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Alltractoredup

Ag's vs Turf tires with chains in snow

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Alltractoredup

I am curious what you guys use for tires and snow removal.  Today I ran turf tires with no weight or chains.  I put my custom weights on after fun in the snow and maybe chains too.  

Does anybody run just Ag tires?  Standard 23.5x10.5x12 or 23.5x8.5x12.  I also have Ag's on 14" wheels I may try.  Those tires give it more of a big tractor look.

I will post pics of the 14" wheel and tires soon

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720nut

Years ago when I lived in Penna. I had a Duetz-Allis , 916 with 26x12x12 Firestone's and never needed chains.

At that time I plowed 3 mile of dirt road as Township didn't like plowing the hill I lived on , took me three rounds to clear road, all the time having a ball doing so.

I now have a Agco 2025 w/loader and have 26x12x12's on it with tire chains, both work, guess just depends on your situation.

Just my $.02

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simplewrench

So far on my sovereigns I have only used turf tires with chains with excellent results. This year I have a model W 2 wheel walk behind tractor with a snowblower mounted on it. It has ag tires with wheel weights, I had the tire chains that came on it removed because I took it to a show this summer with a mold board plow mounted on it. So I started to blow some wet heavy snow on soft unfrozen ground and it almost immediately started to spin one wheel and stop, so I found the chains  (second  set I drug out of the back shed) and remounted them on the tires. Then when the wheel started to slip the deferential kicked in and started walking back and forth from wheel to wheel to keep moving forward. I know others have good luck with ah tires alone but that is my experience so far with the walk behind which of course is lighter than a sovereign. 

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PhanDad

Used to use turf with chains and weight.  Now ags and weight.  Basically equal performance but no "chain marking " on my fairly steep driveway.  

IMG_9113.thumb.jpg.869693d604e08a07799386aa41549c6c.jpg

IMG_9118.thumb.jpg.31826fc35caf9a56e148cae8ae8387f7.jpg

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TimJr

Depends a little on what surface you are driving on or what kind of incline, but in my opinion anything other than turfs with 2 link spacing chains is worthless.  The 2 link space chains are way better than the cheap 4 link.  You literally will get twice as many bites into the ice for traction, and you won't get the bite/slip/bite/slip of the 4 link spacing, so the 2 link aren't as hard on your trans and drive belt.  Take a look at the big gap between the cross links on a 4 link chain.  You end up with rubber on the ground and not chain between the cross links.

The turfs with chains are better than ags with chains since the chains will set evenly across the tire.  Chains don't sit flat across an ag tire - they fall between the bars and end up with fewer cross links in contact with the ground.  It's also easier to properly install chains on turfs, since the cross links will sit flat and can be squared up easier than on an ag.  Easier to show than explain if you haven't done both.  For farm tractors, they make X link chains that work better on ag tires.

I really don't know how you get one of these tractors to move, let alone get anything done without chains on the rear tires in snow.  I suppose since you are clearing your own path with a blower, it would be OK if the surface underneath isn't slippery or inclined.  With a blade, where you are pushing material, I would consider chains mandatory.  I have a mix of concrete that is flat, and inclines that are dolomite.  I made a bracket that holds 2 factory stingers, each with 2 donuts.  I can back up my hill with the weights and chains on and the blower hanging off the front of my Sovereign.

Compare it to walking on hard pack snow or ice with regular shoes (and slipping and falling down), and then try walking on the same slippery surface with golf spikes (probably not falling down).

Lastly, make sure your chains are the proper size and installed properly.   There is an inside and outside to the chains.  With tires that are not loaded, let the air out of them first - they shrink down a little.  Then, fit the chains - keeping the side link even from side to side and the cross links perpendicular to the side links and parallel to each other.  Get them as tight as you can.  Then air the tires back up - that will keep them from coming undone.  I fixed a 90's Sovereign one time where the owner of it quickly threw the chains on and they were loose.  The LH one came undone.  When it did, it grabbed the vent pipe on the LH side of the trans and broke it off, and pretzeled the PTO tension lever below the axle.  Plus, it stopped the tractor at the end of the driveway in the road since the one tire was no longer wrapped in metal.  Luckily he didn't live on a busy street. 

Even with loaded tires, a few minutes of working the chains properly at install will keep them in place.  To me, there is no reason for bungee cords or wire to hold chains on one of our garden tractor tires.  Excess links should be trimmed or tied back to keep them from dangling and snagging tractor parts.

I can remember as a teenager hating tire chains and putting them on.  I thought it was such a hassle.  Over time, I realized it is pretty simple to do when you do it right, and really doesn't take that long.

