Advice on Plowing Snow with Chains or 4x4

twomany

Member

Equipment
B7200
Jul 10, 2017
535
2
18
Vermont
On the flat stuff

Two wheel drive with chains for the ice. Actually with turf tires here in hilly VT I leave the V lug chains on the garden tractor/ snow blower year round.
I plan to do the same with the B7200 2WD with chains.

On our "hill", which is the drive up to the place. NOTHING BUT CHAINS feels safe, or is safe. Warm snow or ice. If it's 10 degrees F out, with 6 inches of fluff, Ag tires work.

The Hurlimann 4WD on ag tires was border line until the tires were screw studded. What a boon those studs!

Split diff both front and rear doesn't hurt either. ;-)!
 

Missouribound

Member

Equipment
B2320, FEL, BOX BLADE, FINISH MOWER, QUICK HITCH
Jun 17, 2014
606
0
16
Missouri
Do you mow with that tractor? Keep in mind that loaded tires may do a number on your lawn if that applies. As everyone has said the turf tires are quite good in snow by themselves.
 

Emark SK

New member

Equipment
BX1500D, RCK48-15BX, 6' blade, HD dumpcart,
Oct 1, 2018
6
0
0
Eston, Saskatchewan
I haven't used my BX1500 in the snow yet, but I'm looking to chain up b4 I get stuck.
I've found THIS site:
dubdubdub dot tractortirechains dot com
... and they seem to have the most reasonable prices and assortments for chains.
Even though I've got 4WD, I'm still chaining all the wheels.
This company will ship into Canada! I better buy them NOW before Trump's Trade Tariffs bump the prices thru the roof!
 

Stmar

Member

Equipment
B2650HSDC
May 23, 2017
790
2
18
Buffalo, Wyoming
You know if the 1880 needs spacers ?


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The rubber chains have a fairly low profile so if you have any clearance at all you should be good, I had no problem with my B2650. Just make sure you follow the installation instructions like 200mph (he is the member that suggested them to me) said and get them tight.
Can't believe it is almost time to put them back on, we already had our first snow!!! BIL asked what happened to Fall and I said "It FELL".
 

torch

Active member

Equipment
B7100HSD, B2789, B2550, RC54-71B, 48" cultivator, homemade FEL, homemade Cab
Jun 10, 2016
1,256
2
38
Muskoka, Ont.
There are a number of similar threads to this one on the site. Probably like oil, you'll get a different answer from each respondent. But here's my take:

Deep lug tires are designed for maximum traction on soft materials, where they can sink in, get a good bite, and push forward like a paddle. The deeper the lug, the more lateral (forward) force that can be applied (provided the lugs sink in to full depth). They have a lot of open space between each "paddle" so they don't plug up with material and become slicks. Great for deep slimy, slippery stuff like mud that wants to flow around the paddle. Chains are like removable deep lugs, but harder and narrower so they apply more downward pressure on the surface.

Turf tires have comparatively shallow lugs, closely spaced. They're more like snowshoes -- they "float" more readily on soft surfaces, but they easily plug up with mud and can't transfer lateral (forward) force as effectively in deep, soft material. Intuition says they don't make good snow tires so why does practical experience show they do?

I think there's 3 factors at play:

1. We're not really trying to drive over the snow, we're trying to clear it down to a solid base underneath -- concrete, pavement or frozen ground. So deep lugs are not an advantage and the shallow lugs of turf tires are sufficient on the cleared path. Things might be different if we were trying to travel cross-country over deep snow rather than clear it.

2. Despite some similarities, snow is not mud. Mud consists of dirt particles, usually rather rounded and coated in water. The surface tension of the water makes the particles readily slip around each other. Snow -- even wet snow -- consists of sharp-edged crystals that interlock with each other. In other words, snow packs more readily than mud. So shallow lugs are more than sufficient to transfer the lateral forces.

3. On ice (or really hard packed snow) lugs can't sink in (although chains will sink in better than rubber lugs). When the tire is floating on top like that, more rubber in contact = better traction. Turf tires have a distinct advantage over widely spaced lugs in this scenario. Just as modern snow tires use narrow slits (called "siping") in the tread blocks to improve ice traction by allowing the rubber to distort and better conform to the surface, turf tires have small tread blocks with narrow grooves to maximize contact area and conform to the terrain.

I could be wrong on some or all details, but I can attest to the fact that turfs work well for snow clearing. Especially if the tires are loaded. And 4 wheel drive makes the biggest difference.
 

StephenB

New member

Equipment
Bx1880,MMM, loader.
May 24, 2017
52
0
0
Nova Scotia
You know if the 1880 needs spacers ?


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I have a BX1880 with loaded turf tires and run chains in the winter so yes there is room with out spacers. It does amazing in the snow on my drive way which is downhill. With out chains and a little ice build it was a no go :)
I also use it to mow almost 4 acres and the loaded tires don't seem to bother the lawn.

