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rear axles load stress

2107 Views 15 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  JDBrian
Hi guys, just a quick question comes to mind while i'm fabricating a rear end snow blower for my YTH180 Husqvarna...

How much weight can safelly be added to the rear of any tractors LT's, YT's and GT's does anybody know?

I'm wondering about my axle bushings, and seals...or even bending an axle for that matter...
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I'm guessing based on some of my own research from when buying lawn and CUT tractors....

rule of thumb for new (light-duty lawn-mower style) models = 20-25% of tractor weight.
rule of thumb for old (built like a brick sh!thouse style) models = anywhere from 50% to 100% of tractor weight
I wouldn't worry too much about just a snowblower,if you add fluid to the tires aND wheel weights,then you might be pushing its limits if its a "lawn" tractor with a die cast tranny,more so if your a "big boy"!..

But after what I have put on many of my lawn tractors and they lived,I'd say your fears are unfounded..many transaxles I see for sale in the Burden Sales listings have anywhere from a 600 to 1200 lb weight capacity..the snowblower wont be supported by the axle 100% of the time either,only during transport really..
You may need weights up front, to keep the front from bouncing up and down though..
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If I remember correctly from my Peerless catalogue, lawn tractors will carry a max of 500-750 lb., garden tractors 750-1500 lb. including driver depending on which of many different units you have. Wheel weights and loaded tires don't count. The ground carries them, not the tractor. Remember to include the weight of the tractor less the tires and wheels when calculating stress on the axle. Bathroom scales work great!

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Thanks fellas, that is exactly what i was hoping for, I estimate my blower at 250 lbs at the most. but in case things go complicated when comes time to hook up the pto, i have a perfect 5 HP B&S standing by.
Just think of the weight on the axle when a garden plow pulls into the dirt and the front wheels are in the sky...
HydroGear and TuffTorq usually have product spec sheets online that include a max static weight. For instance my TuffTorq K66 says 697 lbs :
Im guessing by the Y in YTH180 Husqvarna, that it is just a yard tractor and not a garden tractor. What model hydro does it have? Yard series have smaller axles and are lighter duty all around.
Im guessing by the Y in YTH180 Husqvarna, that it is just a yard tractor and not a garden tractor. What model hydro does it have? Yard series have smaller axles and are lighter duty all around.
OK Lighter duty is exactly what i was reffering to.
Now that being said, my question still remains. there will be a substantial amount of dead weight on the rear of the tractor, say 250 Lbs, plus my 180 and in winter with snowsuit and boots and layers of sticky snow, another 20. I'm putting a guess at 450 to 500 Lbs of dead weight sticking down.
I'm not worried about bending an axle, I'm wondering since the axle bearings at the extremities are only bushings and not roller type bearings, will this extra weight help cut into them much faster?
Now Keep in mind I'm a Case IH Technician and Small engine Mechanic, and I've seen peerless tranny broken in halfs over the years, but not the Yard tractor type, so i don't know its breaking point.
I am going to exceed the 20 to 25 % as previously suggested by Wally2q and now have to make a decision...
Rig the snowblower to work on my electric pto clutch or put a 5 horse B&S directly on it.

What would you guys do?:confused:
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To be honest, I wouldn't worry about it. If your tranny is a yard-tractor type, it is probably good for 600-700 lbs. Your tractor weight distribution is such that the back carries about 250-300 lbs?... I remember I could lift the back of my L120 a few inches off the ground. When you sit in it, part of the weight is on the front (the seat is forward of the rear axle). So that adds maybe 150 lbs of your weight to the rear. I would argue your snow blower is less than 250 lbs, but even if it is, the 10-15 hours of use it will see all winter long will not take major life out of your bushings. When you add it all up, you're within the acceptable range.

But if you are that concerned, then this is the perfect time to convince the wife that you need a full-size GT!
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Take a look at the following thread where snow throwing is the probable culprit in the demise of several hydros.

These LT/YT hydros are very light duty and how hard you work them may determine how long they last. GT hydros while tougher, their life expectancy also depends on how hard you work them. See this topic.
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Yup, light duty for sure.

I never had a problem with snow blowing (I always take it easy when blowing snow), but I did destroy an LT hydro a few years ago when landscaping and putting in a lawn. Too many heavily (and over) loaded trailers over too much difficult terrain = scrap. And $$. The wrong tool for the job and totally my fault.

That's why I now have a GT.
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Thanks fellas for the links, I already knew about internal fatigue and breakdown.
My question still remains, I am only interedted in the dead weight exerted on to the axle bushings.
Many of you have reported tranny failures, I have seen and replaced a few myself over the years at work, but I can only remember one instance where an axle bushing was worn to the point that the oil seals had failed working.

Lots of hours of operation i'm sure, and probably lack of oil change also, but given that i understand about warming up tranny, babying in heavy loads and listening for the wynning sounds is there any reason i can't put extra weight of a 5 HP B&S motor onto the snowblower?
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That engine probably weighs a whopping 20 lbs!..I say go for it..
That engine probably weighs a whopping 20 lbs!..I say go for it..
Lose that 20 lb beer belly and it will be a wash.:sidelaugh

When you lower the blower onto it's shoes to blow snow won't most of the weight be on the shoes and not on the back of the tractor. When transporting it the weight will be on the axle but on a smooth driveway and going at a normal speed it shouldn't cause too much extra wear. You may cause more wear to the hydro itself when you are backing up a hill blowing heavy snow and you need to push the blower into it. Most hydros are limited in reverse for safety reasons so this may end up being a problem, depending on how much tractive power you need.
Nice project- keep the posts coming.

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