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And here is a different viewpoint, depending on what you are doing and desiring from your tractor it will not hurt it to run 4wd all the time on soft surfaces.
Will it wear parts faster, depends on the parts.
The front differential will be powered and loaded the front axle drives will be being used. Will you wear them out most likely not.
Most tractors do not turn as short while in 4wd.
 

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Tire wear is a concern if you put several hundred or thousand of hours on per year.
Many of these posters don't put but around a 100 hours a year on, they would never wear out a tire.
Depending on what I am doing some fields I'll mow with 4wd engaged that 10 ft discbine is heavy pulling at times.
The same ting chopping or baling depending on the field often in 4wd. Hauling road bales on the 10 bale wagon
it depends on the field. The nice thing with the electric engaging ones is it's so easy to flip the switch whenever wanted.
Steep hills soft fields I'll be in 4wd so as not to tear up hay fields. Tillage I'll be in 4wd for traction and to reduce tire wear.
Up and down steep grades I'll always be in 4wd going down to stop the slippage on the rears up to prevent the chewing
that is rough on tires and roadways
 

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The CIH Magnums (3) the PUMA 125 and the NH 6050 on the farm are approaching 6000-9000 hours and I would say They are run in 4wd 70-80% of the time.
Yes, most tractors will have some pull or lead built in.
I'll admit it has been many years since I looked at the owners manual for those tractors.
So I looked my Branson 8050 up;
2WD : Rear wheel drive high range - this is for driving on
dry hard surfaces.
4WD AUTO : 4WD Auto range - This is automatically disengaged
when either brake pedal is pressed or if speed
exceeds 9.3mph (15km/h)
4WD : Four-wheel drive - This range provides full time four wheel drive

I'll stand by my statement that to the OP if always on dirt it should not hurt it, unless he is on rock hard dirt it should hurt.
Once he gets more comfortable he may start changing modes more often.
If that Deere was infields most of the time it should not have taken out the front differential, if he was roading the tractor yes.

If I'm always going to be driving on dirt, would there ever be a need to not engage 4x4 traction?
 

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If you go back to the original terminology; such as 4x2, 4x4, 6x2,6x4,and 6x6.
The second number refereed to the number of powered axles a 4 x 2 being 4 axled vehicle with 2 powered axles,
ie, a 2wd truck, the 4 x 4 being a 4 axled vehicle with all 4 powered and so on.

To say that your 4wd is only a 2 or 3 wheel drive is completely inaccurate a 4wd pickup in 4wd is delivering power to all
4 wheels, you can be stuck with 2 tires spinning but all 4 wheels have the same amount of torque being applied to them.
The tires may not be getting the traction needed to move the vehicle but they are all powered.
 

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Have to take issue with that Lou. With open differentials, the power is directed to the wheel/tire assembly with the LEAST traction. Why a limited slip or locking differential is a viable option for adverse conditions, consequently, with open differentials a 4 wheel drive is really a 2 wheel drive, one wheel in front and one in the back. Easy to prove as well. If you have open differentials jack one side of a vehicle up in the front and rear and the wheel off the ground will rotate, while the wheel with ground contact won't.
Nope, both wheels will be receiving the same amount of torque if it exceeds the available traction to either tire the tire with the least traction will spin,
but they both will have the same amount of torque applied.
Jacking up a wheel on each powered axle set simply reduces the amount of torque needed to rotate that tire so that is all that the engine will develop.
You could do that and with the engine off and the transmission in neutral rotate that tire by hand, the amount of effort required to rotate those wheels in all the torque that the drivetrain will develop when powered, will that be enough to move the vehicle, I doubt it.

As far as applying the parking brake to get a bit more traction to get moving, it did work a bit on the older vehicles. But it won't work on the newer ones with the electrically applied parking brake.
Making me think and wonder now, I'll have to dig out my manual and see if it's still called an Emergency Brake or only a Parking Brake.
 

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If it is turning tighter in 4wd because the front tires are pulling you around you have a large amount of lead in your front to rear tire ratio's.
Unless you have one of the few tractors that actually had a two speed front axle for extra maneuverability.
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