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Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting tired of my front tires of my snowplow tractor not wanting to steer on snow and ice...Back traction is good, but wants to push front straight or goes to side when blade is angled.
I figure, make a set of small chains, but would the cross chains actually steer that well? Also, heard of a sprocket chain wrapped around front tire.

Any suggestions or show what you do?
 

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I have a similar problem with FEL without snow...but it is on a small tractor....but you got me to thinking....I wonder if you deflate the front tires and then either a link or sprocket chain around the circumference .....you know, in the same direction as the tire will rotate...secure the chain around the tire and then inflate the tire to regular pressure...hopefully it will hold the chain in place .....I think sprocket chain may be more susceptible to wear from going on hard top....but possibly you could find old bicycles that people are discarding to get chain from....just a matter of getting master link to make it into a circle of the size you want...f your front tires are wide enough, you could possibly put 2 of these gizmos on it
 

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Yeah, have seen that somewhere. I may try with some link chain that I have laying around and see if it stays put.
 

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We used #60 roller chain on ice racing cars to gain steering control--they stayed on very well as long as you made them fit TIGHT while the tire was deflated,and pumped them back up to the full rated PSI on the sidewall..you run the chain lengthwise,not across the tire tread..the cars we raced went over 70 mph for 30 laps and it was not often the steering chains came off,and mostly only if the tires went flat..

I have promised myself to add some roller chains to my snowplow tractors front tires too,because it is extremely frustrating to have it simply plow straight ahead when you turn the wheels to make a corner..often I must plow only "straight ahead" and that is not possible in some places...lifting up on the blade helps some,but then you leave some snow behind and it gets packed down by running it over..

I have a old junked garage door opener that had a very long roller chain about the same as a bicycle-- that will likely work well on the front tires--a #35 or #40,or #41 would work also..but since I have the door opener chain,I'll use that and keep the other chain for replacement uses..

I have seen regular "twist link" chains used on front tires,but I'd think that would be more likely to work its way off,the roller chain gets trapped in the "groove" when you inflate the tires..
 

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Robert...how do you make the connection of the 2 ends of the chain?...do you get master links somewhere?...or just use wire to hold it together?
 

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You guy might have good hardware stores still...around here home Depot put everyone out of business....they did have a decent hardware department years ago.....however over the years the inventory has shrunk....no more "hard to find" items.....and as everyone knows the quality of their stuff is very poor....and not priced at any kind of bargain ...as it used to be....there used to be good hardware stores all over with any item you needed from grass seed to hot water heaters...and someone who worked there who knew where the stuff was....usually in the back somewhere, but enough people working that someone could go back and get it for you.....you could bring some obscure part in from an appliance and someone would know exactly what it was, match it up and could give you advice on how to replace it....boy ...you really got me going on that one :tango_face_plain:
 

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Bicycle chain as used on a multi-sprocket derailer system don't have a master link. You just push a pin part way out to separate and push the pin back in to reconnect.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I went out and found enough link chain. I have some roller chain, but it's brand new and for my tiller....so no. Put it on and one side fell off right away. I had to squeeze some of the links so they were round instead of oval to get them tight enough to stay on. Will see how they do. Will likely find them in a snowbank in the spring if I lose them......:tango_face_grin:

Thanks for the input guys
 

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I had this problem last year, I chalked it up to too much weight. So I took some weights off, and it improved the steering but the missing weight was noticeable.

There are some good ideas in this thread, and T-H, I think I'm going to try to find some roller chain and see how that works out.
 

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I wonder for putting the chain on,

pull the valve stem and can you run a ratchet strap next to the chain to suck in the middle of the tire put chain on tight as you can then air tire backup up and hope it stays in the middle of the tire?
 

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I wonder for putting the chain on,

pull the valve stem and can you run a ratchet strap next to the chain to suck in the middle of the tire put chain on tight as you can then air tire backup up and hope it stays in the middle of the tire?
I found the hard part was getting the chain over the outer lip of the tire. The tread was collapsed enough that you could move it around once over the lip.
 

