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Boney

ATV tires on Tractors

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RickS
Boney, I posted this same question a while ago and got the same answer. Since then, Dutch has posted a picture of a tractor with ditch witch atv tires on it. While I don't have any experience, maybe Dutch will let us both know how the atv tires are working. I want to replace my turf tires with something that offers better traction. Both with and without chains. Rick.........

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gretsch
My neighbor has atv tires on his tractor and loves the increased traction. Atv's are not light weight by all means, that is the major danger in riding them if one happens to flip on top of you. Some of the bigger atv's are up around 1000 lbs I am told.

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Ronald Hribar
I just put rib tires in front and ag tires in back, definite improvement over turf tires. no weight or chains either. But plan on adding weight especially if i put snow blower on. as of now i just use plow

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BigSix
For reference, my '95 Honda Fourtraxx 2x4, 300cc ATV (essentially, the "Piper Cub" of the ATV world, in terms of popularity, i.e., you've seen one if you've seen a group of ATV's roll by) weighs just about 500 lbs. Think it's 520--can't remember. So, no disrespect intended, I question that the bigger ones are pushing 1,000 lbs. There are some big machines out there, to be sure, some up to 6-700cc's, and 4x4, but they don't look twice as big as the 300 Fourtraxx. Maybe some are close to 1,000 lbs., but I don't believe very many of them are. When Kent said:
quote:
Most ATV tires have very flexible sidewalls and are rated for a much lighter weight/load than garden tractor tires....
...I think he was focusing more on stability/safety than on the issue of whether the ATV tires were good for the weight. The Honda I mention may weigh about the same as the 2110 Landlord, but with less than 4 psi in the Honda's tires, it's somewhat wiggly. When you crawl over rocks, on a side hill, you can feel the machine working and it's not just the suspension. A pointed rock will sink into the tires much more than on a Landlord with a stiff, (36 year old, in my case!) sidewall with 20-30 lbs. in it, or whatever they have (can't remember). When this occurs, and you stop suddenly, for example, the machine will rock back and forth or side to side, and it's the tires flexing, not the suspension. I think Kent is concerned (and whether he is or not, I share this concern) that the "wiggling" or flexing of the ATV tires could lead to a build up of rotational momentum, on a side hill, i.e., the tractor rocks, as the sidewall flexes, then it's ---- up! Also, contributing (at least in my mind) to the above scenario is the very rounded profile of the non-racing, utility-type ATV tires, compared to the turf style tractor tires. This is conducive to letting the tractor get started building momentum in the side roll scenario. Okay, I guess some (tractor) ag tires are more rounded--I don't have a response to that.:I) While ATV racing tires have shorter, and possibly stiffer, sidewalls, they are less common and the tires often seem to have shorter sidewalls, which would lower ground clearance significantly, I believe, on a tractor. Lastly, even if the ATV tires are okay for the weight of tractor and rider, I'm not sure you couldn't find a way to load your tractor past those load limits. I don't know what ATV tires' load limits are, but quads come plastered with stickers about not adding too much weight, nor riding double, which of course everybody does. My rear rack is limited to 160 lbs., I believe, and the front less than that--maybe 80 lbs? While this is probably the ATV mfr. limiting liability for rollovers, clearly the tire mfr. is putting tires on something that isn't intended to have its weight dramatically increased. I think if someone were mostly mowing or plowing on flat land, it would be okay to go to ATV tires, but if it's mostly flat, why is the extra traction needed (okay, maybe for plowing) in the first place? But if you buy the argument that very flexible sidewalls are more likely to roll over, well, that scenario is easily tested by the slight mishaps everyone gets into loading tractors into pickups and trailers. IOW, even if you only operate on flatlands, can you say you won't drop a wheel off of something like a ramp, or curb, ever? Also, consider track width. I believe my quad is 44" wide at the fenders, which do not stick out much (if any? Can't remember) from the tires. How wide is a Landlord? (MPH--I'm not in Alaska, but I'm still not going out just to measure mine--lol). Point is, quads are fairly wide for their length, helping to counter a rounded tire's propensity to allow rollover. Also, with handlebars, it's easier to "put on some English" when countering potential rolls on an ATV than it is with a small steering wheel. I think that rounded tire profile, plus a sub 4psi inflation, is more likely to roll, given the right opportunity. My .02 and I am not an engineer so, as Al says, "value accordingly". Peter

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Dutch
quote:
Originally posted by RickS
Boney, I posted this same question a while ago and got the same answer. Since then, Dutch has posted a picture of a tractor with ditch witch atv tires on it. While I don't have any experience, maybe Dutch will let us both know how the atv tires are working.
Just made a tire post in the Technical Tips & Articles forum.

