Mud-go fast or go slow?

Guy Mandude

New member

Equipment
BX2380
Sep 14, 2020
13
3
3
SC
Hey all, New to tractoring and for sure new to doing it in the mud. As i am clearing a field (85 acres) with a flail mower, and there is thick clay mud under the grass. Don't want t get super stuck way in the back of the property where i cannot get to with my truck. To not get stuck, is it better to go fast or to go slow? Normal R4 tires on a BX2380. (yes before you say it, it's going to take forever to do 85 acres on a BX, but that is the tool in the toolbox)

Right now i can see the wheels start spinning (in 4wd) and i still move forward but slower. Is spinning the wheels faster better to not get stuck or should i try to gently and slowly drive out?

The field is about 6 years of overgrown grass that holds water. I think if i get the grass lower, that'll help it dry out as sun and wind can get to the mud better. Any truth to that?

Appreciate the advice.
 

bcp

Active member

Equipment
BX2360
Apr 20, 2011
615
43
28
SW WA
Problem: It will dry faster if you mow it. You can't mow it until it is dry.


In mud I've had experience with:

If you go fast, you will need a longer chain to get out.

Fast works if there is solid ground just out of reach when you are slow. Fast just gets you stuck farther in if you have a long distance of mud.

Bruce
 
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fruitcakesa

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M 6040
Oct 26, 2010
603
73
28
Cavendish Vermont
How soft and deep is the mud? How much distance do you have to cross?
The R4's will become slicks almost immediately and traction will reduce to zero soon after.
I think speed is less of an issue than the above thoughts.
 

Bark

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L4701/FM2560LA765/BB2560Case disk Titan P forks
Feb 18, 2020
90
3
8
North CA
I used to be an always go fast in the mud person until a sort of costly incident that involved a couple of hundred feet of chain and rope. Now I totally agree with bcp. In addition, I usually don't put it in 4wd until I absolutely have to.
 

NCL4701

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L4701, WC68 chipper, grapple, BB1572 box scrape, Howes 500 rotary cutter, etc.
Apr 27, 2020
315
206
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Central Piedmont, NC
Fast works good if your driving something light with low ground pressure, like a dune buggy, small truck, Jeep, 4 wheeler. With those you can kind of skim across the top of the mud and be gone before it sinks. Tractors aren’t that fast or light. Speed with a tractor (if you can call it that) doesn’t help. It will either slog through it or it won’t.
 

Creature Meadow

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2012 L4600, Disk, Brush Hog, GB60 Garden Bedder, GSS72 Grading Scraper
Sep 19, 2016
979
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50
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Having your loader on with some dirt in the bucket should help some, iittle more weight to help front with traction.

I go slow and also have R4's. Keep in 4WD and if things get sketchy stop and back up then go around it.

Maybe cut all the places you can then when conditions are right could you burn the sections that are wet? Spray them so they die and then burn small sections at a time be an option?

I have a low area, I have sprayed to kill it then I cut around it. While the grass I just cut is still green I burn the section that I sprayed earlier and is brown.

Best of luck.
 

Motion

Member

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Kubota MX5100HST/FEL
Aug 17, 2020
106
17
18
Mandeville Louisiana
Talk about some seat time! +1 on the burning. If you're sure there's no trash, concrete, etc. then maybe a sickle mower would get down, but burning is in your future. Insure that your head lights work, because you'll be driving a lot. You need something that can pull a 15foot bat wing. Consider cattle, sheep or goats. Just my .02
 

dirtydeed

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B2650 BH77, BX23TLBM, box blade, rear blade, flail mower, Stump Grinder
Dec 8, 2017
1,500
341
83
Wind Gap, PA
I'd have to agree with BCP as well. Slow doesn't get you in as deep.

I have a similar issue with my "lawn". Finally settled on this solution and they work great.


Alternatively, if you have a quad to pull a rear mower. They work pretty well.
 

Bmyers

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Grand L3560 with LA805 loader, EA 55" Wicked Grapple, SBX72 BB, LP 1272 mower
May 27, 2019
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I will toss my 2 cents in, I'm a fan of the going slow. For two reasons, one which has already been pointed out, the other is when you are dealing with overgrowth, you just don't know what might be hidden in there. Going slow gives you time to respond to hidden stumps, implements, holes, fawns etc.

Here is a picture of the farm before we had started the clean up.

Farm.jpg


As we have been cleaning, we have found lots of hidden items and mud. Going slow will help decrease the chance that you get in a spot that you can't get yourself out or damage your tractor.
 

BigG

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l2501, FEL, BB, Rotary cutter, rake,spreader, roller, etc. New Holland TL80 A
Sep 14, 2018
1,433
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83
West Central,FL
I am wondering if you should not hire out or rent a bigger tractor to mow the land the first time. You will need almost 80 hours to mow the 85 acres at 2 mph and a 5 foot mower. I think 2 miles an hour is being very optimistic and you will have much more time in mowing the field. This is due to the small tractor going over rough ground. You do not say how big your mower is either.

