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I know there has been all kinds of posts over the years about traction. I am looking at what I want / need to do as Winter is fast approaching. I would like to use my 1256 to plow my driveway and parking lot next to my house. I have modified a JD plow to fit on the stock Bolens plow bracket. I now need to add traction to get up and down the inclines. I have stock rims with turf tires. I like the option of pulling a wagon around the yard with the grandkids in it.

Here are some of the options I think I have read about. I would appreciate input as to what works and what does not to determine my best option(s).

1. Wheel weights. I don't have any but have access to a machine shop where I could have them fab'ed.
2. I could pull the wheels and have ag tires put on. Would this tear up my lawn in the summer? I haven't dared price these out...yet. What is a ball park price I would be looking at?
3. Adding fluid to the tires. Wouldn't this have a tendency to rust out the rims?
4. Build chains to fit my turf tires. I have 2-3 sets of car tire chains that I was thinking of using to build ones that fit my tires.
5. I have access to some old dumbbells (about 150-175 pounds) that I could build a rack for on the back.
6. If I could find them I could buy another set of rear rims that I could mount the ag tires on for the winter or when I rototill gardens. Even more costly than just no. 2 above.

What has people done and what has been people's best success?

Thanks,
Darrell S.
 

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blackjackjakexxix
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Chains with you stock tires would be a good option,I have been loading my tires with window washer fliuid,alot cheaper than anyother fluids,gains about 9 lbs per gallon,wheel weights also will help,even ag tires you will need chains,just my thoughts, Rick
 

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weight is the big thing

i have a grasshopper zero turn diesel 3 cyclnder
it has the drive wheels up front under where i sit
and the rear trailing wheels are under the motor

normally i have a 2stage blower on this so i have some weight in the front
but in the summer i use it to move trailers around my yard

anyways, i have ag tires with chains, and it will just dig itself into a hole
i think the real solution is some weight so that it has some downward force to apply the power to the ground

with my g12, i have turf tires with chains, and weights, and it seems to work well

get some chains, buy some weights on ebay $100bucks
and call it a day
 

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Turf tires give a lot of tractor but don't clean out well. Using Rimguard as liquid tire balast will NOT rot out your rims. It is by far the best type of ballast to use. The ballast along with chains will do all you need during the winter months of snow.
 

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Another option would be ATV tires, which are more aggressive than turfs, and not as aggressive as Ags.

You will still need weight and chains though.
 

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you could have the tires foam filled if your worried about the rims rusting guarranted never to have a flat ever again
 

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you could have the tires foam filled if your worried about the rims rusting guarranted never to have a flat ever again
And that tire and rim combination is permanently married - forever. If you ever wanted to replace either, you'll have to buy both rims and tires. RimGuard works well but is relatively expensive given the alternatives. A tire filled with either windshield wiper fluid or RV antifreeze are cheaper options, and they won't rust your rims. Some believe that WWF is more toxic to pets (if they can get past the smell), and may weaken rubber compounds a little. RV antifreeze is safe for pets and will not damage rubber. Auto antifreeze is another option but not a good idea if you have pets and you spring a leak (especially if your pet likes sweet tastes). It is cheap if you go to an auto shop and they barrels full of the used stuff. If you live in a warm climate where freezing temperatures aren't a big issue, use water with a corrosion inhibitor. For older tires, I highly suggest putting inner tubes in them in case you break a bead or puncture the tire. If you have a newer tire - or have a tire with a secondary bead - tubes really aren't necessary.

As far as weights go, the more the better - especially if you can mount them to the inside or outside of the rim. Use all-thread rod (cut to whatever length you need) to attach them. I've seen people form concrete weights in buckets that fit inside a rim, then drill holes to mount them. Be careful hanging too much weight on a rear hitch or you could break the axles or damage the seals.

I have personally tried all combinations of chain use and feel that chains on turfs have slightly better traction than chains on ags, or ags alone. Also the narrower the tire you can use, the better traction you will get. 2-links are better than 4-links. V-bars provide even BETTER traction, but you don't dare use them on a paved/concrete drive, or you park your tractor on a wooden/concrete floor.

Just some of the things I have learned in these topics - about $0.02 worth. :howdy:
 

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I could never understand why anyone would want a tube in a tire. If you have a punture you must remove the wheel, then the tire, and now the tube. Then repair the tube and reassemble everything hoping you don't pinch the tube in doing so. Now with a tubeless you find the hole plug it(with kit that is already in the garage) it reair and go get more seat time. Also I forgot to mention that rimguard aside from being a little pricey, it is also a puncture sealer.
 

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Last winter was my first winter with a garden tractor. what I found was I could push more with the tractor with the AGs and no chains than the other could with turfs and chains, as long as there was no ice.
 

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Elsimon, you covered everything and a box of crackers. Filled, weights, chains, and more weight hanging off the back. That will do it. More than is needed, but it will be unstoppable.

1. Wheel weights would be my first choice over filled tires because you can change the tires neatly. Admittedly, you will not change tire often, if ever. Stock weights are $100 to 125 per set and fit nicely. Machine away if you like - I enjoy machining things.

2. AG tires will generally not tear up the turf if it is not absolutely soggy and soft. Ballpark is $60 to 120 per tire. Check out Miller Tire, a forum sponsor. AG tires in winter are a yes-ans-no proposition. AG tires bite into snow but not ice. Chains bite into ice and usually dig through snow down to the ground where they start to get traction. Chain + AGs sometimes work or not - some people have experienced the chains hide in the grooves and do not provide the extra traction expected. But - if I had AGs on in the summer for plowing, I would leave them on through the winter.

