MFD'S .vs. Track Machines - The Combine Forum
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Old 01-20-2008, 02:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Re: MFD'S .vs. Track Machines

The only advantage a track machine has over a MFWD is that it can be equipped with auto-steer very easily and cheaper than a wheel machine. You also never have to adjust tire pressure. A properly setup and ballasted wheel tractor will perform as good as a track machine. Compaction will be very similar.
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Old 01-20-2008, 02:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: MFD'S .vs. Track Machines

We traded of our 8400T last year for a 305MFD with duals and could not be happier with the decision. The tracks are so ruff that we used to fight over who had to run the machine. Now we fight over who gets to run the MFD! The other thing I found with tracks is if we got anywhere near a mudhole the tracks would suck you right in.
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Old 01-20-2008, 02:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: MFD'S .vs. Track Machines

Well, comparing our hired crews 4960 vs my friends 65E cat....its kind of a tossup, obviously the Cat has some better features since its newer, but overall:

The cat had a smoother field ride with the graincart behind it, at the same time in tillage practices tracks leave huge ridges in the endrows.

The 4960 has a smoother Powershift, faster transport speeds, and seemed like it had faster field speeds as well, even though it was pretty rough until we ran the same rows down enough to make em smooth.

Considering the price of tracks vs wheeled tractors, the cost to put new tracks on, the loss of time tracks give you with transport speeds, im glad we didnt buy the 8400T we we're looking at last year...

There a smooth ride in the fields, and i wish wheeled machines could figure out a way to offer a more track-like ride, but considering the above...i don't think track machines belong anywhere but in hilly areas...I'd like to compare to a quad-track though...but as far as i know, nobody has ever owned one in the area.
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Old 01-20-2008, 04:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Here we go again

90 Percent of the time tracks will out perform tires hands down!!

Those other 10 percent are either when it's to muddy anyway and on very hard compacted ground.

We run all but one MFWD tractors, the one is a Cat.
Cat has 205 PTO HP. Will out perform 235 PTO HP wheel tractors in same field pulling same plows going same depth! And do it on less fuel!!
Less compaction is an added bonus!!
It rides smoother in the field then any wheeled tractor. On the road it is a little rougher but I've been in tractors with tall skinny tires that rode rougher then our Cat does.
If you want proof come down here when we are doing field work and I will show you!!
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Old 01-20-2008, 04:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: MFD'S .vs. Track Machines

Quote:90 Percent of the time tracks will out perform tires hands down!!
We run all but one MFWD tractors, the one is a Cat.

Those two sentences contradict each other.
Why?

Don
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Old 01-20-2008, 04:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: MFD'S .vs. Track Machines

dutch-

All i know is that when ditching with a track machine, as you come back into the ditch you better be hanging on to something. It hits hard enough that you feel it in your ribs. Maybe for in field tillage they are good but i know they are rougher than heck on a scraper. The people i know that use them for seeding could just as well not even have a headland. They get so tore up nothing grows anyways, and have fun spraying across that. As far as fuel, the 8430T was about the same as our 245. But the 8400T and 8310T we have tried in the past were Terrible on fuel. The 8310T burned 20 gals more than our 240 MFD on a chisel plow to do a small 40 acre piece. As far as Cats i dont know. But i do know that they are not the awnser to tractors.
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Old 01-20-2008, 05:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: MFD'S .vs. Track Machines

This subject always perks my interest up. If your buying a Green Tracked machine, there is no comparison to an MFD tractor. Go with a red or Green MFD, it doesn't matter, don't go with the tracked machine. But, Challengers are in an entirely different class of tractor than a John Deere tracked machine. The MT765 is simply an unbelievable piece of equipment for a row crop tractor.

Challenger tracked machines are very smooth in fields and on the roads. We have owned MFD's, big four wheelers, and Challengers. Fuel consumption is 6-8 percent better with tracked machines when comparing the same tier of engines.

I have said before, if your a hay farm, a tracked machine would not be for you. Also, if your running small equipment the end rows can get rough. Running 16-24 row equipment makes end rows berming a non issue. We use to run some 12 row equipment and we would sometimes skip passes to turn around without berming. The kinds of soils your turning in makes a big difference in how sharp you can turn. The other place I don't particularly like tracked machines is mowing and moving dirt in rough areas.

The one thing people always ask me about the Mt 765 machines is how smooth are they on the road. They go 24.6 mph and are much smoother than any other tractor we have or have ever been in. Last week I was in a new Case 330 and a 305 and they were both loping down the road. I almost got sick cause i was sitting in the buddy seats. Of course the driver was in a full suspension seat and hardly even noticed it. I asked if it was always this rough going down the road. He didn't know what I was talking about. We got in a Challenger and went down the road. It was smooth and he now thinks differently about how his 330 and 305 go down the road.

Never had a flat on any of our tracked tractors this last year. 2 flat tires on the 8010 and one flat on 2388.


As far as spraying. We have a JD 4920. 120 foot booms and I never feel anything at the end of the fields.

