Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tractor stuck

Seans one of the new farmhands, and he was out on the tractor working on a paddock, and he got our big tractor pretty stuck.  This tractor weighs about 12,000 lbs and is a 4x4, and pretty darned agile, but when all four wheels go in and you get the frame stuck... well, you're stuck. 

I've worked out a system that gets the tractor out.  The biggest problem is the back wheels.  When they sink into my mostly-clay soil they get a suction going that is pretty hard to break.  So the first thing we do is put something solid under the front loader, and use the front loader to lift the front tires up.  We then shovel dirt or whatever under the front tires.  We'll do this 3 or 4 times, eventually raising the front tires above the level of the original ground. 

So you lay the bucket down and then use the curl to move the last 12" up, stuff dirt under the front tires, repeat.   Eventually we needed to put stuff under the bucket , too. 

Once the tires are raised, we use the front loader as a lever to pull the rear tires up and out.  Here we've attached a chain from the frame of the blue tractor to the chain hook on the front loader of the orange tractor, and then back the blue tractor away slowly while the orange tractor goes forward slowly, in creeper gear (1mph). 

The loader acts as a lever.  The mount of dirt under the front wheels acts as a fulcrum.  This allows us to get an upward pull on the rear wheels of the orange tractor with a mechanical advantage.   You could hear the sucking sound as the rear tires came free; they were pretty much glued in place by the mud. 

Notes:  We attach the chain to the weight mount on the front of the blue tractor because it's a lot stronger than the little loader on that tractor.  We could rip the loader off the blue tractor with the stresses we're putting on it.  It also gives us the best angle for a lever.   We could have done the same sort of maneuver with an anchor instead of the tractor, using the orange tractor front loader to provide the pull, but since we have two tractors and it's pretty easy, might as well use 'em. 


Anonymous said...

Check this video for another way to free a stuck tractor:

(also heed the warning in the top comment!)

I haven't tried this...

Bruce King said...

I've seen the technique in the video before, but I've never tried it, either. The tractor that they're freeing is a 2wd model, and I used to get stuck a lot when I had one of those. a 4wd tractor just drives through that sort of mud, no problem. The problem for me is when the mud is deep enough to touch the bottom of the tractor and high-center it. The wheels spin and don't get any traction. With a 4wd tractor, the lever is pressing the front wheels down and giving them better grip, and the front wheels help pull it out with their motion.

Anonymous said...

Having tread left on the back tires helps too!

Unknown said...
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