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also if they fall off alot can you due something like I did for this ATV

Its for the Kids atv and the rear chains would not stay on so I made a small loop around the axle and then went out to the side chain at 4 points.

if you can get it to clear on the inside with out rubbing or hitting on the front axle/steering arm and then the outside would be easy that way its forced to stay in place on the center of the tire.

since I made this haven't had the chains come off the ATV.

maybe its more work and futzin than it would be worth though.
 

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I have a similar problem with FEL without snow...
Front tire directional stability with a FEL should only be a problem if the bucket is down hard enough to take load off of the front tires. The FEL adds 300-400 lb of weight to the fronts, even without payload.

Lowering front tire pressure when a FEL is involved is a losing proposition. Traction may be slightly improved, but payload capability will decrease.

I wonder for putting the chain on,

pull the valve stem and can you run a ratchet strap next to the chain to suck in the middle of the tire put chain on tight as you can then air tire backup up and hope it stays in the middle of the tire?
Note that tires grow in diameter as the pressure increases. Between 9 and 14 psi, an 18x8.50-8 tire will grow 1.25" in diameter. That's the equivalent of several inches of bicycle chain. You don't need to use a ratchet strap. The chain will stay in place until it breaks.

also if they fall off alot can you due something like I did for this ATV

Its for the Kids atv and the rear chains would not stay on so I made a small loop around the axle and then went out to the side chain at 4 points.

if you can get it to clear on the inside with out rubbing or hitting on the front axle/steering arm and then the outside would be easy that way its forced to stay in place on the center of the tire.

since I made this haven't had the chains come off the ATV.

maybe its more work and futzin than it would be worth though.
For 30 years, I had chains on the rear tires of my GTs 12 months of the year. They never came off unless either the tire pressure leaked down, or the cross chains started breaking because they were worn out.

But that took time going around and around the tire removing all slack in the chains. If you can force your fingers under a cross chain, it isn't tight enough. Some owners lower the pressure in the tire before installing the chains, then air them back up to ensure that tightness is correct. My tires are loaded so playing games with the tire pressure is not an option.

It is my understanding is that ATV tire have less pressure in them than GT tires and as such, the tire deforms more while rolling which will allow the tire to "walk" the chains off sideways, so there is probably a real need for chain tensioners in ATV applications.
 

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Front tire directional stability with a FEL should only be a problem if the bucket is down hard enough to take load off of the front tires. The FEL adds 300-400 lb of weight to the fronts, even without payload.

Lowering front tire pressure when a FEL is involved is a losing proposition. Traction may be slightly improved, but payload capability will decrease.



Note that tires grow in diameter as the pressure increases. Between 9 and 14 psi, an 18x8.50-8 tire will grow 1.25" in diameter. That's the equivalent of several inches of bicycle chain. You don't need to use a ratchet strap. The chain will stay in place until it breaks.



For 30 years, I had chains on the rear tires of my GTs 12 months of the year. They never came off unless either the tire pressure leaked down, or the cross chains started breaking because they were worn out.

But that took time going around and around the tire removing all slack in the chains. If you can force your fingers under a cross chain, it isn't tight enough. Some owners lower the pressure in the tire before installing the chains, then air them back up to ensure that tightness is correct. My tires are loaded so playing games with the tire pressure is not an option.

It is my understanding is that ATV tire have less pressure in them than GT tires and as such, the tire deforms more while rolling which will allow the tire to "walk" the chains off sideways, so there is probably a real need for chain tensioners in ATV applications.
that and the fact that doing doughnuts with your 2wd ATV is a Must! Hard to keep the chains on when your appling alot of sideways slippage force due to the fact your having fun going around in small circles!

since I made the inner Holders I have not had any chain problems and the chains stay on year round as well.
 

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I have the same steering problem on my Craftsman GT when the front snowblower is on the ground.

Blower up, no problem. Blower down, pretty much have to go straight. Can steer by lifting blower up a little, transferring weight to the front end, but that gets tiring.

