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One factor that can severely inhibit productivity is power hop — a bouncing effect a tractor sometimes experiences when pulling a high draw-bar load. By understanding what causes power hop, however, farmers can better diagnose the problem and make minor adjustments to correct it.
Even more important than overall tractor weight is the way the weight is distributed between front and rear axles. Without proper weight distribution, a tractor is far more susceptible to the bouncing and swaying motions of power hop. Similar to overall tractor weight, proper recommendations on weight distribution will again differ between MFWD and 4WD tractors.
The general rule for MFWD tractors without suspension is that 30 to 35% of overall tractor weight should remain on the front axle and 65 to 70% on the rear. For 4WD tractors, 51 to 55% of overall weight should remain on the front axle and 45 to 49% on the rear.
Exact recommendations may differ between tractor manufacturers and could be influenced slightly by type of implement. Again, it’s best practice for farmers to consult with the manufacturer to arrive at the best solution. One important thing to consider when adjusting weight distribution, however, is that adding weight to an axle also increases overall tractor weight. A farmer should be cognizant of this while making any adjustments.