This week's Yanmar tractor tip

Leanne Schmid



Operating a tractor on hillsides, and climbing and descending hills are some of the most challenging and risky situations a tractor owner can face. But tractors and their attachments are about caring for the land -- the earth -- and the earth is not flat. Sometimes a particular task that must be completed involves maneuvering on sloping ground. But never let the desire to complete the task come before protecting the tractor operator and any co-workers or bystanders.

When you find yourself in a tractor operating situation that includes hills, follow these tips to not only get your job done, but to get you and yours back home without incident.

Proper operation of the tractor and attachments should be your number one priority. Read the owner’s manuals of both the tractor and the attachment for tips specific to your tractor and its performance on slopes and hills. Always wear your seatbelt and ensure your Roll Over Protection System (ROPS) is in the up position while operating any machinery in any circumstance.


  1. Overturns are a major source of tractor accidents. Tractors are subject to both side overturns and rear overturns where the front of the tractor lifts and the tractor falls over backwards. Tractor overturns can occur on flat, level surfaces, not just on sloping ground. Proper operating techniques and being on guard to prevent overturns are required whenever a tractor is being used.
  2. When operating on sloping terrain, be even more cautious to prevent tractor overturns.
  3. Tractors tend to be more stable if properly configured and ballasted. Refer to the operator’s manual and talk to your tractor dealer for details.
  4. On sloping ground, it may be better to run the tractor up and down the slope as much as possible rather than across the slope. This may help minimize the chances of a side overturn. Maximum caution to prevent rear overturns is always necessary.
  5. As much as possible, by hand and on foot in many cases, prepare the sloping ground work area before using the tractor by removing obstacles such as rocks, debris, and fallen and low-hanging limbs (you don’t want to strike a low-hanging limb with your tractor cab or ROPS). Loose debris can make slopes slippery even in dry weather. If trees, boulders, or other fixed obstacles make the sloping ground very challenging for tractor operation, do not hesitate to choose to not use the tractor to accomplish the task.
  6. Run the tractor in a lower gear range to give you more control over the machine while operating on a slope. In addition, set the tractor into four-wheel drive; this provides more traction and a stronger ability to brake. This is because in two-wheel drive, only the rear-wheels brake. Therefore, operating your tractor in a low range and in four-wheel drive while on a slope will help you maintain control of the tractor in a slow and cautious speed appropriate to doing work on sloping ground.
  7. Note how tractor braking differs from how cars and trucks brake (cars and trucks always have braking on all wheels). Remember that tractors are built very differently than cars and trucks and perform differently. Therefore, adjust your driving techniques accordingly.
  8. Always keep the tractor in gear while operating on slopes and hilly terrain. When shifting from forward to reverse (or from range to range), place your foot on the brake to prevent rolling downhill as the transmission shifts. Avoid starting and stopping on slopes. Whenever possible do not make any sudden direction changes, headland turns, or stops on steep slopes. Make your headland turns, stops, and other changes on more level ground at the beginning or ending of the slope if at all possible.
  9. When using a front-end loader on a slope, it’s imperative to keep the loader as low as possible at all times. Raising the loader too high on a slope can significantly increase the chance of a rollover. Remember that low and slow are good watch words for loader operation on any terrain.


Follow these tips and apply a little extra caution, and you can keep your tractor and your day from going downhill.

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This weeks Yanmar tractor tip: WHO MOWS BEST?

Leanne Schmid



What’s the difference between a 3-point-mounted or pull-type finish mower, a mid-mount mower, or a rotary cutter? How do you know which one is the best for your needs?

A finish mower for a compact tractor is a heavy-duty commercial mower designed for a fine cut on larger areas. It’s a great implement for those wishing to keep their land nice and neat without spending too much time and effort on lawn mowing.

