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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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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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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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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Load the tires with liquid ballast. That will improve traction and stability on the slopes.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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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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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Simply put your weight over the spinning wheel. "Ride the Fender"
 

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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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