tread is appropriate.

It is also important to look into some of the operational considerations before purchasing either a track or tire tractor. Consider the following aspects:

Flotation: track tractors will exhibit higher flotation in wet soil than those with rear and front wheels. But with modern John Deere track tractors with front duals, you can now equate track tractors to wheeled tractors.

Ride: you will experience a fair ride on a track tractor than on a wheeled tractor on the field. Tracks can bridge nuts or irregular terrains, unlike the wheeled counterparts which drop into ridges causing a rough ride compared to a smooth ride on tracked tractors. But with the introduction of improved suspension units on the wheeled tractors, the advantage tract tractors had over wheeled tractors has reduced significantly, thanks to ILS systems now inbuilt with the latest John Deere tractors with tires. Traditionally, it was believed that wheeled tractors had a better ride over the tracked tractors due to the air suspension wheels provided, on the contrary, it is the opposite.

Maneuverability: tract tractors have better maneuverability compared to wheeled tractors. Tract tractors can achieve a zero-turn radius unlike tractors on wheels. Some tracked tractors can make turns even when the equipment is stationary. The horsepower on a track tractor is higher compared to the same equipment with the tires.


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