Is it better to drive a different way to the combine/planter every pass? Or take the same route every time? Whether it be with a grain cart, a semi, a tractor, etc., you should try to stay in the same tracks every time to reduce compaction issues in your field. According to Ohio State University studies, 85% of compaction damage is done on the first pass of machinery, for both tracks and tires.
Controlled traffic, as it can be referred to, is an important component alongside no tillage, nutrient management, and cover crops required to achieve a healthy soil environment. Planning your equipment passes so your planting, nutrient application, spraying, and harvesting operations all follow the same tire or track paths can vastly reduce the percentage of the field that is compacted. In areas of compaction, you have a reduced crop stand less water infiltration and stressed root growth. This induces crop stress and lowers yields and profitability in these areas.
Therefore, it is best to stay on the same route. Everytime.