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Tires & Snow


Dutch

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Believe it or not, narrow single tires are better in snow than wide or dual tires. This was a topic here last year, and I can attest to it from personal experience.
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I have Chains on my Big Ten and it has the wide tires on the back and it works great in the snow. You would think you would want wider tires because they get more grip on the ground.
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Mike, Your theory makes sense, but it is not the case. The narrower the tire, the more weight you are putting on the ground, per square inch of ground contact. Consider a 400# lawn roller. Now think of carrying 400# on a single bicycle wheel of the same diameter. Farm tractors do not use duals to increase traction. They are used to increase FLOTATION, to reduce compaction of the seedbed. Pat Rarick
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Bicycle wheels mightpresent a problem. Don't know if you could find tires with any grip. Some of the old steel wheeled farm tractors had what were known as "skeleton" wheels. These wheels were less than 1/2" wide. The cleats on them were about 6" wide, 5/8" thick and spaced about 6" apart. They provided excellent traction as do the 6" wide ag tires with chains that I have on my snowplow tractor. They both suffer from the same problem though. If they ever start to spin, you have to be quick on the clutch or you'll dig yourself down so deep, so fast, that you'll need at least one more tractor to pull it out. Pat
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Our mechanic at or store said that he made chains for his bike when he was a kid. It was a rough ride but you didn't get stuck or wipe out in the snow or ice.
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This all reminds me of a problem our Physics teacher gave us in high school. It went something like, "What exerts more force on a blacktop parking lot, a 125 lb. woman in high heels or an eighteen wheeler?" He then gave a bunch of pretty accurate data, and the woman exerted far more force on her little 1/4" heels. I never forgot that.
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When I run on grassy areas (covered in ice & snow) I hafta use chains on my turf tires. Lately, though, when I plow snow on my concrete driveway, I take the chains off. I may spin a little bit, but the ride is much smoother. Besides, if I get stuck, I just put my foot down & push myself free...:D Tacey
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I once saw two antique tractors hooked back to back at a tractor pull, one on steel and one with rubber tires, the one on rubber made a big tiller out of the one on steel. Don
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I guess I should have also stated, "All other things being equal." Not considering variables seems to overwhelm many people. Weight, PSI on a surface with traction, and applied torque are all variables. If you apply physics, you will understand why a 500hp 80,000lb 18 wheel truck will sometimes out perform a man on a bicycle, and why other times it won't.
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I can say for myself narrow tires are better for traction. My 700 had better traction with narrow turf tires than my B-112 did with wide ones. Wide looks better and compacts less. I would try to find a set of old 700/725 wheels and put those on, the bolting is the same anyways. -BradW
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My Simplicity 5 hp walking tractor model VB with 36" snowblower has only 6x12 tractor tread tires,takes alot to stop the tractor and make the wheels spin.The tractor has 2 pairs of Simplicity wheel weights on the wheels.:D And 3 weights on the back of the tractor. [img]http://www.simplicityva.com/winter/Image028.jpg[/img][img]http://www.simplicityva.com/winter/Image028a.jpg[/img] Karl
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Yes narrow tires are better than wide. If any of you have trucks that are jacket up with bigger tires should know that. We have a Dodge 250 with 3" lift and 33's and 2 other trucks with stock tires and the Dodge flots all over the place on mud or snow. I have a frind with a Ford with 35's tires and it dont take much and its all over the place.
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When I still help farm we always used duels to help out to increase flotation, reduce compaction, and main reason to increase traction to help reduce fuel consumption. Had to remove onland duel to plow along fence rows. I could tell the difference in ground speed without duels. The onland wheel usally left a small rut when plow hit a hard spot. I have 31x10.50 Mudder tires on my Suburban. Key to make the wide tires work in snow is locking diferental, wide lug tires so they are self cleaning, and plenty of horsepower to keep tires clean. This is 25 years experience talking.:) My Landlord has wide tires and my Yoeman has narrow tires. Both have chains and move snow. I can't see any difference pushing snow between the two. My son can but there is 150 pounds difference between us.
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Case in point: I used to use 29x12.5-15 turf tires with chains for plowing with my powermax tractors. Without the chains, slip-slid'n away![:0] Now that I had the driveway blacktopped, I wanted to eliminate the chains, so I put on 29x12.5-15 lugged tires. They work just as well as the turf tires with chains. Thus, less contact area = greater psi and better traction.^
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Skinny tires do make a differnce, yes it is a weight distribution issue, thats why all those old model T fords could muckle so much terrain....As far as chains, like I said, I really didnt know what I had till I put chains on the 7016, amazing, almost dangerous.
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Even the snow can make a difference. A heavy snow with lots of ice will compact easily. A large wide tire will float on top and keep going, while a skinny tire will sink into a hole and get you stuck. A light fluffy snow will not compact easily, therefore a skinny tire will split the snow and plow right through it while a wide tire will ride up on top, then make a hole and give you problems. I personally like skinny front tires and wide rear tires. There is no one set-up that is right for all situations. One other thing, the wider the tire, the less weight per square inch. Most of us say that more weight means more traction.
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Karl, those wheels look identical to the ones on the 700 I had, probably the same wheels anyways. Yes duals are for flotation, I chisel plowed with a Case 2390 this past fall and it would spin with those. Duals in farming is almost a must with todays No-Till and minimal till practices. Back when plowing was still done, compaction wasn't as much of an issue, but now, land is eroding and more modern practices are occuring. Tire width, it depends on conditions, I can tell differences just between the wet and dry snow in tires. I guess it is trial&error till you figure out what works for you! -BradW
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John, Son weighs 150 pounds less than I do. He still doesn't have the feel yet when tires break lose. The extra weight helps, but it's more of a challenge to to move snow with less weight.:) This is the first year he help move snow .
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