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Need some advice from the hive mind....

I have an old ('69) john deere 510 that will be used pretty exclusively for plowing a mile long trail/driveway, and when I was out this weekend doing it for the first time I had problems with getting up even shallow grades that were hard pack snow and ice. Tires are loaded, and have good tread, so I think I need to add more bite. I'm looking at tire chains, but they are very pricey in the big sizes, but I have noticed that I can get studs fairly inexpensively.

Which is better for traction? Studs, or Chains? Or ar they relatively equal? Considering this tractor will see very limited use in the summer on dirt and rocks, I am not too worried about having to swap tires for the summer.

TIA! :tango_face_smile_bi
 

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You may want to check with the Stud Dealer/Installer..... But on automotive tires, Studs can only be installed on brand new tires. I was told either install when new, or not at all....This may affect your decision.

And I agree with Tractor-Holic..... IMHO Studs for ice, chains for all conditions...

As the saying goes, Buy Once, Cry Once

GLuck, Jay
 

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Studs provide a small margin of traction on ice (they are only slightly better than siping when used on auto tires) but really won't provide the bite you need for plowing. Your tractor's torque will make the studs break free and the tires will just spin in the grooves they make. On packed snow, studs just cut through and are not much help. Chains and wheel weights for traction and plowing work!
I assume you have ag tires on your 510 - they're designed for traction in dirt and mud, but the rubber compounds and large, flat tread design make them float - or slide - on ice and snow.
 

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Guys I know who raced dirt bikes and used them on ice covered ponds often "spiked" their knobby tires with short sheet metal screws,with hex heads,to gain traction...but they often tore out of the tread blocks and more than one would end up puncturing someone's tire..
They didn't improve traction much on anything but ice without any snow on it..

AG tread tires in my opinion don't work for beans on snow,I tried them and they spun easier than turf tores--and turfs with chains seemed to work best--AG tires can be chained up if you make or buy special chains that have cross links in a diagonal "X" pattern so they wont slip down in between the lugs,but they aren't cheap,and backing up will still be more difficult as the directional tread favors forward over reverse..

Having a lot of weight helps a lot too...fluid filled rear tires make a big difference,with added weight on the tractor's rear and wheel weights combined,you'll have the best results..

My SS-12 can push a full blade of heavy slushy snow up the bankings my truck's plow makes all the way to the top without spinning a tire,if I'm not careful,it would keep right on going and crash on the other side!..

It has fluid in the rear tires,wheel weights that are cement /plastic and weigh about 30 lbs each,and I added another 180 or so lbs on the back in the form of old cast iron weights off a walk behind tractor I scrapped,and several old truck brake rotors..
I weigh about 190 lbs fully dressed too..it pushes really well,and also will back up too--some tires will let you push snow,but you cant back up away from the snow bank because the tread pattern sucks for reverse traction,even with chains--the tires on the SS-12 are the original turf treads that had a wavy horizontal lug pattern....
 

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Hey Robert...after seeing that tractor I understand how you knew so much about that SS 12 I was asking questions about last Summer...sweet little ride
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Looks like the consensus is definitely for tire chains! Thanks guys!

Just a side note - These are ag tires, big bar type, and have lots of tread, just seem to slip on the smooth hard stuff.

Just tough to swallow, since in my neck of the woods, everybody I have gotten a quote from is over $2,000 for a set of chains for my beast.....
But, gotta pay to play I guess! :tango_face_wink:
 

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Well, you could really git-er-done with these log skidder chains. Never slip again - and no need for a plow in the spring. Only a paltry $4650.00 per pair!
 

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Just tough to swallow, since in my neck of the woods, everybody I have gotten a quote from is over $2,000 for a set of chains for my beast.....
But, gotta pay to play I guess! :tango_face_wink:
How much would a pair of turf type tires cost for your 510.

Your tractor already has the weight. All that it really needs is rubber suitable for snow duty.
 

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How much would a pair of turf type tires cost for your 510.

Your tractor already has the weight. All that it really needs is rubber suitable for snow duty.
LOL, turf tires for 36" rims are brutally expensive around here, and I don't know that a turf tire would be better in the snow than the ag tires I have....
 