A 48 inch mower at 1 mph is almost 200 hours.

Do not forget to clean the screen on the radiator as it will plug up quickly in that tall of grass.

I admire your fortitude for taking on such a job but I think it is unwise to do so.

Also is your tractor one of the models that has an exposed cooling fan on the transmission and would need an after market shield to protect your cooling fan?
 
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GeoHorn

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May 18, 2018
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Mow the first time with the mower set fairly high.... this will reduce the effort your tractor needs to pull the mower through the field. Let it dry a day or so...then go back and mow it again with the mower set to the height you ordinarily desire.
 
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Guy Mandude

New member

Equipment
BX2380
Sep 14, 2020
13
3
3
SC
Thanks for the replies (except for BigG's calculation of the time it's going to take :)). Some good tips in here. My plan is to get a forestry mulcher in to take care of the larger brushy areas (that are dry but 100% full of brambles and grinding through that is painful) and flail away at the field part as time allows. There are stumps to deal with, the occasional 'yote den, and some old broken deer stands hidden in the grass so 2 mph seems optimistic.
 

nbryan

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B2650HSD ROPS BH77 LA534A 54" Martatch 42" forks B2782B WC68 BB1560 M5-4 hog
Jan 3, 2019
506
202
43
Hadashville, Manitoba, Canada
When I see the mushy mud coming it's usually low gear, upper rpms, 4wd and difflock, and punch the hst pedal. So slow-ISH but lots of torque.
I'm of 2 minds re the traction issue and ballast. In soft stuff I do best when not as heavy as I don't sink as fast, but the conditions make all the difference and sometimes added weight helps a lot. There's a fuzzy line there somewhere.
I had my forks on the last and only time I bottomed out in wet mud and got "stuck" - for a minute. Dumped the forks all the way, stabbed them straight down into the mud until something firm is hit, then carefully lower the boom to raise the front wheels a bit, lock the diff, and simultaneously curl the forks, press the hst pedal, then hit the brakes as soon as you move backwards. Repeat as needed. Was out in a minute or two. Headed for the pressure washer.
 

Henro

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Equipment
B2910, BX2200, KX41-2V mini Ex.
May 24, 2019
1,272
289
83
North of Pittsburgh PA
Hey all, New to tractoring and for sure new to doing it in the mud. As i am clearing a field (85 acres) with a flail mower, and there is thick clay mud under the grass. Don't want t get super stuck way in the back of the property where i cannot get to with my truck. To not get stuck, is it better to go fast or to go slow? Normal R4 tires on a BX2380. (yes before you say it, it's going to take forever to do 85 acres on a BX, but that is the tool in the toolbox)

Right now i can see the wheels start spinning (in 4wd) and i still move forward but slower. Is spinning the wheels faster better to not get stuck or should i try to gently and slowly drive out?

The field is about 6 years of overgrown grass that holds water. I think if i get the grass lower, that'll help it dry out as sun and wind can get to the mud better. Any truth to that?

Appreciate the advice.
I would consider buying a set of AG tires/wheels from whole goods at the Kubota dealer, if they are available for your BX model. (AG tires were not available for my son in law's BX23S when he bought it last fall...)

As mentioned above, R4 tires and mud are not a good match. Even with AG tires on my BX2200 I got stuck once, but they are MUCH better than R4s in mud, without question. I remember someone reporting fairly recently they got a set of tires/wheels for a BX through whole goods, for something like $450. Not sure this idea would work for you though... (way back when I got mine a set of four was $300).
 
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Lil Foot

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1979 B7100DT Gear
May 19, 2011
5,413
373
83
Peoria, AZ
Probably not much help for tractors, (not enough tire RPM) but years ago I went to the state fair for two days of demolition derby & mudbogs. They really outdid themselves on the bog, and no one had gotten through it in two days. (including BigFoot)
Finally, a local guy in a Ford 3/4T pickup with Terra Tires crawled slowly into the mud.
He went about two truck lengths and started to get stuck. He stood on it, slinging all the mud out of his tires, and then idled down to a crawl again. He moved about two truck lengths and started to bog down again, so he stood on it again, again clearing his tire lugs. He kept repeating the process, until he cleared the pit.
Took about 15mins, but he was the only one who made it. Fun to watch.
 
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LobsterClaw207

Member

Equipment
BX2680 with FEL and 60" MMM, rear PTO snowblower, 4' box blade, pallet forks
Jun 2, 2019
86
5
8
Gray, Maine
Thanks for the replies (except for BigG's calculation of the time it's going to take :)). Some good tips in here. My plan is to get a forestry mulcher in to take care of the larger brushy areas (that are dry but 100% full of brambles and grinding through that is painful) and flail away at the field part as time allows. There are stumps to deal with, the occasional 'yote den, and some old broken deer stands hidden in the grass so 2 mph seems optimistic.

If it's flat enough, I set the bucket at a low height so the edge of the blade will hit anything before the mower does. Doesn't work as well if you've got big dips and stuff.