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Traction in Sand

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JDGT235
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4 Texas
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2005-09-29          117141


We own a GT235 primarily for mowing but I have used it to pull a drag harrow and groom a horse arena. Recently we re-did the arena with a compacted gravel base and washed sand footing. Unfortunately the tractor does not have the traction to get through the sand, with or without the harrow. We barely got it out of the arena when we tried.
Any suggestions on how to give it more sand traction? The sand when completely leveled should only be 2-3 inches deep.

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Art White
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 6898 Waterville New York
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2005-09-29          117145


Add a rear weight box to remove weight from the front end. They are front heavy tractors. ....

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5116 Northern Nevada
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2005-09-29          117147


I have a lot of experience with tractors and sand, but I have a couple of questions.

I don't recognize the model of the tractor.... is it a 4wd garden tractor?

What sort of tires does it presently have? ....

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JDGT235
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4 Texas
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2005-09-30          117154


Its a 2WD Lawn and Garden Tractor. The tires are what comes original, I believe they would be regular turf tires. ....

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greg_g
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1816 Western Kentucky
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2005-09-30          117155


I had a similar problem with my Husqvarna. Going to chevron treads on the rear helped greatly. See http://www.carlisletire.com/products/big_biters/at101chevron/catalog.pdf

//greg// ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7223 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2005-09-30          117156


Art's on the right track, but sand is a bear of a thing at the best of times.

My best advice would be to find an old bunker rake from a golf course supply place. They're REALLY spendy new, but can be found for reasonable dollars used.

http://www.turfcare.ca/USED/U-24770.SP3WD.htm

They would flatten the Sahara Desert if you had enough time........

Best of luck. ....

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5116 Northern Nevada
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2005-09-30          117157


Changing tires may help get the tractor through the sand, but I suspect it will still bog down pulling the drag harrow.

I had a bit of trouble pulling a 4x5 drag harrow up and down my gravel driveway with a BX22.... a 4wd, 22 horse diesel that had an operating weight of about 2300 pounds.

Before you throw good money around, consider a Kubota BX1500 or larger or a similar green or blue machine.

BTW... my current tractor will pull the drag harrow about 95 percent of the time in 2wd, but it is equipped with radial tires that are 12 inches wide and has an operating weight of 3400 pounds. ....

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Traction in Sand

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greg_g
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1816 Western Kentucky
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2005-09-30          117160


No harrow details were provided, so this is just a guess. But the one I own is designed for three types of usage:
1. teeth down, facing forward - most agressive
2. teeth down, facing rearward - less aggressive
3. harrow upside down - smoothing/leveling only

//greg// ....

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5116 Northern Nevada
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2005-09-30          117161


That is the same harrow I have.

The BX had troubles with the #3 setting. It had a tendency to pull the front end off the ground. I had to add weight to the FEL bucket and use 4wd. ....

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yooperpete
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1413 Northern Michigan
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2005-09-30          117162


If you go the 4WD CUT route, I would suggest a John Deere equipped with high floatation Galaxy turf tires. These are generally used on golf courses. They are big and wide. They are offered as optional with JD.

I've leveled out a number of arenas using my CUT which has oversize turfs in the front. I use my homemade pulverizer that has an expanded metal drum at the back. It really does a good job almost sifting the sand.

Sounds like you may have some really loose sand. That's allot of money to just level an arena. Do you have any draft horses?

....

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harvey
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1545 Moravia, NY
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2005-10-02          117233


Check with the aftermarket tire people and put on a wide set of tires.

If you have the widest tires already I'd consider cobbing a set of dual tires together. You would only need the wheels and tires some ready rod to clamp and pipe over the rod to hold the distance apart. ....

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JDGT235
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4 Texas
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2005-10-02          117248


Thanks for the replies and good ideas. Just to clarify - my drag harrow is as a couple people described but I won't be using it on my arena anymore as it tends to pull up the compacted stone base with the sand.
So I'm looking at arena drags, sand rakes, etc but don't want to buy a bigger tractor just to pull them.
I'll try the rear weight idea and if that doesn't work, go to bigger tires. Does anyone think that de-flating the tires slightly would make any difference?
My first goal is to get the tractor to drive in the sand all by itself with no problems. Then I'll know for sure if I need to go to a bigger tractor, hire it out, maybe even look at golf grooming equipment.
....

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5116 Northern Nevada
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2005-10-02          117256


Does it pull up the base with the spikes pointing up?

Yes, lowering the tire pressure and adding weight will help. Might also help if you drag a piece of chain link fence or an old set of bed springs on similar light weight contrivance. ....

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JDGT235
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4 Texas
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2005-10-02          117257


Unfortunately yes, it does pull up the base in the least aggressive drag mat mode. I think a chain link section is a great idea providing I can solve the basic traction issue.
I'm going to try rear weights and de-flating the tires and see what happens.
Thanks! ....

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