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PeppyDan

Wide versus narrow tires for Traction

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PeppyDan
With winter snows and ice it seems everyone (myself included) is always trying to get better traction. I have noticed on my tractors that with everything else the same the narrow tires seem to work better than the wide tires. My narrow tires are normally a 23x10.50x12 ag tires and my wide tires are 26x12x12 ag tires. I have noticed several posts about going with a wider tire to get better traction but this just does seem to be what I have found to work for me. I have never used duals so I don't know how they would do but I would think they would not work as well as a single set. Am I wrong in my thinking with the duals and has anyone else noticed the narrow tires doing better than the wide. Is there a width at which they are too narrow or wide? I usually use chains(with turfs) now and know they make a big difference so I am trying to get your opinions for ag tires without chains! Thanks, Dan

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D-17_Dave
You go with a wider tire for a larger foot print for floatation purposes. With a wide tire you will speard the weight of the tractor out withg less pressure per square inch of tread. A narrower tire would be better for ice and snow.

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HubbardRA
In a light dry snow, the narrow tires will split the snow and stay on the ground. It takes more work to push the wider tires thru the snow. Once it starts packing(and melting), then the opposite is true. A wide tire riding on top of packed snow is better than a narrow tire spinning in the mud underneath. We all have our opinions, but I will take a wide tire anytime over a narrow tire on the rear. On the front I want narrow tires to split the snow. For my use the wide tires have always been better. No way the 8.5 tires have anywhere near the traction that I can get from 10.50 or 12.00 tires. I speak both as a user and a tractor puller. I currently have two sets of 8.50 turf tires that are mounted. I will gladly exchange them for 10.50 or 12.00 tires, if anyone is interested.

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MPH
I find the 8.5 turffs with chains to be best all around for snow, though I'm second thinking that this year with the 8.5 Firestone Ags on the LL. In fact, so impressed with them I called the guy in Ne I got them from and will have another set waitting for me to pick up in Jan.^^The 6 inch on the 725 dig down a lot quicker and the 10.5's on the B-112 float on top too easy, though I must add I don't have chains for them carlie Ags. Course, my plowing conditions are a bit different as I'm alway running on hard pack snow til spring break-up. Even if I paved the whole driveway I'd be plowing on frost pack.

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PeppyDan
I have not done tractor pulling for several years but would agree that the wide tire is better there( and the larger diameter of a 26x12x12 also gives a bigger contact patch). It make good sense that the wide tires also work better when the snow is getting packed. My drive is usually packed so hard that it is almost ice and bars just don't bite much. Dan

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Ronald Hribar
I have the 26x12x12 AG tires on my 7117. I also have double steel weights on rear wheeels . And the narrow Tri ribs in the front. The combination works well for me year around. The narrow tires up front help with steering. The wide tires in the back do not tear up the lawn and provide plenty of traction for snowblowing. The next step is to fill rear tires with fluid. AND there is plenty of weight in the drivers seat.

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papamerkle
I've moved snow (plow or snow thrower) with 10.50 turfs and chains, 10.50 ags full fluid and 8.50 ags full of fluid. The ag tires had 50 pound wheel weights on each side. The 8.50 ags with wheel weights have the best traction for me. Moving snow is not the same as tractor pulling. A wider tire will need more weight to have the same amount surface contact than a narrow tire. When you are plowing/throwing snow all 4 wheels are on the ground and the work is out front of the tractor. A puller has the work behind the tractor. Most pullers want the front end off the ground some so all the weight is transfered to back wheels. Another thing that needs to be considered is the driver. Ramming speed isn't the best way to push snow. I'm lucky to get to 1/2 to 2/3 throttle when pushing snow. Throwing snow I will run motor wide open and have a low tire speed. My tractor with the thrower on it has turfs and chains-no extra weight. It will have some traction problems on ice...they all do. I will use a dual wheel on land side when I pull my moldboard plow. I used to plow with 10.50 ags. I was having problems breaking something in the drive line with 10.50 ags. Tractor would shake before it broke. I went to 8.50 ags and haven't had a drive line problem since. The 10.50 tires wasn't riding on the bottom of the dead furrow like it should. When the plow start pulling hard the spinning tire would dig and sometimes pin in drive line would break. I will go to 4-6 plow days a year. Little food for thought: Two 12.00 tires have 24 inches thread width. Two 10.50 tires have 21 inches thread width. Three 8.50 tires have 25.5 inches thread width.

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Chris727
I've used 8.5 ags and 50lb wts on each wheel with some luck on flat ground pushing snow but if there is a hill all bets are off. I find I nearly always use chains, and if you're using chains you might as well just have turfs with chains and weights. I've never used the wider ag tires in snow yet.

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jrichason
I use 26x12x12 ags on my 7116. The tractor came with a set of chains, but I never put them on because I put the ags before I used it to move snow and figured with me in the driver seat it should have more than enough balast. I was always rocking back and forth on the seat to get it to go through the snow. This year I put the chains on and I can't believe how big of a difference it has made. Our first snow fall was preceeded by ice and the tractor would keep right on going until it ran out of power. I've only had to rock back and forth once this year and that was because I accidently went off the driveway into a big dip.

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jdm
I have a tractor with Duro 10.50 Ags, 100 lb. wheel weights per side. Another very similar tractor has 8.50 turfs with chains and somebodys homemade concrete wheel weights. Don't know what'they' weigh. With the pushblade the first tractor outperforms the second in every situation exept for hard ice.

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dirtsaver
Looks like it's just about even on this one. I'll have to go with the narrow tires though for most applications. I get better traction with 8.50 ags(true ag treads,not the Carlisle "bar"type,they're worthless except when mowing for my use). I do switch to 8.50 or 9.50 wide turf tires with chains for icy conditions. All said and done....play around with different combinations and go with what works for ya! Larry

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ehertzfeld
Well I have a wide range here. I have one with 26x12 two with 10.5 and one with 6x12. The one with 6x12 has the least amount of weight, and it does very well. The last storm we had, I was on the landlord with the 26x12, and could not get up the neighbors hill. I too the b112 with the 6x12 and I got up it. It wasn't easy, but I did get up it. All my are AGs with out chains.

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B-16_IC
Another thing to consider, on ice especially is how old are the tires? Old weathered tires are hard and do not give as big of a footprint due to less flexibility, also the tread does not bite as well because it is slick. Maybe some new tires with soft tread would do better on the ice. It seems to me that tires on a dedicated lawn mowing machine tend to get a "polished" look to the tread. That would be detrimental to winter traction. Just my thoughts, take 'em for what they are worth.;)

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PeppyDan
quote:
Originally posted by B-16_IC
Another thing to consider, on ice especially is how old are the tires? Old weathered tires are hard and do not give as big of a footprint due to less flexibility, also the tread does not bite as well because it is slick. Maybe some new tires with soft tread would do better on the ice. It seems to me that tires on a dedicated lawn mowing machine tend to get a "polished" look to the tread. That would be detrimental to winter traction. Just my thoughts, take 'em for what they are worth.;)
My 26x12x12's were about 15 years old when I last tried them on snow and they spent the first three tractor pulling so I sharpened them when they were new. They spent the remainder of the time on my mowing tractor. I've been told that something in the grass will make the tires hard and polished. One of my old tractor pulling buddies made the comment that they were probably seasoned about right for pulling now. I know that many pullers will buy a new set of tires and get them boiled to season them for pulling. Dan

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