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Do You Know These Facts About Tractor Pedals?

We want to share important information that you may have never heard before regarding tractor pedals.

And as a quick aside --- we are here to help you purchase a new tractor, parts and implements when the time is right.

Let’s dive into the details.


Modern farm tractors typically have four or five foot pedals on the floor.


The pedal on the left is the clutch. The operator presses on it to disengage the transmission for either shifting gears or stopping the tractor.

Some modern tractors have (or as optional equipment) a button on the gear stick for controlling the clutch --- in addition to the standard pedal.


Two of the pedals on the right are the brakes.

The left brake pedal stops the left rear wheel. And the right brake pedal does the same with the right side.

This independent left and right wheel braking augments the steering of the tractor when only the two rear wheels are driven. This is usually done to make a sharp turn. The split brake pedal is also used in mud or soft soil to control a tire spinning due to the loss of traction. The operator presses both pedals together to stop the tractor. Usually a swinging or sliding bolt is provided to lock the two together when desired.


The pedal furthest to the right is the foot throttle.It can also be controlled from a hand-operated lever called a "hand throttle." This helps provide a constant speed in field work. It also helps provide continuous power for stationary tractors that are operating an implement by a shaft or belt.

The foot throttle gives the operator more control over the speed of the tractor for road work. This is a feature of more recent tractors. Older tractors often did not have it.

In the UK --- foot pedal use to control the engine speed while traveling on the road is mandatory. Some tractors --- especially those designed for row-crop work --- have a 'de-accelerator' pedal, which operates in the reverse fashion. The pedal is pushed down to slow down the engine. This allows fine control over the speed of the tractor when maneuvering at the end of crop rows in fields. The operating speed of the engine is set using the hand throttle. To slow the tractor to turn --- the operator simply presses the pedal, and then turn and release it once the turn is completed.

Fifth “Differential Lock” Pedal

A fifth pedal is traditionally included.

It is located just in front of the driver's seat (often pressed with the operator's heel). This pedal operates the rear differential lock (diff-lock) --- which prevents wheel slip.

The differential normally allows the outside wheel to travel faster than the inside wheel during a turn.

In low-traction conditions on a soft surface --- the same mechanism could allow one wheel to slip --- further reducing traction. The diff-lock overrides this. It forces both wheels to turn at the same speed --- reducing any wheel slip while improving traction.

Care must be taken to unlock the differential before turning. This happens by hitting the pedal a second time. A tractor with good traction cannot perform a turn with the diff-lock engaged.

In modern tractors, this pedal is replaced with an electrical switch.

Hopefully, this brief article has helped you understand tractor pedals.

If you need any further help or have any questions about pedals, tractors, implements, or anything else equipment-related, please contact your dealer, local mechanic, or call us at 602-734-9944. Please ask about our current new and used tractor supply.

If you are looking for old, vintage, classic, or new tractor parts, send us a part request.

Tractor Ranch - #1 Tractor Dealer in Arizona. We sell and service most major brands of tractors including Yanmar, Kubota, John Deere, TYM, Mahindra, Kioti, Case, New Holland, Massey Ferguson, Ford, Deutz, Case IH, Farmall, International Harvester, Branson Tractors, LS, Shibura, Claas Tractor, McCormick Tractors, Valtra, Solis, YTO, Montana, and Nortrac.

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