Dealer warns front axle will wear out if left in 4x4

Freeheeler

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b2650 tlb
Aug 16, 2018
662
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Knoxville, TN
Yes, running in 4wd when not needed will add extra wear on the system, but I don't think you'll notice it for the first 30 years or so. What you will notice is that you will wear out your front tires and have to replace those more often. I specifically don't use 4wd when doing most loader work because the high weight load directly on the front axle will cause a lot of tire wear and drive train binding. A lot of my loader work involves tight radius turning on relatively flat ground. Your case may vary. In short, anticipate the need, use it as needed.
 
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D2Cat

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I had a friend who's dad was a carpenter. Said his dad had tools he put on a shelf and saved to use "when his old one wore out". When the man died he had new tools, saws, saw blades, hammers, levels, drills, etc never used but were ready for "when his old one wore out" sold at auction.

Lesson to learn, use your tools for what they are meant for not trying to save them or someone at the auction will get the benefit.
 
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Velma

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B2301, FDR1660, RB1560, SGC0554, Pats QH, CMP Dethatcher
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Well…I guess just starting the tractor starts wearing it out. The real question is, will it wear out before you do? At my age I suspect not.
 

leveraddict

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2017 BX23S 60" LP BoxBlade 54" mower 60" BackBlade EA 12" 1 bottom plow & Forks
Apr 1, 2019
602
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Madison,Pa.
Surprised at delivery, dealer told me i will wear out my front axle if using 4wd too much! What is up with that? I know not to run 4wd on hard surface but in loose soil should i worry about leaving 4wd engaged?
Dont let what the dealer told you haunt you for the rest of your tractors life!
On my BX the only time its in 2wd is cutting the grass with a MMM and when Im on the pavement!
 
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GeoHorn

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Surprised at delivery, dealer told me i will wear out my front axle if using 4wd too much! What is up with that? I know not to run 4wd on hard surface but in loose soil should i worry about leaving 4wd engaged?
Salesman B.S.

Define “too much”.

Ask him if using it in 2WD too much will wear out the rear axle.

(Salesmen and Developers = consistently pathological liars)
 

ACDII

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B2410, L352 Loader, Woods BH70-X backhoe
Oct 21, 2021
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Yes, running in 4wd when not needed will add extra wear on the system, but I don't think you'll notice it for the first 30 years or so. What you will notice is that you will wear out your front tires and have to replace those more often. I specifically don't use 4wd when doing most loader work because the high weight load directly on the front axle will cause a lot of tire wear and drive train binding. A lot of my loader work involves tight radius turning on relatively flat ground. Your case may vary. In short, anticipate the need, use it as needed.

Was going to say the exact same thing. Tire wear and front drive shaft binding will be the most notable wear items.
 

ScottHam

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Kubota L3560HST-LE 4WD; R4 tires; Armstrong Ag BRG-mini grapple; 1272 box blade
Jul 9, 2022
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I'm picking up my new L3560LE next week, and I really appreciate these comments (including the sarcastic ones :) I have a feeling my tractor will almost always be in 4WD given my hilly terrain, lack of mowing, and absence of any hard surfaces on my property. This thread has helped me have one less thing to worry about. Thank you.
 
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RalphVa

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Jan 19, 2020
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Charlottesville
Surprised at delivery, dealer told me i will wear out my front axle if using 4wd too much! What is up with that? I know not to run 4wd on hard surface but in loose soil should i worry about leaving 4wd engaged?
He's full of s___t. Should always run in 4wd unless going a long ways on pavement or forever on flat land. Too dangerous on hills using only 2wd. The rear wheels will just skid. Could skid sideways and cause it to turn over. 2wd = 2 wheel (rear) brakes only.
 
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Biker1mike

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Jan 11, 2022
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He's full of s___t. Should always run in 4wd unless going a long ways on pavement or forever on flat land. Too dangerous on hills using only 2wd. The rear wheels will just skid. Could skid sideways and cause it to turn over. 2wd = 2 wheel (rear) brakes only.
Been there. Actually only one rear wheel started to skid. Caused the tractor to attempt to become perpendicular to the hill with the engaged rear mowing deck helping with some extra torque.
With a geared unit it was push the clutch, play the brakes, turn down hill and ride it out to the flat.
I NEVER go near a hill or slant without looking down to see what the tranny selection is in.
 
