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Alpha8D

What's the best tongue length for tracking ?

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Alpha8D
What's the right tongue length between hitch and wheels on a tow behind attachment so it tracks the tractor perfectly? Same as wheel base of tractor? Wheel base less hitch to rear axle length? None of the above? There must be some farmers out there who already figured this out. I'm making my own de-thatcher and don't want to clunk it's wheels on things I miss with the tractor.

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HubbardRA
I don't think there is an absolute answer on this question. There are a couple rules-of-thumb that I follow on trailers, which is what you seem to be talking about. Minimum hitch length is usually equal to the distance from the hitch point on your tractor to the outside of the rear tire, then add enough for clearance. This allows maneuverability in tight places without the tire hitting the attachment. The wheel will clear the attachment and nothiing will hit till the tractor or tire hits the tongue. The other thing to remember is that the longer the distance from the hitch point to the wheels of the attachment, the easier it is to back up. If the wheelbase of the trailer/attachment is too short, it will turn faster than the tractor and it will always want to jacknife when backing up. A longer wheelbase makes the trailer turn slower, so the tractor can keep up with it and control the turn. If you only plan to go forward and not make any sharp turns, then wheelbase does not matter. One other thing, the longer the tongue length of the trailer, the farther the trailer wheels will be inside the track of the tractor when making a sharp turn. I think I would keep the tongue relatively short, although I would not make the tongue length less than what I stated above as the minimum.

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Wishin2BMowin
I've got a 3212H FDT and I found a de-thatcher at my local town dump that someone didn't need. I mounted it on the front of my tractor. It has swivel wheels so it just goes where ever I do. I even managed to make a lift rod that lets me lift it to clean it out when it gets clogged up. If your going to make one of these maybe you should plan to mount it on the front. Works great for me... Best of luck...

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CleanBee
For zero tracking, the pivot point needs to be exactly between the vertical center of the rear tires of the tractor and the vertical center of the trailer tires, or de-thatcher in your case. Having the hitch pivot point where they are on tractors, you will always have tracking unless you modify.

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Alpha8D
CleanBee, Now that I think about what you said it becomes intuitive. Why didn't I think of that. SO it really cannot be done with the hitch point where it is now. OH well, just can't get there from here I guess. I sure don't want to pivot between he rear wheels and chance driving over the tongue or flipping it up over a rear wheel. Guess I'll make it a little longer let it track inside the tractor turning radius and just watch how close I get to trees. So it all boils down to better driving. That's a bummer, rather liked whipping around the trees on 2 wheels. Just kidding. Thanks

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