A mid-mount finish mower does essentially the same job as a mounted or pull-type finish mower, except that it mounts underneath the tractor instead of behind it. Mid-mount mowers tend to better for novice operators who may not like adjusting to the tail swing of a rear-mounted finish mower. Mid-mount mowers give a sub-compact tractor the capabilities of a riding lawnmower---but with built-in tractor strength and durability that surpasses almost any riding mower you could find. And, of course, the compact tractor/mower combination is a much more versatile machine that readily powers a loader, 3‑point attachments, PTO-powered machines, and more to accomplishes various landscaping, tillage and vegetation management tasks.

Yanmar offers customers a variety of finish mowers to cut down help you quickly cross of any mowing jobs that may be on the “honey-do” list. The Yanmar 3-point-mounted finish mower options start at 54 inches and increase to 84 inches in mowing width. Some tractor owners find that a 3-point mounted finish mower is easier and faster to take on and off the tractor than a mid-mount mower.

If your finish mowing job requires more width, ask about our pull-type, flex-wing finish mower options available in a 12.5-foot estate-duty model, and 12-foot, 15-foot, and 17-foot commercial-duty models. How much lawn mower productivity is there in a 17-foot lawn mower? If you average 5.5 miles per hour, that lets you mow more than 10 acres of grass every hour!

Now, when your vegetation management, landscaping or “mowing” job requires heavy-duty clearing and cutting, a rotary cutter is the preferred implement. A rotary cutter does not, however, produce as fine of a cut quality as a finish mower. Therefore, it should be used where the finish quality and appearance are not as important.

Basically, a rotary cutter is what people clip their “back forty” with when they want to keep the land in a pasture/meadow/prairie state and not have it have to turn into brush land or forest. Patches of thistles trying to take over your beef cow pasture and you want to avoid herbicide use? Hit those stickery pasture polluters with a rotary cutter. Very satisfying. Your lawn mowing equipment will thank you and live to mow another day.

Yanmar offers rotary cutters in several cutting widths and machine weights to match the jobs at hand and the available tractor power. Our single-spindle, 3-point -mounted cutters range from 42 inches to 84 inches in cutting width.

Wait, you’re saying that’s not wide enough? No problem! Yanmar pull-type flex-wing rotary cutters are here to the rescue. They let you do what you need to do to a lot more fescue. Yanmar flex-wing rotary cutters come in 12-foot and 15-foot widths. Those are big rotary cutter widths but these machines are designed to be both strong and efficient-and-trim to match the capabilities of 47 and 59 horsepower Yanmar YT3 Series compact tractors.

As you can see, across a wide range of lawn care and vegetation management demands, there is a cutting and mowing implement designed to help you get more done every hour and every day. Look at the lawns and land you need to maintain. Measure the true square footage or acreage you need to cover. The sum total might surprise you. Decide what needs finish mowing and what needs a rougher form of vegetation management. Factor in the tractor power you have or need to add to the mix. Then you will see which mowing or rotary cutter (or both) solutions you need to care properly for the land you are responsible for.

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Leanne Schmid


Keeping the engine RPMS at the desired level keeps the lift & lower functions, bucket dump, and return actions on your front loader prompt and responsive to make the job go quickly and comfortably.

Throttle Boost can also help when you need to maintain the power to the wheels.  For example; you need to drive the loader bucket into the material you are trying to scoop, without stalling the engine.

Yanmar YT3 Series tractor come with a standard THROTTLE BOOST feature. The Throttle Boost control button is conveniently located on the loader joystick so you don’t have to move your hand from the joystick control to increase the engine RPMS when needed.

Often, when you are doing loader work you are in a limited space such as a hay shed, horse or cattle barn, or doing construction/landscaping work close to buildings and other obstacles. You definitely don’t want to increase your travel speed by boosting your engine RPM in these areas; you don’t want to have to rebuild that barn or gazebo!

When operating a Yanmar YT3 series tractor, avoid performing loader work with the range shift lever in the 3rd speed range position. When the range shift lever is at 3, Throttle Boost is turned off. Throttle Boost is only active when the range shift lever is in the 1st and 2nd speed range positions.
Also, remember that the Throttle Boost engine RPMs will not exceed the maximum RPM setting for the A/B mode settings you are simultaneously using.

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