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How to Shift Gears on a Tractor

Shifting gears on a tractor is very different from shifting gears in a car. Learn how to shift gears on a tractor in this free video on tractor operation.


Okay, now we want to talk about shifting or gear selection on your tractor. And this is a particularly important issue for first time tractor owners because it's a little different from an automobile. And, if you look at some of the levers that we have here, there's several features that are common to most tractors. Unlike a car with a manual transmission, most tractors will have a multi range transmission. So, in addition to, in the case of this tractor, four forward speeds and reverse that we have with the shift lever here. You also have a high and low range. So, depending upon the job that you're doing, you'll want to select a high range and say a high speed on your transmission for transport. To drive across the yard when the tractor's not under load just to get to a different area. But then, for instance, if you're tilling a vegetable garden you want to be in a very low range. So you shift that to the low range, here, and then select transmission speed one or two. Another thing that you'll find common to tractors is your PTO, or power take off, for powering your rear implements. A lot of them just have one speed and then neutral, so it's basically an on or off switch. The Japanese tractors that we sell have multiple PTO speeds. Most commonly you'll use speed one. You shift this lever to select the gear that you want. And, you've got to have the clutch pedal in when you do this. That's an important difference between an automobile, again, and a tractor. A manual transmission in a tractor, you don't have synchronized gears, so you're never shifting when you're on the move. On a tractor with a manual transmission, you select the gear that you need that's appropriate for the job when the tractor is at a stand still and you have the clutch pedal fully depressed. Another example of this, this tractor being a four-wheel drive tractor, you have a lever here that puts it in two-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. Again, all of these levers, your range selector, your transmission, your two and four-wheel drive, and your PTO engagement lever are all shifted when the tractor's at a stand still and the clutch pedal is depressed. If you shift while you're rolling you can grind gears, then shift forks, a lot of bad stuff that can do expensive damage to the transmission of your tractor and it's best to just avoid that. That's the transmission in a nut shell.