How to Drive a John Deere Quad Range Transmission

John Deere tractors have their own unique transmission. This is called a Quad Range Transmission. At a first glance, it might be scary and complex, but in all reality it is a very simple system to use. This set of instructions will have anyone driving that quad range like an expert.

The quad range transmission has two main levers. The lever on the right is the range lever. This lever will have a set of letters underneath it. The letters are A, B, C, and D. Sometimes even an E on European models. The second lever on the left of the outside lever is the different levels of each range. There are the numbers 1 through 4 on this lever. On older models, there is also an R1 and R2 for reverse gears. For both of these levers, the bigger letters and numbers are the faster speeds.

Step 1: Safety First

First things first, to drive the tractor the operator will want to make sure that the tractor is in park before starting it up. This is the same basic procedure as a car. The range lever should be in P a.k.a. Park. The Park position is located all the way at the bottom slot of the column. The range speed lever should be in the N or neutral spot which is located between the numbers 2 and 3. If the levers are not in Park and Neutral it could result in possible death or severe injury. There is a neutral safety switch in the tractor, so it should not start if the levers are in the incorrect position. Remember that these are mechanical objects that do tend to break.

Step 2: Starting the Tractor

Once the operator has checked that the tractor is in Park, they should go ahead and turn the key. The tractor should be at a steady idle.

Step 3: Putting the Tractor in Gear

Now, push in the clutch that is located by your left foot. Be sure to push it in all the way. While holding the clutch down, put the range selector into the A position and put the other lever into the 1 position. Slowly, let off of the clutch and the tractor should start moving very slowly.

Step 4: Shifting

Now that the tractor is moving, take the number lever and slide it directly over to 2 if a faster speed is desired. Now comes the tricky part. When going from 2 to 3, clutch again. To do this, push the clutch in while the tractor still rolling and push the number lever up from 2 to 3. This may take a little more force than 1 to 2 did. Once the lever is in 3, let out the clutch and keep on trucking along. To get to 4, the operator will not have to push in the clutch; just slide it over. If you want to go even faster, just clutch up to the next letter range and start over at number 1. The operator should just keep slowly progressing through the letters and numbers until out of them.

Step 5: Advice and Model Differences

Always clutch when starting out, stopping,and going between numbers 2 and 3. On the newer tractors, clutching between 2 and 3 is not required. The operator should be able to slide the lever up and down to whatever number that they would like. To know which tractors have this be sure to double check that there is no Neutral position between position 2 and 3. If there is a neutral position, clutching will be required.

Step 6: Stopping

When stopping is desired, just push in the clutch and put the two levers into Park and Neutral. Once the levers are in the correct position, let out the clutch and turn off the tractor.

Step 7: Practice Makes Perfect

That is all that there is to it. These steps can show anyone how to correctly drive a quad range transmission that would be found in several John Deere tractors. At first it will seem a little complex, but with some practice, it will become a very easy task to overcome.

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    2 Discussions

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    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    8 months ago

    Awesome. I always wanted to learn how to drive one of these.

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    Jason Schnabel

    Tip 8 months ago on Step 5

    The image on the left is the newer style quad range and the images on the right are the older style in which clutching is requiredbetween numbers 2 and 3.