JD on their own website tries to push people to MFD over JD tracked machines. They know they cannot even come close to competing with Challengers tracked machines. We purchased a 3-pt mounted strip till rig with no assist wheels. The JD 8530T tracked machine would not even pick it up. The JD four wheel drive would not pick it up. They max out at like 15 or 16 thousand lbs. The challenger MT855 picks it up without even noticing its on the machine. The three point cylinders are twice as big.


This last stuff comes off JD website and are for their tracked tractors. For challengers, their bogey suspension is night and day different than JD. JD's are just not smooth going down the road. The JD site says they are higher priced, but with autoguidance systems installed on both, they are pretty much the same price if not a little less than an MFD. We always trade our machines with 4,000 hours on them and it looks like the tracks have about 3,000 hours left on them. I'm not sure how many hours we get out of tires cause we always trade them, but costs on tires vs tracks is hard to figure out. Every farm runs differently. There is virtually no slip in tracks, where tires slip much more and wear faster. Just my two cents. Didn't look through the Deere info too much, so there is some stuff in there I don't agree with it.

8030 Series Track Tractor advantages and disadvantages

Since track tractors act and ride differently than tire tractors, a thorough understanding of the advantages, disadvantages, and operating considerations of tracks should be understood before determining whether tracks or tires are the best choice for the applications.

Tracks Advantages:

Better flotation
Smoother ride on rough fields (diagonally across rows)
Higher level of tractive efficiency over a wider range of soil conditions
More stability on hillsides (able to maintain traction)
Better maneuverability (zero turn radius possible)
Easier implement hookup
Minimal ballast changes and no tire pressure to adjust
No power hop
Tracks Disadvantages:

Reduced steering control under heavy draft load (following terraces, contours)
Possible PTO and drawbar interference when making sharp turns
Not compatible with loaders and dozers

Other Considerations:

Higher initial purchase price
Higher cost to maintain
Faster tread/lug wear possible when operated more on hard-surfaced roads (compared with tires)



Operating considerations:

A track tractor will exhibit a higher level of flotation in wet conditions and ride smoother on rough fields than a tire tractor. This is because of the tracks' ability to bridge over ruts and irregularities rather than dropping into them like each set of tires on a tire tractor; however, when crossing ditches or waterways, the bridging effect of tracks creates different characteristics. As the tracks tractor rides up to the top of the ditch or levee, it will teeter forward and drop down on top of the road surface or field.


Tracks tractors are more maneuverable than tire tractors. The 8030T Series Tractor has the ability to counter-rotate, providing a zero turn radius. They also have the ability to make turns even when the tractor is stationary. With the shift lever in neutral, forward, or reverse and the clutch pedal fully depressed, the tractor will counter-rotate when the steering wheel is turned, providing the ability to make small side-to-side adjustments when hooking up implements. Because the 8030T Series Tractors have the ability to counter-rotate when making turns, it will cause berming when turning on end rows. Also, when turning on end rows with an implement that is hooked to the drawbar, it is possible to jackknife the tractor into the implement. Special care should be taken to prevent this from happening. It is recommended to make two 90-degree turns when making headland turns. Make two short turns, leaving plenty of room between the track and the implement. This will also reduce the berming and crop damage that is caused by tracks when making sharp headland turns.


8030T Series Tractors will exhibit a higher level of straight-ahead drawbar pull when operating at the same weight-to-horsepower ratio as a tire tractor. However, when turning under load, such as following contours or waterways, most track tractors will exhibit some speed loss. 8030T Series Tractor engines can provide up to 10 percent power boost at engine speeds above 1200 rpm during turns in order to minimize any speed loss. It simply requires more power to turn a tracked tractor than it does to turn a wheeled tractor pulling the same load. To improve steering performance when under load, follow these recommendations:

Use gradual turns (larger turn radius) or small frequent turns (ratchet- or bump-steering).
Add ballast if slip is greater than 5 percent.
Reduce the load and/or downshift.
Allow drawbar sway with towed implements.
Allow hitch sway with 3-point implements and carry implement weight with gauge wheels.
When operating on road surfaces where traction is less than optimum such as ice, wet black tops, or gravel roads, transport speed should be reduced in order to maintain steering control.


Tracks tractors have a harsher ride than a tire tractor on hard surface roads due to a lack of the suspension system that the air inside tires provides. Just like a tire tractor, it is important to have proper balance on the tractor in order to attain the best possible performance and steering control.


Due to the unique operating characteristics of the track tractors, the 8030T Series Track Tractors are not recommended for scraper applications.
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Old 01-20-2008, 07:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: MFD'S .vs. Track Machines

good info farmboy -i was trying to keep this a MFD vs. Row Crop Track
Cant compare a big frame to small.
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Old 01-20-2008, 07:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: MFD'S .vs. Track Machines

Yeah, I got a little off subject and tried to modify it a little bit. 90 percent of the info is pertinent to the MFD vs tracked row crop tractor subject. It says the same stuff for 8030T and 9030T on the JD web site.
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Old 01-20-2008, 07:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: MFD'S .vs. Track Machines

One thing about tracks around here is that they don't go to work if we have rain or snow.
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