Tried some old machinery chain on the front tires. Let pressure off, sized and installed chain. Aired it back up.
Could not keep them on. Did not want to try losing another link. Seemed like that would be too much. Maybe should have tried it.

I added 38 pounds of steel weight (2 x 19 lb steel plates) to the front end and that did pretty good with steering when the blower was down.
Taking weight off the back just made me lose traction on the rears.

Working at mounting it better for this year before I mount the snowblower. Just had it sitting over front axle on top of the hood last winter. Held on with bungee cords.

This year mounting the 2 plates with bolts to the heavy plate on the front end, in front of the axle. Same height as the front axle.
 

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I only use the plow on my JD X500 with 6 inches or less of snow. It clears a path well enough that the front turf tires seem to steer it just fine. Anything over 6" and I switch to the blower on the front of the Kubota, which has R-4 Industrial tires and 4wd, and that has no issues steering either. I do most of my driveway in long straight passes when plowing or blowing so there's not much need to steer anyway. When turning around at either end the implement is up which puts more weight on the front tires so that they steer better.

To the OP - I had the same problem as you with the front being pushed sideways when the plow was angled on my old Scotts LT with a plow blade, but only when the snow was deep. My solution back then was to go out multiple times during a snow storm so that I was only plowing a couple of inches at any one time. I later upgraded to the two tractor setup, one with the plow and the other with the blower.
 

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You guy might have good hardware stores still...around here home Depot put everyone out of business....they did have a decent hardware department years ago.....however over the years the inventory has shrunk....no more "hard to find" items.....and as everyone knows the quality of their stuff is very poor....and not priced at any kind of bargain ...as it used to be....there used to be good hardware stores all over with any item you needed from grass seed to hot water heaters...and someone who worked there who knew where the stuff was....usually in the back somewhere, but enough people working that someone could go back and get it for you.....you could bring some obscure part in from an appliance and someone would know exactly what it was, match it up and could give you advice on how to replace it....boy ...you really got me going on that one :tango_face_plain:
Home Depot & Lowe's have certainly taken a bite out of the generally available loose hardware parts. They still have many of the things you may need, it's just that they really aren't out on display. In the Fastener aisle where all the nut & bolts are is a series of drawers and inside the drawers are where many of the items are that you could want. Be aware that they usually price each item individually at quite a high mark-up. Sometimes when I need a quantity of a certain item, I'll buy one piece in the packaging and take that to Fastenal to buy a quantity. Fastenal can then take that package with the numbers on it and cross reference to what they have in stock or order it. I've found many times that Fastenal prices are about a tenth of what Lowe's or HD charges for quantity.
 

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The ice racers used master links or 1/4" bolts to secure the ends of the chain together..
They deflated the tire,and some guys used a come-a-long to crush the center of the tread down,or used needle nosed vise grips on the rollers to squeeze the chain as tight as possible before inserting the master link or bolt.

There is a special "chain stretcher" tool ,but most of the guys didn't bother with them,vise grips worked just as good..(pictured below)..

Once the tire was pumped back up to 32 psi or whatever the maximum rating was (some ran 6 or 10 ply truck tire!),the chains rarely ever came off ,if they did it was mostly due to the tire losing pressure or being punctured..
On a tractor going less than 5 mph,there is much less force trying to peel the chain off,so it should stay on if installed tightly enough.

Home Depot & Lowes here have also put a dent in the "mom & pop" old hardware stores,but thankfully a few are still around,and they know the big box stores do not have a good selection of many bolts ,etc,so they stock a lot of what they lack--many metric ones,allen head bolts,grade 8's,etc,and plenty of them--not one or two in a plastic bag in a drawer for $1+ each either,I often have to go to these stores to find enough of a "special" bolt or fastener,but rarely come out empty handed or without enough to complete the job..prices are a bit steep,but not having to drive 15 miles to a Fastenal or other supplier is well worth it..(and they do not always have what I needed or enough of them!)..
 

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