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 01-03-2002, 15:04 Post: 34235
Bruce Pirger



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 Chains on Ice

Greetings All:
Last year I asked about tire chains on ice. Some said to build my own, Roger suggested an X pattern, some mentioned that ladder chains were effectively useless (fell inside the ag lugs), etc. The time has come for a solution. I really like the diamond pattern studded chains by Babac, Trygg, OfA, etc. These are chains intended more for the forestry community and very heavy duty machines...and you pay for it. I have a 4WD Zetor 5245 machine...with 9.5-24 fronts and 16.9-28 rears. A set of these diamond chains is some $1500 for all 4 tires. Ouch.

I have seen the duo-grip chains from tirechains.com They now have these in a studded version as well. These have an H pattern across the tires, ladder chains with neighboring ladders linked together...to prevent them from falling in the lugs. Has anyone used these? I assume they'd be better than the double ring chains on the ice, although probably not as good as the diamond patterns...and certainly not as strong as the heavier chain. (Although I can't believe I'd ever wear out either set!)

Comments? I'm thinking I might drop the $750 for the studded duo-grips (v-bar on tirechains.com) for all 4 tires. If I had someone tell me they don't compare to the diamond studded chains, I'd consider dropping twice the money for the Babac or other chains.

I have a 1000' driveway through the woods...not a section of which is flat, until you reach the top of the hill. Access with the 4WD pickup is usually no problem, but the tractor seems to bite down to the ice...then it likes to slide back down the driveway. Seems to me, spending a few dollars is well worth the saftey...I am out right scared on the tractor.

I have no experience with chains...hence my hesitation and cautiousness. JeffB, did you every buy a set of trygg chains? Any comments/thoughts would be most appreciated. Thanks much.






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 01-03-2002, 16:08 Post: 34237
Peters

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 Chains on Ice

I have plowed snow with the tractor but not had chains. I just thought I might suggest that for $1500 you could buy another set of tires and rims. I would think of studding the turf tires.






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 01-03-2002, 17:44 Post: 34241
dsg

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 Chains on Ice

Bruce;
Don't know where you live but here in Maine one can buy a set of worn-out Skidder Ice or Canadian chains for about a third of what you're talking about New and they would still have plenty of life left for a small tractor.

David






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 01-03-2002, 19:01 Post: 34242
JJT



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 Chains on Ice

If traction is a problem get a set of rear chains. I'm sitting on a quote of $275 for a pair of double ring chains for my 17.5L-24, (on a Kubota L3710). 2 link ladders are less than $300 and the duogrip's are $205.

I'm leary of running chains on all 4 corners.






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 01-03-2002, 21:45 Post: 34246
Jeff B



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Hello Bruce, I bought a set of the diamond pattern chains from Babac. Main reason I didn't go for the Trygg chains was that on that particular day, I felt like buying American. I didn't get the studded version since I'm still parking it on concrete. Out of the box, they fit very poorly. They are also very difficult to install relative to a set of ladder chains - during installation, the diamonds work against you by closing up, which pulls out on the side chains, which then makes it very challenging to get the side chains linked together. (Even on the third time I installed them, it took me about an hour per wheel.) The company recommends that they be installed tight, and without any tensioning apparatus. After a couple of days of cutting on them to get them to fit, and buying a chain tensioner to get them tight (a modified high lift jack), I finally got them on as recommended. Wouldn't you know, the zig-zag of the diamonds finds its way in between the lugs on my Titan R1 tires anyway - this particular tire has pairs of short and long bars which create a matching zig-zag pattern. Still, the links are so big they stick up above the tread, and they cross the tread in enough places to be helpful. I'll guess that an R1 with a different tread pattern, like one with interlaced long bars, probably wouldn't have the same problem. Most of the connections between parts are welded, so its not possible to do much tweaking to improve fit. Weld quality doesn't look great to me, but I'm no expert in that area - just my opinion. The chains are not plated for corrosion protection. I decided not to run chains on the front anymore after finding that with the axle fully pivoted and wheels turned to the stop, the tire contacts the loader hydraulic lines even without chains. An interesting little design "feature". Figured it would be rather inconvenient to cut the loader hydraulics in the middle of a job. If I was going to do it over, I wouldn't spend the big money on these particular chains again. Some other possibilities that I've thought of are: 1) run a set of nice, cheap ladder chains on a set of "winter" wheels shod with well worn R1s so it wouldn't matter if the chains fell between the lugs, and 2) run a set of nice, cheap ladder chains on turf tires. (Speaking of which, does anybody run chains on a TC33D with turf tires? Any clearance problems that reversing the rear wheels wouldn't fix?) Having an extra set of wheels with turf tires would give me some additional capabilities in the summer too, when tearing up the grounds is a concern. My neighbor runs duo-grips on his tractor (with R4s) and seems to be getting along ok, though he did go through the usual battle of fitting the chains on the first install. JeffB






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 01-03-2002, 21:53 Post: 34248
Roger L.