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HubbardRA
When I first started tractor pulling I bought a set of "Wooly Booger" ATV tires 22x12x8. I ran them on a motorcycle powered tractor for a couple of years, then used them on my 61 Wards to mow the lawn. They are now on my friends Dixon mower. They are an AG type tread and they have excellent traction. I only sold them because my youngest son got into pulling and these tires were not legal for the class he was pulling in. I had to buy a set of 23x10.5x12 tires. In my opinion ATV tires are excellent if you can find a tread pattern that you like.

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Kent
If all you're doing is mowing, the ATV tires would likely be fine. But, on my hillsides I share some concerns about flexing, like Peter (BigSix) describes.... Or look at my 2012 configuration: Tractor 695 lbs Loader 353 lbs Weightbox about 300 lbs Load in bucket 300 lbs Total weight 1648 lbs, not counting the driver Then add the stresses to that of weight shifting over rough ground, stones, etc.

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JamesK
Quick small thought on this. most ATV tires are 4ply. they do offer some in a 6 ply which is thicker and stiffer all together. This also makes em harder to puncture. Just a added thought, and there are some serious aggressive tires out there for quads.

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BigSix
Boney: Not sure how helpful my info was, but you're welcome. Clearly there's folks here who've actually run the ATV tires on a tractor, which I have not. I just felt I had to tell you how my ATV feels when I do the little bit o' rock crawling I do with it (as it is only a 2x4). I can clearly see Kent's concern with all that weight on his setup. Perhaps a lot depends on your intended use and terrain, and what your transport situation is. Good luck and let us know. Peter

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HubbardRA
If the tire is flexing too much, then add more air pressure. I know these tires will all take at least 20lb regardless of the recommended operating pressure. Remember that most of those recommended pressures are matched to the vehicle that the tire was designed for. A soft tire will nearly always give you more traction than a hard tire. I am talking about the sidewalls. The pressure controls the softness of the tread and also the sway on a hill. The soft tire will conform more to the ground and keep the tire in better contact even when the pressure is raised. I always try to find two ply tires, will use four ply tires, but would never buy a six ply tire for a machine as light as one of these tractors.

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Boney
I will not have any hills { moving soon I hope } I will however have small slops with a boarder of wetlands. I plan on cutting grass, snowblowing, snowplowing, maybe rototilling, would like to get a lawn reguvinator, and pull a cart/trailer with it. The tractor i have is a 725. I enjoy the looks of the AG tires so I am leaning that way. As I will have to replace all four tires I would like to buy matching tires { oh lord sounding like my wife } and I will try to figure out some method of using weight on the front of the tractor and a stinger weight on the back.

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Kent
Boney, My opinion only... if you want to have a good looking, hard-working tractor I'd suggest 23-8.50x12 Carlisle Super Lugs on the rear (since I can't find a source for the Chen Shins that I like) and 4.00/4.80 tri-ribs on the front. This combination is the "standard" configuration for farm tractors, and will give good traction in loose dirt, snow, and mud -- to a point. No tire, unless studded or you use chains, will give traction on ice. Any tire will have problems in mud, unless you have wide, high-flotation tires and not much weight -- if you cut into the mud, you'll have problems. However, wide high-flotation tires will give lousy traction in snow. The tri-ribs will not fill up with wet grass-clippings, snow or mud, and give decent side traction when using a front blade so you don't slip sideways as bad. They give good steering traction in loose dirt also. The lugs also won't damage your lawn, if you only mow when the ground is dry. If they ever spin, they'll tear it up bad, but your chances of spinning are much, much less than with turf tires. They will leave tracks in wet conditions.... The Super Lugs can be bought on eBay and elsewhere for around $100 a pair, plus shipping, and the tri-ribs can be bought there for about $40-$50 a pair. Tucker Tire sells the 4.80 tri-ribs for $40 and someone else has the 4.00 tri-ribs for about the same price. I prefer the 4.80, though you might need to adjust your mower deck bails a bit, due to the taller tire. My two cents on a versatile, good-looking "tractor-syle" setup for hard work...

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gretsch
I havent't even contemplated using atv tires on a tractor, but: 1: My King quad 300 4x4 looks like a baby compared to some of the newer atv's out there. Arctic Cat has one specifically designed for carrying two people, looks like a combo Goldwing and atv. 2)As RA Hubbard pointed out, 4lbs is usually recommended for better traction and a softer ride but is very low compared to what the tires can be pressurized to. I run 32 lbs in my Toyota 4x4, but if I was doing some serious offroading I would greatly reduce that to increase traction. 3) The original post by Boney asked generically about tractors. I consider the 7000 series (and related) to be the upper level for size in garden tractors. So Kent, atv tires probably would not work for your 2012 configuration but neither would regular ply tractor tires be optimal. Four-ply (hi-capacity) tires would definately be suited for the front's and wouldn't hurt on the rear. 4) The couple of members that have been to my home can verify that I do not live on flat ground (we can see the Smoky Mts from the front and the Cumberland Platau from the rear) so my neighbor's experience is more than I needed to post my original opinion (not that I percieve an argument going on, but to clarify and somewhat justify my post). Just remember the phrase UCD used in the past, roughly: My opinion and 5 cents still won't buy a cup of coffee:D:D:D

