Wednesday, May 11, 2016

5 Signs Your Tractor's Brakes Need Replacing

Whether you are a farmer or a tractor enthusiast maintaining your tractor is one of the most important things you need do. You want to ensure all of your tractor parts are in good working condition, so that your tractor runs and performs well.

One area that many tractor owners neglect are their tractor’s brakes. This can end up becoming very costly, and be dangerous if these issues are not handled accordingly. When you ignore your tractors brakes issues, it could end up costing you more money in repairs, as you will need more than just routine service on your brakes.

Depending on the type of tractor you have, your brakes may use a band system or a disc system. Even though there are different designs, they all act the same. The linkage will do one of two things. Either it will pull directly on the band or it pulls a lever which tightens the band. If it is a disc system, then pressure is applied to the disc pad. When the pedal is pushed, the linkage will act accordingly.

If your tractor is often used to plow, then you may notice the left brakes will show more wear than the right one. Don’t ignore the signs that your brakes are wearing out, as they will need to be replaced.

Here are 5 things to look for when trying to figure out if your tractor brakes need replaced.

Build Up

You never want to allow build up to occur in any area of your tractor. If you have had a transmission leak recently, then you need to check your brakess and pads for build-up. Transmission’s are notorious for leaking fluid on the brakes. Any grease, dirt or fluid on the brakes and pads need to be taken care of, as it will hinder the way they operate. Plus, they will wear more quickly.


If your tractor is pulling to one side or the other when applying the brakes, then they will need to be serviced. This is a sign that they are out of adjustment. When brakes remain improperly adjusted, it will cause the brakes to wear unevenly. This will cause issues when applying the brakes, especially if you need to stop in a hurry. If a part of the brake system is sticking, then it could cause the pads to wear prematurely. Brakes can overheat if a part of the brake system begins freezing up.

Low Brake Fluid Levels

If you are having to add brake fluid more often than what is suggested in the manual, chances are there is something more going on with your tractor’s brakes. You need to be proactive in finding the source, so that your brakes can work efficiently.


Friction must occur in order for the tractor to come to a full stop. If you are noticing a shimmy in the steering wheel when applying the brakes, then your rotors may be warped. This can occur over time due to overheating, cooling too quickly or using the brakes for long periods of time.

Squeaky Brakes

It is normal for there to be some squeaks, which are caused by brake dust that is built up. If your brakes are squeaking frequently, then it is time to have them serviced.

Regular maintenance to conduct on your tractor brakes:

  • Check adjustment, pads, linings and brake fluid levels.
  • Check all discs, drums, brake linings and linkages for any signs of wear and damage.
  • Check wheel cylinders and that there are no brake fluid leaks.
  • Check to make sure the brake pedals lock together and brakes pull evenly. Lubricate where applicable.
  • Check that there is nothing under the brake pedal to hinder the application.

Be proactive with your tractor brake maintenance, and know when it is time to have them replaced.