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LOL, turf tires for 36" rims are brutally expensive around here, and I don't know that a turf tire would be better in the snow than the ag tires I have....
Well, my 2400 lb, 4wd SCUT has turfs and will climb the 20° icy slope of my 7' high snow pile with an over full bucket load of heavily compacted snow without spinning, and it's not as potent as my 2300 lb, 2wd GT with chains on its turfs and a bigger bucket.

I've watched my neighbor struggle with his heavier R4 equipped Kubota B2920 in snow conditions that my SCUT would have no problem with, and my GT wouldn't even notice.

R4s at least have more surface contact with hard packed snow than what ags present, but they are still a poor second choice for snow duty.

It is going to be costly no matter which way you choose to go. Chains will probably be the more economical route, unless you find a deal on used tires that are more suitable.
 

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Well, my 2400 lb, 4wd SCUT has turfs and will climb the 20° icy slope of my 7' high snow pile with an over full bucket load of heavily compacted snow without spinning, and it's not as potent as my 2300 lb, 2wd GT with chains on its turfs and a bigger bucket.

I've watched my neighbor struggle with his heavier R4 equipped Kubota B2920 in snow conditions that my SCUT would have no problem with, and my GT wouldn't even notice.

R4s at least have more surface contact with hard packed snow than what ags present, but they are still a poor second choice for snow duty.

It is going to be costly no matter which way you choose to go. Chains will probably be the more economical route, unless you find a deal on used tires that are more suitable.
Thanks Bob, I hear what you are saying, and I know you know what kind of snow I'm dealing with here in the great white north :tango_face_wink:

I had a quick look, and from what I can see, nobody seems to make turf tires this big. Going to be shopping for tire chains...

good thing christmas is soon :tango_face_devil:
 

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In the "for what it's worth" department, the chains on the GT had about an 800 hour life expectancy, but they stayed on for 12 months a year and spent more than enough time on asphalt in the summer to add considerable extra wear.

The chains for your tires will be made with considerably heavier wire stock and should last much longer.
 

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If those 36" tires (I assume that is the rim size ?) are skinny enough,you may be able to link two truck tire chains together and add diagonal cross chains using bulk chain much cheaper than buying new chains...


I buy up every pair of used chains I saw at the flea market,some look brand new or were only used once or twice--since few guys were willing to lug them a long distance back to their vehicle,they didn't sell well,and I paid $5 for a few nice pairs that had the lug reinforcement cross chains that will only need to be cut down to fit my tractor's tires..

Mark,this SS-12 is my "mule",it has only been used (abused is more like it) since the day I got it--I bought it with no engine,for $40,and to avoid having to push it in and out of my garage,I plopped an old B&S model 14 I had on it that I think came from a David Bradley originally--its less than 6 HP,and is tired,but the gearing on this tractor is so low it will still push a lot of weight ,and in low range there isn't much it cant pull or push..

That is the only SS-12 I have,but I have 3 Suburban 12's too,a '67.'68 and a '69 or '70 model...the later one is what I used to mow with till I picked up a neighbors J-D L110..the other two I keep as back up tractors,one I built a scoop/plow for it and use a 1500 lb winch to lift the scoop or plow..I adapted a J-D plow to it and made it into a scoop that can be taken off easily with two pins..

I can push my 6250 lb pickup like nothing with the SS-12 in first gear hi range with no tire spinning...it gets used to drag logs out of the woods,plow snow,leaves,and it allows me to do many things I could never do otherwise now that I'm getting older & weaker..
I would like to rig up a boom for the back with a winch to move some heavy items around..but its capacity is probably limited to about 200 lbs,I need something that could move a car V8 & transmission ...a bigger tractor!..miss my 600 Ford loader ,wish I'd have hung onto it now..
 

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Well,---I buy up all of the old truck chains that I can find, then modify them to fit my tractor tires. It's the cheeeep way and they dont look beautiful but they sure do work great. On some of the smaller tractors, some truck size chains fit without doing anything to them. I have also started with just 2 side chains and cut crossbars from 1 long twist-link style chain and salvage the end connectors from worn out chains. Crossbars are cut to the exact length you want so when you measure how wide you need just cut all the bars the same link count and you are on the way. Also keep in mind that the more crossbars you have the better the traction and the smoother the ride!
 
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