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post #1 of 16 Old 07-14-2019, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Lousy Traction with older Craftsman Tractor

This is a 1990 model year Craftsman with 20hp Kohler. I bought it used a couple of seasons ago and it works well
except on any bit of slope. The back wheels spin and I can generally rock it by shifting my weight.

The tires are in seemingly good condition and don't warrant replacements.

I've been wondering about installing studs like we used on snow tires.

Thanks for such a wonderful forum that help keep tractors working.
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-14-2019, 06:20 PM
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Re: Lousy Traction with older Craftsman Tractor

Doubt that studs will do any good. Only one tire is actually pulling and the one that gets light is why it loses traction.

Wheels weights might help, I've heard of making such using concrete or place weight on the uphill fender and test.
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post #3 of 16 Old 07-14-2019, 06:23 PM
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Re: Lousy Traction with older Craftsman Tractor

I am thinking it has turf tires on it. I had the same problem with my Ford LGT. Was advised to find some ATV tires. Made a world of difference.
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post #4 of 16 Old 07-14-2019, 06:46 PM
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Re: Lousy Traction with older Craftsman Tractor

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Originally Posted by poncho62 View Post
I am thinking it has turf tires on it. I had the same problem with my Ford LGT. Was advised to find some ATV tires. Made a world of difference.
Right about ATV lug tire, I have a set on a lawn tractor, but both rear tires have to be on the ground. Turf tires will spin and not damage the turf and grass and have weak traction. 5 lug rims like in this picture are common, I've seen MTD, Craftsman and John Deere lawn tractor rims have the same 5 lug bolt pattern if you do not want to have some tires re-mounted onto your rims. (breaking down some of them types (looks like 12 inch dia) will create quite a sweat during hot weather sometimes)

The ATV lug tire won't do any good unless it's touching the ground. The traction will depend on the weight of the uphill tire on the ground. The lighter loaded tire is one that will spin and the front axle swiveling also helps create the uphill rear tire loosing traction. I've seen some small strap type chains that are easily installed and removed that fit through the slots in these type rims also.
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-15-2019, 03:19 AM
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Re: Lousy Traction with older Craftsman Tractor

All I can add is keep the pressure low. They only go to 10 psi rear, 14 front. Many people over-inflate them and that lowers traction.
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post #6 of 16 Old 07-15-2019, 04:15 AM
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Re: Lousy Traction with older Craftsman Tractor

I had the same problem, I put chains on and they work very well. No slipping. The downside is that chains are aggressive and mine have spokes poking out. They hit and scrape the deck up, and you cant drive on a driveway, the spokes will ruin whatever you drive on, except for a dirt or snowy field. So if you stay in the fields, you're good.

Here's a pic of my jd helping out my craftsman get over a bump, but you can kinda see the chains
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post #7 of 16 Old 07-15-2019, 06:39 AM
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Re: Lousy Traction with older Craftsman Tractor

Strahbale, is there a date code on your tires?

Even though they might seem to have plenty of rubber left, if they're original to the machine @nearly 30 years old they will have hardened with age and have significantly less grip than fresh rubber.

Also agreed to check your tire pressures... I find best results with mine running about half the maximum pressure. Drive through a puddle and then onto something that shows the tread pattern and see if the whole tire is making contact.

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post #8 of 16 Old 07-15-2019, 03:23 PM
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Re: Lousy Traction with older Craftsman Tractor

Load the tires with liquid ballast. That will improve traction and stability on the slopes.

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post #9 of 16 Old 07-15-2019, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Lousy Traction with older Craftsman Tractor

Great advice from all of you. Thanks ever so much. I like the idea of using ATV tires and perhaps wheel weights.

The tractor is at our cabin, so it'll take a couple of weeks to report results of the suggestions
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post #10 of 16 Old 07-15-2019, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strahbale View Post
Great advice from all of you. Thanks ever so much. I like the idea of using ATV tires and perhaps wheel weights.

The tractor is at our cabin, so it'll take a couple of weeks to report results of the suggestions
Try the ATV tires before anything else. I haven't needed any weight with mine and I play hard.
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post #11 of 16 Old 07-15-2019, 08:16 PM
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Re: Lousy Traction with older Craftsman Tractor

Replace the front wheel bushings with bearings....


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post #12 of 16 Old 07-15-2019, 08:18 PM
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Re: Lousy Traction with older Craftsman Tractor

Simply put your weight over the spinning wheel. "Ride the Fender"

In the past:
Craftsman, MTD, Snapper, 1961 Ford 801 Powermaster, 1992 LB 4.5HP 580546, 2003 LB 10552 6.5HP Duraforce, IH Cub Cadet 105, 2001 Cub Cadet 2146 14HP Linamar 38" deck, love of my life (Sold 10 Dec 2011), 2007 Cub Cadet 2550 22HP Kohler Vtwin 50"deck (Sold 22 Aug 2018)
In use:
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1998 JD 445 22HP Shaft driven wheels, shaft driven 60" deck, diff-lock, hydraulic lift, power steering, fuel & temp gauges, fuel injected, and liquid cooled! This machine has it all!
2005 Nortrak NT 254 25HP Diesel 5' FEL, here's a case of cost-cutting, I only need a tractor 3 or 4 times a year

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post #13 of 16 Old 07-16-2019, 07:15 AM
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Re: Lousy Traction with older Craftsman Tractor

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Replace the front wheel bushings with bearings....
What does that do?
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post #14 of 16 Old 07-16-2019, 10:22 AM
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Re: Lousy Traction with older Craftsman Tractor

Less rolling resistance.

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post #15 of 16 Old 07-16-2019, 01:48 PM
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Re: Lousy Traction with older Craftsman Tractor

Sure sounds like rock hard tires. Someone mentioned 10 LBS pressure in rears. That's what my JD x500 has and if I need more traction, they get set back to 7 or 8 LBS.

Are you in gumbo muck soil or on top of dry sun polished straw? Can't imagine how these are spinning.

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