We want to help you understand what you need to do to drive your tractor safely and properly on the street.
Let’s get started.
Tractors were not designed to be driven on paved roads.
However, many tractor owners and operators need to occasionally or frequently drive a tractor on paved public roads and highways. Roads that are shared by faster vehicles.
So, if you ever find yourself in a traffic situation --- please keep these helpful tips in mind…
Remember you are not driving a car or truck.
Tractors perform differently than trucks and cars.
With a tractor, you must slow down quite a bit before turning. Tractors tend to have a higher center of gravity than cars and trucks. Turning and abrupt maneuvers at too high of a speed are more likely to cause an overturn or loss of control with a tractor compared to vehicles designed to operate on roads and highways.
Maintain control by carefully and cautiously selecting your travel speed.
You can also help maintain the stability of your tractor if you avoid operating the differential lock when you are driving on paved roads and paths.
Turn the steering wheel slowly, smoothly, and gradually. Avoid sudden changes of direction to keep the tractor under control.
Consider disengaging the 4-wheel-drive.
On pavement --- driving your tractor in 2-wheel-drive mode eases the stresses placed on the transmission and the other drivetrain components.
One of the reasons is that the tractor 4-wheel-drive systems are designed to provide maximum pulling power on soil and other surfaces --- with less traction than pavement provides.
A tractor’s front and rear wheels don’t necessarily turn at the same speed. This is not an issue. It is a benefit to tractor performance on soil, grass, or other surfaces with some “slip” and “give.”
For extended operation on dry pavement --- a 4-wheel-drive tractor feature may increase tire wear and drivetrain stress.
Operating in 2-wheel-drive mode may be the preferred setting on roads. Be careful though, as 2-wheel-drive reduces the braking performance on most tractors (the front wheels will not have any braking capability with 4-wheel drive disengaged). If you are towing a load on a road, you need to pay extra attention to braking performance when choosing to operate in 2-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive.
Lock the 3-point hitch.
When you are carrying 3-point-mounted implements during road transport --- ensure the 3-point hitch is locked into the up position.
Do not operate the 3-point hitch control lever while transporting implements.
Properly use your drawbar when you are towing.
When you are using the drawbar hitch to tow a trailer, wagon, or other attachment down the road --- use safety chains.
Use a drawbar hitch pin that is designed for that use --- and use a lynchpin, clip, or lock that prevents the hitch pin from falling out of the drawbar.
Connect split brake pedals.
If your tractor is equipped with a separate brake pedal for each rear wheel brake --- be sure both pedals are locked together when transporting the tractor on the road.
Be car-cautious and display your SMV sign.
There is a significant difference between nations, states, provinces, and cities regarding the traffic rules that apply to tractors and other farm equipment on public roads and highways.
Become familiar with your local, state, province, and national rules to help avoid a traffic ticket or other issues with all on-road tractor operation.
Display your slow-moving vehicle (SMV) sign on the rear of the tractor. If a towed or mounted implement blocks the SMV on the tractor --- make sure there is an SMV on the implement.
Hopefully, this short article was helpful for learning how to properly and safely drive your tractor on the street.
If you need any further help or have any questions about driving on roads, 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.