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TimJr

The other point I was going to make regarding ag vs turf with no chains, but can't prove since I have never actually tried this on a garden tractor, is this.  Take a look to the automotive world.  Take a look at a true winter/snow tire and what the tread looks like.  Lots of small blocks with lots of siping = lots of little bites into hard pack snow or icy surfaces.  Compare a blocky mud tire to a winter tire and to me that is the same as ag vs. turf.  A true mud tire on a truck is pretty useless on hard pack and ice.  That I can vouch for. 

Just my thoughts.  It all depends on what your expectations are regarding performance and also considering things like terrain and minimizing surface damage since chains can gouge things up.  

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Talntedmrgreen

I feel like I've tried every combo imaginable, and I just won't mess with anything other than turfs & chains, except in a 4x4 application.  I have blacktop, and the markings don't bother me as much as the slip n slide that is a non-chained up machine when the wind is whipping and I'm trying to get the job done.  Add in any slopes, of any degree, and it only compounds my appreciation of chains.  I have not seen an AG, ATV or any other tire that reduced wheelspin enough to please me.

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PhanDad
13 hours ago, TimJr said:

The 2 link space chains are way better than the cheap 4 link

I'm in total agreement. 

In my comparison above, the "turf with chains" are 2 link.

13 hours ago, TimJr said:

make sure your chains are the proper size and installed properly.   There is an inside and outside to the chains. 

Tim didn't mention it, but I was taught "inside" is the "smooth" side of the cross link end "J hook" and the "outside" has the cut ends of the "J hook".  You want the "smooth" side against the tire. 

Probably not a big issue with garden tractor chains but on truck/car chains traveling at speed, that cut "J hook" end can do some damage to the tire sidewall.  

 

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kwt
On 12/3/2018 at 10:49 AM, PhanDad said:

Used to use turf with chains and weight.  Now ags and weight.  Basically equal performance but no "chain marking " on my fairly steep driveway.  

IMG_9113.thumb.jpg.869693d604e08a07799386aa41549c6c.jpg

IMG_9118.thumb.jpg.31826fc35caf9a56e148cae8ae8387f7.jpg

Pay attention to Phandad's we ain't half stepping WEIGHT....... BEHIND the rear axle.

Edited by kwt
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Brettw
On 12/3/2018 at 7:44 PM, TimJr said:

Depends a little on what surface you are driving on or what kind of incline

Couldn't agree more.  And turfs and chains, any chains no matter how they set up,  I found to be useless when trying to move on a sealed asphalt driveway.  All they would do is spin and mar up the asphalt.  I literally could not blow snow on most of the drives in my neighborhood (I do about 9 or 10 I think) due to the asphalt and any slight incline.  I went to 23-10.50-12 Deestone "Super Lug" style tires, loaded and run one set of 25# cast iron weights and have no problems.  Would not even give turfs and chains a second thought.   That has been my experience.  I am quite sure that on ice, chains are a huge help, and cleated chains bite very well on anything, but will mar up any surface including concrete if they get to spinning.  That has been my experience.  Individual results may vary. 666

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720nut

Just thought I'd add more fuel to the fire:

My Agco 2025 w/loaders 26 x12x12 turfs with chains , I use it all time and some here say I abuse it but works great for what I do.

I'd have firestone 26's on it but can't handle the $400 price tag again just my $.02

DSCN2721.JPG

Edited by 720nut
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Alltractoredup

WOW!! great responses.  A lot of great views.  I have a flat concrete driveway that is my primary concern.  I had issues with spinning in just a little snow, but I realized only one tire spins in the rear.  This leads me to believe the limited slip needs attention.  Gears are NLA, but I should have some spare if needed.

I decided to buy 2 Link tire chains and see what happens.  I also have Ag tires I will try with good tread.  I will need to figure out some weight for behind the axle.  I will share my findings after next storm.  

The 14" steel wheels with Ags will hopefully make an entrance to the competition

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ShaunE

I have some older tires that have the holes for studs.  So I had them studded.  I figured it surely couldn't hurt.

Edited by ShaunE
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Alltractoredup
On 12/5/2018 at 2:45 PM, 720nut said:

Just thought I'd add more fuel to the fire:

My Agco 2025 w/loaders 26 x12x12 turfs with chains , I use it all time and some here say I abuse it but works great for what I do.

I'd have firestone 26's on it but can't handle the $400 price tag again just my $.02

DSCN2721.JPG

I have an Agco 2020 and I am rebuilding the CH20 now.  I really like these "legacy" platform tractors.  

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