Fields can become very muddy when the snow melts away or the rain comes falling down. While precipitation might be good for crops, it increases the chances of operators encountering a soft spot in the soil and getting the tractor and attached implements stuck in mud.


If your tractor gets stuck in the mud, there are a number of steps you should take to ensure personal safety and avoid damage to your equipment. Here are a few steps you should consider:

  1. Raise any attached implements
  2. Stop the tractor and put it in reverse
  3. Dig mud away and place boards behind the tractor
  4. Place boards behind the wheels

1. Raise Any Attached Implements

If the wheels of your tractor begin to spin, the first thing you should do is raise the implement (and engage the differential lock) should one be attached. Next, assess the muddy area and use your best judgment to determine whether or not you can make it through without getting stuck. If you choose to try to go through, keep the implement raised and do not stop while proceeding across.

2. Stop the Tractor and Put It in Reverse

If the mud appears to be too deep or thick to cross, stop the tractor before proceeding any further and keep the implement raised. Next, adjust the throttle to be about 1/4 open and put the tractor in reverse. Slowly engage the clutch and begin backing the tractor away from the muddy spot. If your tractor is still stuck, do not continue attempting to back up, as this will only dig the tractor’s wheel deeper into the soil.

3. Dig Mud Away and Place Boards Behind the Tractor

If the first two steps fail, start digging the mud away from behind the wheels (front and back) and place boards in line with the wheels. Boards will provide the traction needed to slowly back out of the mud.

4. Have Another Tractor Pull You Out

When all the other options listed above fail, you will want to contact another tractor owner to come help out. It’s best to pull the tractor out of the mud backward if possible as it will follow the same ruts out that were created when entering. Be sure the equipment being used is on solid ground and is strong enough (both the tractor and towing chain). Chains should be hitched between the two tractors from drawbar to drawbar and the stuck tractor should be put in reverse.

After the tractor has been freed from the mud, be sure to check its condition. For more information about freeing a tractor stuck in mud, visit this page or consult your local John Deere dealer.

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