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 Chains on Ice

Bruce, you might want to look for another price quote on those chains. Even at full new price, those chains shouldn't cost but half that much.
But even better - if you have a hammer, pry bar, a heavy vise, and a free afternoon, you can assemble a nice set of chains from used disgards picked up at most any highway or maintenance department. links can be cut with an abrasive wheel on a circular or cutoff saw. For your 9.5x24 fronts I would use a length and a half per tire of regular old 16" pickup truck tire chains. You don't want to go for too much traction in the front. After all, slippage protects drive trains....Slightly heavier chains begged from you local school or county maintenance department would be perfect for the rears. The advantage of piecing together your own chains is that they fit right. Unlike car chains, the tractor chains can wrap right around the entire tire and extend down onto the wheel area. They can even be loose. The most critical area is the inside of the front wheels where 4wd axles can interfere. Everwhere else is non-critical.
Used chains can be dirty and rusty. It really helps to tie them to the back of the tractor and drag'em for a mile down a dirt road. Even snow will clean them up. For missing links, don't be afraid to make one up out of lots of turns of good galvanized wire baling wire. Remember to bury the ends like you would on a rope splice. Wire links will last for years. Right now I'm using 16 gauge electric fence wire for baling wire projects. A twenty dollar bill buys about 1/8 mile of that stuff....enough for home projects forever. And it comes on a convenient steel spool. Beats the heck out of unwinding barbed wire so that you can use the unbarbed strand... Smile






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 01-04-2002, 16:18 Post: 34269
Bruce Pirger



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 Chains on Ice

Thanks for the replies...So Jeff, once the Babac chain are on, do they perform better than the ladder chains you replaced? Big difference? I believe Roger runs turfs on his 33D by the way.

I did find a lower quote for Babac diamond studded chains the the initial number (which were Valby chains).

But I think I will probably opt for a set of the duo-grips. I'm spending my time building a house...the one on top of this hill...and spending a couple of days building chains...well...there's only so many hours...unfortunately seems to be more hours than dollars sometimes!

What I'd really like to see is a few performance tests...Need to build a couple of inclines, coat them completely with ice...a nice thick smooth as a skating rink layer...then drive the tractor up and down with various chains...carefully watching installation and try to guage performance. I suspect chains vs. no chains would be huge and the variations amongst chains would not be all that much different. Perhaps the studs might add some significance. Well, I might just get to make this test with my driveway!

Thanks all for the help. I will certainly post my findings here in the near future.






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 01-04-2002, 20:50 Post: 34276
Jeff B



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 Chains on Ice

Not sure I'd call it a big difference, but its definitely better since I'm getting more metal on the ground. Its hard to quantify though since we've had much less snow and ice buildup this year. Good luck with your house and your duo-grips! JeffB






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 01-04-2002, 23:28 Post: 34278
Peters

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 Chains on Ice

Understand the problems of time constrains with house building as I am building a house too. Luckily I have no hill, no snow and finishing now. Any ideas how to easily put tougue and groove in a 25 foot cathedral ceiling. If I could just get rid of the mud life would be grand.






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 01-04-2002, 23:40 Post: 34279
Roger L.



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 Chains on Ice

Bruce, the duo-grips come very close to what I was calling an "X" pattern. Although I have not seen chains with the particular pattern that I am using, the intent of the duogrip is the same: to join the cross members on ladder chains in such a way that they cannot fall between the lugs and stay there. An interesting aside is that my experience is beginning to make me wonder if loose fitting chains wear my tires less and also have superior traction. All directly opposite to what I would have expected from car/truck chain experience. This superior traction could be from the way that the driving force tends to forcethe chains them up out of the lugs into a more advantageous position.
As for the efficiency of chains, I agree that there is a huge difference between any chains (even ladders) and no chains. I have three different tractors and all have full chains. I don't see much difference in the different style of chains. They all have more traction than they need in snow, and less than they could use on glare ice.
Tires need to be able to slip a little; they are your "slip clutch" to protect the rest of the drive system. And tires with chains don't slip much even in the snow. Be careful with drivetrain stresses when running chains.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Snowblowers / Snow Plows / Removal Forum

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