Tire Chains For Mud???

NCL4701

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L4701, WC68 chipper, grapple, BB1572 box scrape, Howes 500 rotary cutter, etc.
Apr 27, 2020
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Central Piedmont, NC
GREAT for traction but do not go near asphalt or concrete.

SDT
Thanks for the heads up. Scarifying a concrete driveway could be hard to explain to the wife. I know it isn’t the case for everyone, but all I have is gravel, grass, and dirt. My truck is the only thing that goes on pavement.
 

NCL4701

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L4701, WC68 chipper, grapple, BB1572 box scrape, Howes 500 rotary cutter, etc.
Apr 27, 2020
56
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Central Piedmont, NC
The chains as installed appear to be too large for the tires, both width and (hard to see) length.

The cross links should end near the base of the lugs, well away from the rims. Perhaps you can rectify this by removing some length from the circumferential chains (perhaps a cross link or two also, but cannot tell), perhaps not. DO NOT cut chains before test fitting at least once and preferably twice.

I have rarely (never?) bought a set of tractor tire chains that did not need modification, sometimes major modification, upon initial installation. Manufacturers manufacture tire chains to fit multiple tire sizes so compromises are (almost) inevitable.

This is why initial installation is critical and why I stated in a previous post that one would struggle upon fitting/initial installation.

Recently, I spent about four hours fitting and initially installing a set of rear (perhaps one hour for fronts) tire chains for my B3350 but the effort was time well spent.

The chains now fit very tightly, do not move regardless of load, do not contact the fenders, do not ride into the tire grooves (much) except near the tire edges, and cannot be installed loosely because I have removed excess length. They are simply too short to be installed loosely.

Subsequent installations can be done in about one hour. Yes, I find it necessary to attempt to lock the circumferential chain ratchets multiple times as I repetitively move side chains about to gain length and I do lie on the ground while doinig this. One should expect to spend more time to install tire chains on larger tires for multiple reasons, especially the weight of the chains.

If one expects to install tractor tire chains quickly, even for a B2650/3350 sized tire, one should not expect to achieve proper fit/installation and one should expect the need of tensioners, etc.

SDT
Achieving proper fitment is the only thing that’s a bit intimidating as I know no one experienced with anything larger than a light truck. Not intimidating enough to prevent doing it, however. I would imagine slack would translate into less than maximal performance and potential damage to fenders and tires.
 

NCL4701

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L4701, WC68 chipper, grapple, BB1572 box scrape, Howes 500 rotary cutter, etc.
Apr 27, 2020
56
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18
Central Piedmont, NC
I cant believe the prices on chains! Dang expensive!
Very true. $ and something else to deal with but if it’s the difference between getting a job done or not; worth the time and money. I suspect that’s why they’re so ubiquitous in the snowy areas.

If we have a dry summer next year like we often do, I can probably get it done without chains. The clay is like concrete when it’s bone dry. It’s like corn chowder when it’s saturated. The flotation of the R4’s isn’t a bad thing but would help if they just had a bit more bite. The trailer is actually a good thing on the crossings because it’s going downhill into the creek (which is always a mud hole) pushing the tractor through. By the time the trailer hits the mud hole creek the tractor is out onto dry ground and you’re pulling about 2 tons of trailer stuck mud up a 20% grade. By the time you get back with the next load the creek has refilled the sloppy mud with more sloppy mud. It’s a great system if you have enough tractor and some dry ground. I just ain’t had dry ground for about 18 months. We have some large trees recently felled by wind that have to be gotten up by next summer if they aren’t going to be left to rot and I can’t let them rot while cutting live trees that are more convenient.

If its soppy wet all year like it has been this year, or I just don’t have enough traction, I need a plan B and after some research and the advice provided here, looks like chains are going to be my fallback plan.
 

Lil Foot

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1979 B7100DT Gear
May 19, 2011
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4 wheelers, mud boggers, and the US military all used chains for mud in the past, before there was an endless variety of killer offroad tires.
I'm not a big fan of mud myself, but I used to run chains on all fours on my Landcruiser on dry desert 4 wheeling and hill climbs. I was able to climb stuff no one else could.
I also put them on differently than most- I deflated the tire, put the chains on as tight as I could, then re-inflated the tires. Never threw a chain, or had any other trouble with them. No tensioners needed either.
 