3. Fluid filling is effective. This chart will help estimate the weight of your filled tires. As deerlope said, Rimguard is the best choice. It is more costly than others. It is slurry left over from pressing beets, denser than water or RV fluid by 10% (I think). I used RV antifreeze because it is non-toxic if it leaks and it is available at my local WalMart. Neither rust the rims. You might be thinking of calcium chloride solution, which certainly destroys rims. Regular antifreeze is toxic - please avoid it in case of leaks so your pet's don't lick up the sweet tasting fluid and get kidney failure.

4. More weight is OK, but not really needed after you fill and weight the tires, which would add up to 100# per side. More weight is useful for counter balancing a front loader. Weight on the rims does not load the axles like weight on the frame.

5. Yes, another set of rims and AGs is optimum and most costly. And more fun. As deerlope said, AGs clear dirt better, which is why they work better for dragging plows and such. As Old buzzard said, ATV tires are a good alternative. ATV treads are in many styles, more or less aggressive than AGs. Regardless, chains are needed on ice.

What I did:
  • My tractor has a heavy single-stage blower instead of a plow. Your choice to use a plow, there is no wrong choice.
  • Tractor has the original 8.5" wide turfs
  • I tried turfs alone. Worse than useless. The tractor got stuck and I had to push 800 lbs of iron back to the garage though deep snow. :banghead3
  • I filled the wheels with RV antifreeze which added 45# per tire, but the turfs spun. Had to push 890# of tractor back to the garage.
    :banghead3:banghead3
  • Added chains, which improved things but sometimes it spun and was stuck. Rarely.:trink40:
  • Added 50# wheel weights per side, now up to 95 lbs per side with turfs and chains. It spins until it digs down to pavement, then it goes. Sometimes it has to dig though much snow to find ground but it does not get stuck.:trink40::trink40:

Now, front wheels for steering... some people wrap 1 length of bike or motorcycle chain around the tire. Makes it act like an ice skate. Will not help while pushing, but may help on ice when the plow is raised. Some people use AGs or deeply ribbed tires on the front. Deeply ribbed tires will press grooves in the turf.

an' that's all I got to say about that.
 

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Maybe the answer here is a bigger 4 x4 tractor, with a hard cab. Heat ,ac and a stero & cd player.
 

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I could never understand why anyone would want a tube in a tire. If you have a punture you must remove the wheel, then the tire, and now the tube. Then repair the tube and reassemble everything hoping you don't pinch the tube in doing so. Now with a tubeless you find the hole plug it(with kit that is already in the garage) it reair and go get more seat time. Also I forgot to mention that rimguard aside from being a little pricey, it is also a puncture sealer.
You are correct in the case of a puncture. However, for the casual yard and driveway use, a punctured tire is not likely to happen. Older tires either leak at the valve stem/core or beads. Kinda tough to patch or plug a bead leak.

Are you sure that Rimguard will stop a leak? I don't see any claims of that on their websites. I also found other threads that discuss the tendency of Rim Guard to loosen some valve stems after a year or two. It eats an adhesive in the stem. Rim Guard's literature also makes note of the problem. So make sure you replace the stem with a suitable one (if the ballast is Rim Guard).
 

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Maybe the answer here is a bigger 4 x4 tractor, with a hard cab. Heat ,ac and a stero & cd player.
Definitely. You will no longer need the 1256, so you can mail it to me. This may require many USPS expedited mail cartons...
 

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It's been mentioned several times how AGs clear out better. How well do chains on turfs clean out? I've got a lot of tilling to do (1/4 acre), with the same setup as elsimons. In the past I found that the tiller would push me from time to time, even with the brakes on. Granted, it only did that when tilling virgin soil, but nevertheless, I'd like to avoid it in the future.
 

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Bolens 1886-01
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I used ag tires/weights/chains on my 1556 last year with no issues. I even mowed all summer with them including chains and did not hurt the lawn. I've since removed the ags from that tractor.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I have often thought of wheel weights being the easiest to add. The only ones I have seen on ebay are in the $100-$125 range and then shipping out here to Utah adds a significant amount to that. In one case it doubled the price!

Can anyone take some pics and get some measurements for me so I can design up some weights for my tractor? Once I get them designed I will price them out and post what I find. If there is anyone else out here in the West that is having a hard time finding weights I will see if I can get a price break for multiple pieces.

Chains are still an option. If I understand bcuster 2 link are better than 4 link. This would indicate there is a cross chain every 2 links correct?

Thanks!
 

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my father picked up a set on ebay
each one fit in a usps flat rate box
was fairly reasonable

this was years ago, dont know if they changed the weight limit for the box
 

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I have often thought of wheel weights being the easiest to add. ...
You can get away with using non-Bolens weights. Just about any weight for 12" wheels will work. I have some Craftsman weights on my G10.

The only down side to using non-Bolens weights on your 1256 is that you would loose access to the controlled differential knob. With my G10 that's not an issue since it's one of the few tube frames that lack that.

If you could live with having the differential locked for the whole 'snow season', non-Bolens weight would be an option, and likely not as costly as the Bolens ones.
 

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Here's me handling the snow with my 1050 with turf tires, chains and wheel weights...the only down side is the chains scuff up the asphalt. I've never been so stuck I couldn't work it free...

Mike B :)
 

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