What Is an MFWD Drive?

by Michael McGrath
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Tractors require four-wheel drive, but standard four-by-four systems don't work when front wheels are smaller than rear wheels. The solution lies with a special four-by-four system known as MFWD.


MFWD stands for mechanical front-wheel drive. Mechanical front-wheel drive provides four-by-four capabilities to tractors with different-sized front and rear wheels.

Reasons for MFWD

Standard four-wheel drive assumes four equally sized wheels. Tractors with different sized wheels cannot use standard four-wheel drive, as the smaller front wheels would turn faster than the rear wheels.


A mechanical front-wheel drive tractor has two axles -- one for the rear wheels and one for the front. The rear axle provides power for most jobs. A button in the cab engages the front axle when extra traction or power is needed.

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