How to Jump Start a Tractor

by Cassandra TribeUpdated July 21, 2017
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5-in-1 Emergency

Items you will need

  • Power source (12- or 6-volt battery)

  • Jumper cables

  • Long screwdriver (with rubber handle)


  • Check the voltage in your tractor battery before attempting to jump start it. If the voltage has drained too far, you will not be able to jump start it and the battery must be replaced.


  • The tractor may lurch forward or backwards when it is jump started. Do not stand behind or in front of the tractor when attempting to jump start it or you will be run over.

After a long winter, or a long spell between using your tractor, you may find that when you go to start it, the battery is dead and the engine won't catch. You can jump start a tractor much in the same way as you jump start a car. There are certain important considerations to remember before you attempt this. Many tractors, farm or lawn, use a 6-volt battery system and not a 12-volt; you cannot jump start these types with a regular car. Once you have a power source that will not overwhelm your tractor system, you can jump start a tractor easily.

Push the clutch in on your tractor and lock it into position.

Connect the jumper cables to your power source. For instance, if your tractor has a 12-volt battery, you can use a small car as a power source. Turn the engine on and connect the red lead of the one of the ends to the jumper cables to the post of your battery. Connect the black lead (on the same end as the one you just connected) to the frame of the car to ground it.

Standing on the side of the tractor, connect the red lead of the jumper cable to the positive post of the battery. Then connect the black lead to the negative post of the battery. Let the battery charge for 15 minutes and then try to start the engine. If the engine turns but does not start, let it sit for another 15 minutes before trying again.

If the engine will still not turn, use the metal shank of your long handle screwdriver to form a bridge between the post on the starter that the battery connects to (this typically has a red wire from the battery connected to it) and the top screw on the starter. Your tractor should start; if it does not, then there is a problem with your starter.

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