Differential Drive is featured on all Professional Series models and has a Lockout lever to convert it to Straight Axle mode.
Differential Drive is featured on all BCS Professional Series tractors (models 732 and up) and is a key feature for increased maneuverability. Tractors with Differential Drive have gearbox differentials within the axles so that each wheel turns independently of the other.
Conversely, all other models are “straight axle,” which means that the wheels turn together in the same direction at all times. Straight axle tractors are less maneuverable, but still offer a valid means to perform applications such as tilling, small mowing jobs, and stationary implements such as the Chipper/Shredder or Log Splitter.
When the operator is turning a Professional Series tractor with Differential Drive, the outside wheel turns at a much faster rate and travels a longer distance than the inside wheel, which is freely rotating in the direction of the turn. This feature is extremely convenient with gardening implements when turning at the end of the row. It’s also essential for mowing in tight spots and for extensive mowing jobs.
Note that the inside wheel is freely rotating while the outside wheel travels a much longer distance.
Differential Drive can be overridden on all Professional Series tractors with the Lockout lever, which locks the wheels into positive traction, or straight axle mode. Lockout mode assists the operator when using the tractor on hillsides or in soft soil conditions, and is especially helpful when operating the Rotary Plow as it assists in straightening the tractor’s travel path for bed building.
On current model tractors, the Lockout lever is black and located on the right handlebar. It can be engaged by pulling the lever toward the operator, and it requires a half-turn of the wheels to be fully seated in Lockout mode.