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Tractors - Stability

How can you maintain stability on various gradients?

A tractor tips when the centre of gravity moves outside the "stability baseline" - an imaginary line connecting each wheel.

Stability baselines
  • Side-mounted implements shift the centre of gravity toward the implement.
Side-mounted implements shift the centre of gravity toward the implement.
  • Operate the tractor with the mounted implement on the uphill side of slope.
Operate the tractor with the mounted implement on the uphill side of slope.
  • Adjust the tractor's stability with wheel weights and counterweights.
  • Beware of depressions in the ground and obstructions such as rocks and stumps. These hazards can change tractor stability on slopes or at speeds greater than a few kilometres per hour.

Instability can tip a tractor sideways. The outside wheels become pivot points.

Instability can tip a tractor sideways. The outside wheels become pivot points.

The outward tipping force varies according to the tractor speed and turning radius. Sharp turns increase the force.

A tractor is more unstable when turning uphill. Avoid this type of turn whenever possible or make it at slow speed.

The force becomes more dangerous as the tractor's centre of gravity is moved higher. Examples are when a front-end loader is raised, or when spray tanks are mounted high on a tractor chassis.

Document last updated on February 25, 2002
Document confirmed current on August 2, 2012

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