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acjohn
Steiner and Ventrac both use the tires described on the Ditch Witch. Because of the low C of G and wide stance of both of those tractors, side wall flex is not as much of a concern. They also have the ability of using duals all the way around. Both of those tractors (all models) are no lightweights). I would check their web sites (Steiner is now owned by Textron)to see tire size availability and then search for that size tire. I know they offer a chevron type and a turf type tire depending on your usage. Used reasonably, they would offer good traction and maybe even a smoother ride.

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Kent
quote:
Originally posted by gretsch
So Kent, atv tires probably would not work for your 2012 configuration but neither would regular ply tractor tires be optimal. Four-ply (hi-capacity) tires would definately be suited for the front's and wouldn't hurt on the rear.
The fronts and rears on the 2012 are two ply with four ply rating. The Chen Shen rears are rated for 1190 lbs each, unless I'm mistaken. I can't remember the rating for the fronts, but 700 comes to mind. I'm running 8 lbs pressure in the rears, loaded with WW fluid, and 30 lbs pressure in the front (they're rated for either 35 or 40 max).... I realize that the loader usage is an "extreme" example, but I used it to make the point. A garden tractor with a snowblower, tiller, HD dozer blade, or other heavy attachment, along with additional wheel weights, counterweights, weight boxes/racks, etc. and then the operator, can easily weigh twice or more what most ATVs weigh. Check the load rating on the tire, and not just the number of plies. Most ATV tires are rated for slightly more than half what garden tractor tires are rated. However, with the Kawasaki Mule, John Deere Gator, and other "utility" types of machines, there are beginning to be higher-rated ATV tires, at least in some tread styles. My primary concerns for a work tractor are (1) traction and (2) durability, not ride comfort. Others may have different priorities....

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Boney
Since we are somewhat on the traction subject. can you fit two of those doughnut weights on one stinger weight? thnx p.s Kent, is there a picture of your tractor here with that tire set up, it seems that that set-up may be what i am looking for, come spring.

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Kent
quote:
Originally posted by Boney
Since we are somewhat on the traction subject. can you fit two of those doughnut weights on one stinger weight? thnx p.s Kent, is there a picture of your tractor here with that tire set up, it seems that that set-up may be what i am looking for, come spring.
Yes, two donuts will fit one the stinger. I run two, plus a 10 lb circular weight from a barbell, in between them. I don't have a picture of my tractor with the tri-ribs on the front, but here's some pics of the Chen Shins on the rear (the closest match is the Carlisle Super Lug)... http://www.simpletractors.com/operation/johnny_box.htm There are lots of pictures in the Gallery with ags and tri-ribs. Here's a picture from the Orange MA show in 2002. Note Rob-B's tractor and loader on the left, with the 4.00 X 8 tri-ribs on the front. I'm not sure what kind of lugs he has on the back, but compare them to the Chen Shens on my Big Ten on the right. [img]http://www.simpletractors.com/images/gallery_images/orange_7.jpg[/img] Here's a few more pictures from that same show: http://www.simpletractors.com/gallery/orange,_ma,_2002.htm

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gretsch
[url][/url]denniskirk.com Good looking tractor, Kent. I haven't researched the load ratings, but I do have a DennisKirk offroad catalog which shows several pages of varying atv tires with an incredible tread design spread and anywhere from 2-6 plys. Even turf and ag tread designs, surprised me a little bit.

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Boney
wow two great tractors, i see the difference in the treads of the back tires. i went to the orange show last summer was very nice, cant wait to go this summer. lloking at the "T" on your tractor, my wife is a Volinteer, Johnson city. Thnx for all the great info :)

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HubbardRA
Not trying to start any kind of argument, but the load rating on ATV tires is for ATVs. These machines go at high rates of speed into and over rocks jump in the air etc. The same tires, if sold for a garden tractor would have a higher load rating, because garden tractors don't see the impact loadings of an ATV. It is just like looking at the load rating of bearings, as the speed reduces the load capacity goes up.

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gretsch
I agree (just didn't press the issue)with you on that. A 1500 pound tractor going 2mph is not equal to a 700 pound atv hitting the ground from a ten foot jump. Not to get into the physics of it all, but weight is a correlation of mass and the acceleration of gravity. Think about standing on the ground versus jumping off the roof of your house and the difference in the effects on your body.

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