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BAP

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2012 Kubota 2920, 60MMM, FEL, BH65 48" Bush Hog, 60"Backblade, B2782B Snowblower
Dec 31, 2012
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I think we need a sticky thread covering how to properly fit chains to tractor tires!

I know it would be of great interest to me, and very helpful to many of us.
Henro, your picture of your tire chains looks fine. You will never loose a set like that as long as they are tight. A set that rides too high on the sidewalls have a greater chance of coming off and wrapping around the axle causing a lot of not nice words. Been running tire chains on tractors for 40+ years, and the ones like yours are the easiest to keep on. Sure, the cross links are too long, but they work and I wouldn’t waste the time changing them. When I farmed, we put chains on mid to late November and took them off in mid March to April depending on the year. Keeping the cross links repaired and side chains tight is the 2 most important things to keeping your chains on.
 

NCL4701

Member

Equipment
L4701, WC68 chipper, grapple, BB1572 box scrape, Howes 500 rotary cutter, etc.
Apr 27, 2020
56
32
18
Central Piedmont, NC
Plan A should be fixing the wet spot. Low water bridge, Corduroy road (see below), or fill in with 3-4" stones or Rip Rap.


Forget Plan B... Or plan B should read; see Plan A.

So, this is an actual creek? How wide (long)?
There are two. One is a dam trace from a neighbor’s dam about 0.1 mile northeast, which has been there since before anybody gave a crap about the environment, that runs across our place and eventually into the other creek. It is continually flowing, not a ton of water, all mud, no sand. It’s about 8’ wide (2’ water) and I’d prefer to just throw a culvert in it and call it done but there is a sewer line that runs down the other creek adjacent and if a sewer worker ever saw that and reported it to DNR I’d be pulling it out and paying big fines. Not highly likely but six figure fines v five figure engineering/permit cost for putting a culvert in what amounts to a big ditch aren’t something I care to deal with. It isn’t a natural waterway, but it’s continually flowing and flows into the Abbott’s Creek watershed so it’s subject to DNR.

The other creek is a natural creek that is flowing at all times. Its about 25’ wide (8’ water) but shallow; crossing is sandy so it requires a bit of grooming once in a while but not a problem to cross. It starts about 1/4 mile north of us. It runs into Abbott’s Creek, which runs into the Yadkin River, which becomes the Pee Dee River when it gets to SC, and then it runs into the Atlantic Ocean. Along the way, there are a few lakes where the river has been dammed, and a bunch of cities get their municipal water out of that watershed. Which all means DNR is really serious about messing with it even though we own it and pay taxes on it, etc. which honestly is probably justified. “Modifying” waterways or doing anything in the adjacent ripary areas around these parts gets all sorts of complicated. Not impossible but just the engineer fees necessary to get to the point of paying permit fees before you spend the first dollar on construction limits what I can do with either of the “waterways”. Cutting a bank down and driving across once in a while isn’t going to create problems although technically they could probably stop that if they felt like it. Any significant modification or building of structures is a different story.

I have considered the corduroy road (although I was previously unaware it had a name, so thanks for that) and might try it. It would be temporary but would almost certainly work. Might not be much problem in a relatively flat muddy area but a 2” rain in one hour thunderstorm puts a lot of water down that dam trace. Figured it would have to be lashed together and anchored to a large tree. Inevitable it would wash out.

One of my friends had some scrap concrete in a pile at his place and brought that over to at least start a base and it may be enough to totally fix it. Adding some rip rap or just waiting for drier conditions are possibilities. I do have to be careful not to modify it too much or even make it look modified too much. Rip rap is natural and not degrading the integrity of the bank, so I can get by with that.

Clearly that one muddy ditch subject to DNR’s oversight is my current issue. It’s not the only place that gets muddy around here and that was part of what got me to thinking about increasing performance in mud as a general option.
 
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