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sardillim

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b2650
Nov 24, 2019
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Easton
I do mostly everything in two wheel drive, 4 wheel drive to me is there to get you out of trouble, and if the four wheel drive doesn't work the Hail Mary is the diff lock
 
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GeoHorn

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He's full of s___t. Should always run in 4wd unless going a long ways on pavement or forever on flat land. Too dangerous on hills using only 2wd. The rear wheels will just skid. Could skid sideways and cause it to turn over. 2wd = 2 wheel (rear) brakes only.
That’s a good point for those who haven’t considered the fact that when in 2wd the brakes only affect the rear wheels…which is fine in most instances. But on slippery surfaces, if in 4wd and brakes are applied…the brakes are affecting all 4 wheels. (Found this to be useful on slippery streets in the pickup also.)
 

Henro

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May 24, 2019
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That’s a good point for those who haven’t considered the fact that when in 2wd the brakes only affect the rear wheels…which is fine in most instances. But on slippery surfaces, if in 4wd and brakes are applied…the brakes are affecting all 4 wheels. (Found this to be useful on slippery streets in the pickup also.)
My B2910 has been in 4WD 99 percent of the time for the 20 years since I bought it.

An uncontrollable slide down a grassy slope was enough to teach me that lesson. I keep my BX in 4WD nearly all the time as well. Nothing flat here on my property.

Works for me. Once a few years ago I somehow knocked the 4WD lever in to 2WD and fortunately nothing bad happened, except for a bit of pucker factor when things were not happening as they should have. Don't remember the details...but I DO REMEMBER now to check the 4WD lever position regularly.
 
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skeets

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Odds are you wont live long enough to wear it out, unless you reall do sumthin dumb
 

NCL4701

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To me that falls in the category of yes it will wear out faster if you use it but you might as well saved money and bought a 2WD if you’re not going to use it. The whole tractor will last longer if you don’t use it at all. Your pants will last longer if you don’t wear them. A saw blade/chain lasts longer if you never cut anything. The floors in your house will last longer if you live in a tent in the yard and don’t walk on them. Your money will last longer if you voluntarily choose to be a vagrant and never spend it. The list goes on and on. Personally, I prefer to wear my pants, bust out a saw when there’s a tree across the driveway, live in my house, spend money on stuff like groceries and electricity, and run my tractor in 4WD on my very non-flat property much of the time. YMMV.

Don’t use 4WD on pavement. If you’re mowing or otherwise on turf, and don’t need it, leave it in 2WD so you don’t tear up the turf when you make tight turns.

Other than that, it’s there for a reason (most of which have already been enumerated by others). The driveline was engineered to be stout enough to deal with the inevitable differences in front v rear wheel speed when on dirt/gravel. Use it, be happy, don’t worry about it.
 
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Shekkie

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A sales guy at my dealership attempted to help me at the busy parts counter and he was unaware that there were two filters for the hydro system. Just saying.
 
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lynnmor

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B2601-1
May 3, 2021
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Red Lion
So a salesman tries to be helpful and makes a correct statement about increased wear and this tough crowd has a hissy. Good Grief.
 

ACDII

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B2410, L352 Loader, Woods BH70-X backhoe
Oct 21, 2021
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I rarely use 4WD because I don't have hills, but when I am cutting the grass alongside the road I sometimes need to use it, but it tears the crap out of the ground if it is soft like it is right now from all the rains.

Will it wear, Yep, but will it wear faster using it, Nope. Guess what, other than the U-joints between the trans and front axle, the wear will be the same using it or not. After all, it is always turning when the tractor is in motion, it just isn't being powered by the engine, hence why the U-joints will have less wear. They take the brunt of the wear when making turns under power.
 

chim

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L4240HSTC with FEL, Ford 1210
Jan 19, 2013
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Will it wear, Yep, but will it wear faster using it, Nope. Guess what, other than the U-joints between the trans and front axle, the wear will be the same using it or not. After all, it is always turning when the tractor is in motion, it just isn't being powered by the engine, hence why the U-joints will have less wear. They take the brunt of the wear when making turns under power.
Actually, the part about wearing the same whether being in 4WD or not isn't correct. While the parts do spin when the tractor moves, there's no connection between the front and rear wheels. As some have mentioned, there isn't an exact match of gearing front-to-rear. Add to that the different travelling distances between inside and outside wheels and there's a fair amount of load on the driveline when locked into 4WD. The better the traction, the more load on the driveline.
 
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GreensvilleJay

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BX23-S
Apr 2, 2019
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OK, the wear WILL be 'similar' whether in 2WD or 4WD, as ACDII points out MOST of the spinable stuff IS spinning,due to the ground. it really doesn't matter whether the engine or the ground is the 'driving force', the front axle, diff gears, bull gears are ALWAYS spinning, thus 'wearing out'.
The only way to truly reduce this 'wearing out' would be to install a version of Warn Lock-O-Matic hubs. Then there would be zero wear of the front axle components when in 2WD.
Lock-O-Matic hubs were a GREAT invention('50s) as they automatically ONLY supplied engine power to the front wheels IF in 4WD.