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srwven

Loaded tires vs. weight question

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srwven
I have been reading the archived topics regarding loaded tires. I have seen several people state that loaded tires put less stress on the axle. I was wondering how that is true? I am not an expert in physics but my limited knowledge makes me question if this is indeed true. First the weight is further from the center of the axle on loaded tire than with wheel weights (inside the rim). Any time you put a weight further from its center of support you increase the stress on that support. Also, have you ever carried a large bucket of water then tried to stop suddenly? The water splashes back and forth. I would imagine that back and forth motion would put more stress on an axle than the wheel weights. I could be missing something here but I just had to ask. The difference could also be like splitting hairs.

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msiebern
The main differance is in the torque or twisting force, and not so much on the carried weight. With fluid in the tires, when you are pushing or blowing snow and hit an icy or slippery spot, the wheel spins and doesnt have to spin all of the extra weight as it would with fixed weights. This reduces the inertia and shock load applied to twisting the axle. The same when you go from spinning to full traction, you don't have all of the inertia allied against the axle. The fluid will spin, somewhat, inside the tire and it's inertial force will not be applied directly to the axle whereas fixed weights transmit their full inertial force to the axle.

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srwven
Now I see, I wasn't thinking in rotational terms and that the fluid essentially stays "put" while the tire spins. I wonder though, what about the forward and backward stress the fluid would create when stopping and changing direction(in essence the back and forth splashing one gets with liquid)? I guess if there isn't much air at the top, there is less room for it to move freely to and fro. I am thinking more specifically in my situation. I live on the side of a fairly steep hill and wonder if going down hill with 2 fluid filled tires, stopping, then going backward would put more stress on the axles than weights with all that sloshing around?

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TimJr
I would say that under most situations, neither loaded tires, nor a set of factory type wheel weights would hurt a tractor. True, rough driving effects could be exaggerated by any extra weight. My biggest concerns with loading tires are these - 1) if using calcium chloride (salt), you will end up with rotted wheels and tires - tube them if you use chloride to help save the wheels. 2)loaded tires will cost you a lot more money if you puncture it and need it repaired and reloaded. 3)loaded tires are always loaded - could leave tracks on a soft lawn from the extra weight. Now for wheel weights 1) they can stick out wider than the tractor, and interfere with storage (although pretty much all mower decks stick out wider than the wheels) 2) if you have different tires like ags for gardening, and turf for mowing and putting tire chains on, then weights make wheel removal more complicated each time. My personal choice is to always go with wheel weights. Tim

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dirtsaver
I've used weights and windshield washer fluid both on my tractors with no ill effects. I never use calcium cloride or anti-freeze due to deterioation of wheels and,in the case of anti-freeze,danger to animals if it leaks out. Not to mention thw washer fluid is a lot cheaper. On another note,we've seen a few hydrostatic ZTR mowers with the wheelmotors torn up due to filled tires. Seems they cant handle the extra weight. If it means anything,none of the manufacturers will honor warrenty on hydro drive systems with loaded tires.

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TimJr
Who won't warranty a hydro with loaded tires? I can't believe that at all. Deere, Simplicity and Kubota all accept loaded tires as an acceptable counter weight for front attachments. The only thing they shouldn't warranty would be the rusted out wheels, but if it's within warranty period, a squeaky customer would most likely get new wheels because the paint should have been better.... Tim

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dirtsaver
Tim we have had problems with Cub Cadet and some of the newer Exmark Lazers. Cub owners manuals for the smaller zero turns state clearly no weights and no pulling loads like garden carts. On some Exmarks they can handle weights but not rubber filled tires.

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HubbardRA
srwven, Both loaded tires and wheel weights put more stress on the axle because of inertia, than having none. This stress only presents itself if the clutch is released suddenly, or the the direction of rotation is changed suddenly. It usually presents itself by causing a broken torque tube. This is most likely to occur with a hydro or shuttle tranny, because it is so much easier to change between forward and reverse on these trannys. The wheel weights will apply the most stress if they are the same weight as the loaded tires. The sloshing of the fluid in loaded tires actually produces a cushioning/dampening effect when the tractor changes direction or the clutch is let out suddenly. I have been using hang on weights for years. With hang on weights, I can have the same downward force on the tires as with wheel weights or loaded tires, but do not have the inertia attached to the axle when starting off or changing directions. Yes, that inertia tends to keep a wheel from spinning, but it also puts more stress on the axle due to torsional loading. With hang on weights, more stress is put on the axle due to bending, and this type of weight is also harder on the bearings, since the weight is attached to the chassis and reacts thru the bearings to the tires. The main reason I like hang on weights, is that I can put them on when I need them and remove them when I don't. Just a matter of hanging one on, or lifting one off. Much easier and quicker than removing or adding a wheel weight. Yes, you do need to fabricate some type of bracket. Nothing comes totally free. All types work, and all types have their specific best applications. Abuse can break a tractor with any type of weight, or without. The type of weight, and its usage is totally dependent on the driver and the tractor. As with everything, there is no single item that does everything for everyone, with no side effects. My comments, use as you wish.

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dhardin
I have loaded back tires on my AC416 and dont feel any sloshing around when I stop. With the loaded tires the tractor is so much more shur footed. Loaded over the ability to add weights as you need then I feel the loaded are safer over the long hall. You will drive the tractor the same and get use to the controls and tractor resopnse on a continuall bases, and drive acordingly. (Like when I use my pullbehind mower, If I leave it on and use it all the time I never hit any thing, I take it off and drive without it a few times then put it back on Ill hit someting most evey time.) Unless your really tough on tractors and pushing or pulling huge load alot I dodnt see any great chances of damageing the tractor. But Im not shur if its the extra load you can handle better with weights or is the loaded tires/wheel weights will be the cause of any maichanical failure. Im shure you will love the extra weight. The only draw back I have experenced and its not that bad. Is if you have a small yard and make a lot of close quick turns there is some extra tire marks if the ground is soft. But ist not real bad. Again its something you will learn how to avoid by doing. Im just speaking from experence, others may disagaee.

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