Using the Differential Lock Of A Kubota Tractor

Kubota tractors are well stocked with all sorts of features that help make tedious work just a little bit more manageable.

One feature that might be on your particular Kubota tractor is the differential lock.

First we need to define what a differential lock is. As you steer your Kubota tractor to make it turn, the inside tires are traveling a shorter distance than the outside tires. The differential on your

Kubota tractors are considered by many mechanics as easy to work on compared to other brands.

Kubota tractor allows it to turn because it lets the rear tires rotate at different speeds. If your tractor was not equipped with the device, then handling it would be very difficult and it could result in more wear and tear and possible damage to the tires and drive train.

The actual term of the device is a non-limited slip or open center differential. The differential favors the wheel that is easiest to turn. If one wheel loses traction or actually completely comes off the ground, then the differential will distributed most of the engine power to the free wheel. Still, traction is lost.

The operator of a Kubota tractor has the ability to lock the rear differential, which locks both rear wheels together and drives them both concurrently. It prevents one side from freewheeling. In this case, the differential is not favoring the wheel that is easiest to turn. Instead, it is powering both wheels. Although the engine’s power is not increased, the power it is generating allows the tractor to get a better grip. Neither wheel is free spinning.

If you want to engage the lock of the differential you simply step down with your right heel onto the differential lock pedal. If the tractor is not running and the gears in the differential are not turning, the pedal will not fully depress. During normal operation that pedal will dampen fully and engage the lock, which enhances traction.

Locking the differential should be done only when traveling in a straight line. If you attempt a turn with the differential lock engaged, you put strain on the differential lock, which could damage it.

It is suggested that you lock the differential when you need more traction. Conditions when this would be necessary include a slippery or snowy surface or when the tractor is stuck in the mud. It is advised that you use the lock only when necessary and for a short period of time. When the lock is engaged, the planetary gears in the differential generate a lot of heat. Therefore, it is advised that you don’t drive the tractor when the lock is engaged during normal work.


*It is strongly recommended you consult the advice of a certified Kubota mechanic prior to working any Kubota equipment.

About Robert Janis

Written by Robert Janis for LawnEq - Your specialists for Lawn Mower Parts and Small Engine Parts. We offer genuine premium OEM parts for Land Pride, Toro and many more dependable manufacturers.