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 02-05-2004, 13:45 Post: 76047
wigglybridge

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 Tire Chains Revisited

So here it is, early February and I'm finally deciding chains *would* be a good idea while clearing snow with my JD 4110 on our steep 700' gravel drive with drop-offs on both sides...

I've searched the area dealers/autostores, etc high and wide and can't find any chains that anyone thinks would fit. The search wasn't helped by the committee to make umpteen different standards for tire sizes. So it looks like tirechains.com.

But does anyone have any feedback on what's the best chain for R4s? It would look like either 2-link or what tirechains.com calls 'duo-grip' which keep the cross links from falling in between the treads.

It may be a moot point since they're out of stock on the 2-link, but anyone have any pointers for me?

Thanks!






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 02-05-2004, 14:23 Post: 76048
Murf

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 Tire Chains Revisited

I'm going to offer 'plan B' instead.

If you arethinking of chains purely for the safety factor on an icey driveway and not for traction in deep snow then I have another suggestion. It is faster, easier, and based on 20+ years 'practice' a better all-round solution.

Good old-fashioned tire studs.

We use the ones designed for ice racing and normally used on motorcycles, quads, and ice-racing or rally cars.

They look sort of like sheet metal screws except the flanges around the hex head are very tall and sharp. They are usually made of carbide steel. They are installed with a nut-driver tip in a screwgun or cordless drill.

They work VERY well on ice, especially with hard rubber tires like R-4's although we use them on turfs too. The nicest part is they don't take away from the ride quality and they don't move around or come loose.

Best of luck.






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 02-05-2004, 14:33 Post: 76049
wigglybridge

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 Tire Chains Revisited

Murph, that is an interesting alternative, and I remember doing a search and finding some info you had posted on this sometime back. This tractor is 1.25 miles from the nearest pavement, so that could work.

But while less important, traction in deep snow *is* also a factor -- I'd like to be able to move around a bit better on my land in general. Would they help me at all with that?

Right now we don't have any ice here -- just 10" snow, and I'm not getting much traction. The R4s are at 17psi front and 31 rear. That seem about right?






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 02-05-2004, 14:40 Post: 76050
kwschumm



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 Tire Chains Revisited

My opinion is that R4s, like most compromises, don't excel at anything. Well, maybe they're OK if you do all your work on pavement or hard, dry ground. I'd recommend either R1s or, if you mow, turfs with chains. R1s do pretty well in snow around here without chains and they do very well in muddy conditions without plugging, unlike R4s.






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 02-05-2004, 15:15 Post: 76051
Murf

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 Tire Chains Revisited

The studs will help, to a point, with plain 'ole snow.

You run into a problem known as 'snow-shoeing' when you are driving in anything soft enough for the tread bars to penetrate into. It works like this, the bar sinks in causing the casing to compress the material as well. If the bar keeps settling in until the material between the bars is packed enough to support the weight, like a snow-shoe does, then the bar doesn't actually connect to anything and all it has to push against is more mush. At that point you're not going anywhere fast. If the studs make contact with frozen ground you will DEFINITELY get more traction, if not they will do almost nothing, then only chains will help, and again only marginally. It doesn't matter what tread you have if it can't grip anything. That's why Ag. tires are so good in the soft stuff, they really bite down through.

R-4's are notoriously bad for this because of their low profile tread style.

On the other hand I am running R-4's on my 'Bota and was working in VERY deep snow at my cpottage this past weekend without any problems, although it was unseasonably mild, low 30's and so the traction was good because the snow was packing, powder would have been different.

The pressure you run your tires is VERY variable, the best way to do determine it is to load the machine to the point it will operate under then slowly lower the tire pressure until the entire tread, side to side, is just touching the ground. As an example, when I have my boxblade in the air the entire tread touches the ground with 35psi, and a pretty good bulge beyond even. When there is nothing on the 3pth and the rear tires are at 25psi only the center 8" - 10" touches the ground.

Best of luck.






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 02-05-2004, 16:05 Post: 76056
wigglybridge

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 Tire Chains Revisited

Ok, been doing some research on the ice screws -- how do I tell what size to get? Do I try bigger and bigger ones until I puncture the tire? Wink yeah right






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 02-05-2004, 16:37 Post: 76060
Murf

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 Tire Chains Revisited

I believe the length we use is either 5/8" or 3/4" length.

But I do like your testing procedure, when guys in the shop ask me how tight something needs to be I tell them to tighten it up until just before it breaks.... the young ones sometimes even ask how they'll know when that is. I reply "experience".

Mark is right about the tire pressure on R-4's, I wouldn't run them any less than 20psi, 25psi would be safer.

Best of luck.






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 02-05-2004, 18:08 Post: 76073
wigglybridge

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 Tire Chains Revisited

Yes, Mark, studded tires are legal here, not sure if there's a month limitation, but I know people run studded tires on cars here.

I will lower the tire pressure and see how it's sitting with the blower on the back, that's about 400 lbs. And there's a couple of good cycle shops in town, I'll check them for ice screws tomorrow -- denniskirk.com is out of stock on the 5/8, next size up is 7/8.

Thank you guys!






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 02-05-2004, 21:08 Post: 76087
wigglybridge

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 Tire Chains Revisited

You've definitely got my attention, Mark, since I'm already doing a lot of driving backwards with the blower, reducing the potential for 'bone-jarring shock' is high on my list!

So, sorry to be thickheaded, I've never run chains on anything before -- how does using car tires with chains reduce that a lot?

And I guess you mean swap the tires on the rims 2x a year. I guess most people do that anyway -- I've got an extra set of rims for my snows on the car.

And this will get me more traction in deep stuff? But it sounds expensive unless car chains are cheaper.

Hmmm. Now I've got options from Murph's ice screws at $17, to chains for $175, to new tires AND chains.






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 02-06-2004, 05:58 Post: 76099
grinder

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 Tire Chains Revisited

Wiggly
If you stud your tires what are you going to do in the spring?
You will need another set and the job of changing them.
I think you would be way ahead of it by putting on a
set of ice chains. The ride issue should be min. with a set
of chains with enough chain. In other words very little
space between the loops. I don't think studs will give
you much in packed snow. I think they do best on glare ice.
Guy's that work in the woods around here put on Ice Chains.
Call this company and ask your ?'s, They are a first class
operation. I'm not sure about shipping, but if it's a problem let me know. They are in the next town and I will
help you if I can.
If the link does not work,
Wallingfords.com BABAC tire chains






Link:   http://www.wallingfords.com/Babacfeatures.htm 

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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Tractor Tires Forum

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