How to control power hop: MFWD and 4WD Tractors
Mechanical Front-Wheel Drive (MFWD) and 4WD Tractors may jump or bounce during field operation, creating an uncomfortable ride and loss of traction.

Situation or Problem

Improper ballasting (total tractor weight or front/rear weight distribution) and improperly-inflated tires cause most occurrences of power hop.

Other contributing factors include dry soil (or loose soil over hard pan conditions) and use of drawn implements in heavy draft conditions.


First, ensure the tractor is configured according to factory guidelines (referenced below). In most operating conditions, proper ballast and tire inflation will prevent power hop.

If the tractor continues to hop, follow the procedures below to adjust the tire stiffness (inflation and/or liquid ballast).

Solution Steps

Factory recommendations

The first step in controlling power hop is to follow performance guidelines that are listed in the Operator's Manual. The guidelines consist of:

  • Correct ballast
  • Front/rear weight split
  • Correct tire inflation pressures

Reference the Operator's Manual to be certain these guidelines are correct for the application.

MFWD Tractors

If the properly-configured MFWD tractor hops:

  • Increase the front tire pressures in 2 psi increments (to a maximum of 30 psi for two-star radial tires; 36 psi for three-star radial tires) until the hop stops.
  • Remove any liquid ballast from the rear tires; replace with cast weights.
  • If the tractor still hops, add 75 percent liquid ballast to the front tires; remove front suitcase weights to maintain proper weight split.

Articulated 4WD Tractors

If power hop continues to be a problem, follow the steps below.

  1. Tire Pressure: Increase front tire pressure by 6-8 psi above the rated pressure for axle load (found in Operator's Manual or tire manufacturer's handbook). Follow steps 2 and 3 below.

    If power hop remains, reduce front tire pressure to the rated tire pressure. Raise the rear tire pressure 6-8 psi above rated pressure for the axle load. Follow steps 2, 3 and 4 below.

  2. Remove any liquid ballast and replace with cast weights.

  3. Liquid ballast has a stiffening effect that causes a rough ride. If liquid ballast is used in the rear tires, all tires on the axle must be filled to the same level. Do not exceed 40% fill.

  4. If power hop continues after following these steps, see your local John Deere dealer and reference Dealer Technical Assistance Center (DTAC) Solution #21495.

Important: Do not use liquid ballast in the front tires.

Note: Field conditions from one field to another can have an effect on power hop. It may be necessary to vary tire air pressure as conditions change.

Affected Equipment
7200 Tractor      7400 Tractor   
7600 Tractor      7700 Tractor   
7800 Tractor      7210 Tractor   
7410 Tractor      7510 Tractor   
7610 Tractor      7710 Tractor   
7810 Tractor      7220 Tractor   
7320 Tractor      7420 Tractor   
7520 Tractor      7720 Tractor   
7820 Tractor      7920 Tractor   
7130 Tractor      7230 Tractor   
7330 Tractor      7130 Premium Tractor   
7230 Premium Tractor      7330 Premium Tractor   
7430 Premium Tractor      7530 Premium Tractor   
7630 Tractor      7730 Tractor   
7830 Tractor      7930 Tractor   
8100 Tractor      8200 Tractor   
8300 Tractor      8400 Tractor   
8110 Tractor      8210 Tractor   
8310 Tractor      8410 Tractor   
8120 Tractor      8220 Tractor   
8320 Tractor      8420 Tractor   
8520 Tractor      8130 Tractor   
8230 Tractor      8330 Tractor   
8430 Tractor      8530 Tractor   
9100 Tractor      9200 Tractor   
9300 Tractor      9400 Tractor   
9120 Tractor      9220 Tractor   
9320 Tractor      9420 Tractor   
9520 Tractor      9620 Tractor   
9230 Tractor      9330 Tractor   
9430 Tractor      9530 Tractor   
9630 Tractor   

Did this tip answer your question?
Fully answered question
Partially answered question
Did not answer question
Answer does not apply to my question

This feedback will be used to improve the overall quality of our tip and troubleshooting offerings. We encourage you to contact your John Deere dealer for answers to more technical questions.

Copyright 2013 Deere & Company. All Rights Reserved.