 

Paluch1

New member
Aug 28, 2018
44
0
0
Buffalo Ny
I bought the rubber chains and I am definitely putting them on. Not sure if I want to load the tires yet. My driveway is concrete and I'm not sure if that's a benefit or not. I'm sure it will be a learning process going from the Cummins to the Kubota


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yzinger

New member
Feb 5, 2015
28
0
0
Nova Scotia, Canada
Please let us know how the rubber chains work. I dont get how they can be of any use - I mean our tires are made of rubber - what will dig into the snow/ice?

I bought the rubber chains and I am definitely putting them on. Not sure if I want to load the tires yet. My driveway is concrete and I'm not sure if that's a benefit or not. I'm sure it will be a learning process going from the Cummins to the Kubota


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dalola

Member

Equipment
BX2380 w/FEL & Woods RM48 RFM, Yazoo/Kees Max2 ZTR
Jun 30, 2017
313
1
18
Ohio
I use my FEL (with a urethane lip) for snow clearing, keep my Woods RM48 on the back for ballast (~400#'s). I use 4x4, R4 tires are not filled, no chains, I have not had any issues. Driveway is asphalt, with a 6 degree grade in one section, otherwise, relatively flat.

I clear as I go, meaning, I don't have to travel through deep snow. Always travel through the path just cleared. Longest run is less than 200', but angles & corners always allow a shorter path if needed, due to snow depth.

Every situation is different, what works for some may not work for others.
 

yzinger

New member
Feb 5, 2015
28
0
0
Nova Scotia, Canada
Please let us know how the rubber chains work. I dont get how they can be of any use - I mean our tires are made of rubber - what will dig into the snow/ice?

I bought the rubber chains and I am definitely putting them on. Not sure if I want to load the tires yet. My driveway is concrete and I'm not sure if that's a benefit or not. I'm sure it will be a learning process going from the Cummins to the Kubota


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

yzinger

New member
Feb 5, 2015
28
0
0
Nova Scotia, Canada
Please let us know how the rubber chains work. I dont get how they can be of any use - I mean our tires are made of rubber - what will dig into the snow/ice?

I bought the rubber chains and I am definitely putting them on. Not sure if I want to load the tires yet. My driveway is concrete and I'm not sure if that's a benefit or not. I'm sure it will be a learning process going from the Cummins to the Kubota


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Paluch1

New member
Aug 28, 2018
44
0
0
Buffalo Ny
Please let us know how the rubber chains work. I dont get how they can be of any use - I mean our tires are made of rubber - what will dig into the snow/ice?


When I put them on origally I didn't have and issues driving through deep snow in 2wd. There is a big difference with the on. I just have to keep them from falling off


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thirdroc17

New member
Dec 25, 2013
73
0
0
Central Michigan
Rubber slips on ice, no matter it's shape, that means spin and sit.

Steel chains scratch and dig in, that means you can go.

Chains fall between lugs and become useless.

Filled tires have way more cons than pros, but everyone just goes with the cheap, so they recommend them. Having run them, I'd never recommend them.

4 wheel drive is great, if you're in a slight turn all the time. Straight ahead, the over driven front tires will bind up the drive line. In a sharper turn, the not over driven enough front tires won't let you turn.

So I run chains, on turfs, counterweights, rear wheel drive only. I can go, turn, everything, no binding, no problem. If I get in deep, and only when I get in deep, I use 4x4 to rescue me.
 

RCW

Active member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
BX2360, FEL, MMM, BX2750D snowblower. 1953 Minneapolis Moline ZAU
Apr 28, 2013
4,154
24
38
Chenango County, NY
Rubber slips on ice, no matter it's shape, that means spin and sit.

Steel chains scratch and dig in, that means you can go.

Chains fall between lugs and become useless.

Filled tires have way more cons than pros, but everyone just goes with the cheap, so they recommend them. Having run them, I'd never recommend them.

4 wheel drive is great, if you're in a slight turn all the time. Straight ahead, the over driven front tires will bind up the drive line. In a sharper turn, the not over driven enough front tires won't let you turn.

So I run chains, on turfs, counterweights, rear wheel drive only. I can go, turn, everything, no binding, no problem. If I get in deep, and only when I get in deep, I use 4x4 to rescue me.
I have R4's loaded, chains, and never get out of 4x4 all winter on my BX2360 with snowblower. Whatever model tractor you have, obviously your set up works for you, and that's great. Doesn't for me.

I don't know your topography or if you're working on asphalt, but my tractor is part Mountain Goat four seasons a year. Believe me, if kept tight, chains work just fine on R4's.... Been driving a 1953 Minneapolis Moline for almost 50 years, and that always has chains all winter on R1's.

Another winter liked we've had lately, I'll probably chain the fronts of my BX, because I can lose all steering....fronts just wash-out downhill, in 4WD.

Not sure I could have mowed this year without loaded tires...so wet...tore enough lawn up as it was....and some of that was in 4WD.

I understand the tire ratio/4WD issue, but you have that binding with stock tires? Never had an issue, but for tight turns on solid ground. I'd be concerned you may have a mismatch fronts/rears?
 
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