To fill or not to fill...also, spacers

The_Wingnut

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I think there is something I don't understand about the wheel spacer approach. I see suggestions to add 2" spacers, does that equate to widening the tire profile by 4" overall? If that's the case does 4" really make a difference (OK I know I'm setting my self up for the humor crowd)? I'm setting here trying to visualize the extra 4" and I don't think on my tractor I would even notice the change. Perhaps, the 4" ratio stance is magnified by the overall size of the tractor?

I just don't get it....
 

ve9aa

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I think there is something I don't understand about the wheel spacer approach. I see suggestions to add 2" spacers, does that equate to widening the tire profile by 4" overall? If that's the case does 4" really make a difference (OK I know I'm setting my self up for the humor crowd)? I'm setting here trying to visualize the extra 4" and I don't think on my tractor I would even notice the change. Perhaps, the 4" ratio stance is magnified by the overall size of the tractor?

I just don't get it....
I've seen this mentioned 100 times and I don't really get it either. How does 4" on a 4' wide (or whatever) axle supposedly make this (apparently) huge difference? (or even 'measurable' difference)

I am not disagreeing with the folks who swear by it, (I've never been in a position to do an A/B comparison) but I'd like to see some scientific (mathematical) calculations that would prove it to my lil' lizard brain. ;-)
 
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Freeheeler

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Most women will swear that and extra 2" makes a big difference. I have no scientific evidence to back this up ;)
 
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Henro

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I think there is something I don't understand about the wheel spacer approach. I see suggestions to add 2" spacers, does that equate to widening the tire profile by 4" overall? If that's the case does 4" really make a difference (OK I know I'm setting my self up for the humor crowd)? I'm setting here trying to visualize the extra 4" and I don't think on my tractor I would even notice the change. Perhaps, the 4" ratio stance is magnified by the overall size of the tractor?

I just don't get it....
I’ve never done a calculation, and your question is valid.

Of course every little bit helps when you widen the rear wheels on a tractor. But how much does it help?

You could get an idea by estimating where the center of gravity of the tractor is, and drawing a triangle with the upper most point at the center of gravity and the two lower points at the outside edges of the tires.

As long as the center of gravity remains between the two inside edges of the tires, the tractor should be stable on a side slope.

When one of the angled sides of the triangle becomes vertical as the tractor tilts, this is the danger point.

I believe that angle would be 90° minus whatever the angle is at one of the lower corners. That lower angle is determined by where the center of gravity is located with reference to the distance between the outside edges of the tires. If the tires are widened, those lower angles decrease.

It should be possible to draw two triangles to scale and see how significant the differences een the angles are, when the tires are widened using wheel spacers, and avoid mathematical calculations if you’re not comfortable making them.

This is simplistic since during operation other things come in to play like the dynamics of the tractor moving and so on.

It seems like it would be a fun challenge for someone to actually make a comparison like that, either with empirical measurements or via mathematical calculation…

Any takers? 😊
 
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GreensvilleJay

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One problem with the '4" better' is that you need to ONLY add the spacers and do a proper comparison ( same hill,gearing, time of day, etc.). if you also added beet juice or removed the loader then THAT is not a valid comparison.

There's two issues with 'spacers'. 1 is the stability factor, 2 is the potential damage to the tractor. '1' is easy to determine...drive up the same location on the hill..... '2' could be calculated,based on axle shaft length, tire/wheel mass,grade of steel used for axle, etc. My 'gut' is telling me that 4" spacers DOES change the 'math' and could damage the tractor.
 
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rc51stierhoff

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I’ve never done a calculation, and your question is valid.

Of course every little bit helps when you widen the rear wheels on a tractor. But how much does it help?

You could get an idea by estimating where the center of gravity of the tractor is, and drawing a triangle with the upper most point at the center of gravity and the two lower points at the outside edges of the tires.

As long as the center of gravity remains between the two inside edges of the tires, the tractor should be stable on a side slope.

When one of the angled sides of the triangle becomes vertical as the tractor tilts, this is the danger point.

I believe that angle would be 90° minus whatever the angle is at one of the lower corners. That lower angle is determined by where the center of gravity is located with reference to the distance between the outside edges of the tires. If the tires are widened, those lower angles decrease.

It should be possible to draw two triangles to scale and see how significant the differences een the angles are, when the tires are widened using wheel spacers, and avoid mathematical calculations if you’re not comfortable making them.

This is simplistic since during operation other things come in to play like the dynamics of the tractor moving and so on.

It seems like it would be a fun challenge for someone to actually make a comparison like that, either with empirical measurements or via mathematical calculation…

Any takers? 😊
I am not a taker of the tip over challenge😉…however, before getting too happy with the throttle, I would add to consider off roading…generally depending on the set up of the chassis and configuration of axles, it’s ok until tires on one side of vehicle are (bottom of tire)higher than the top of the tires on opposing side…generally….25- 30% is very achievable…now that being said normal vehicles suspension and center of gravity is different. I doubt a tractor can do that…so there is a guage. In general the center pivot front axle, lack of suspension, and loader are all not your friend in terms of stability on a tractor. In my mind a tractor tips over way easier and faster than regular vehicle would…so tread lightly and most certainly take some video if taking the tip over challenge. 🥃
 
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14wingnut

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Father is retired heavy equipment (mostly backhoe and excavator) operator, grandfather was a farmer, and I've grown up with tractors as my playground. The only time I've seen spacers is to set tires at proper width for field. Filled tires have been to get correct tire slip.

Tip over is prevented by paying attention to surroundings and angles.
 
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GreensvilleJay

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Tractors, like the 'everyone knows it'...Ford 9N-2N-8N series, were designed and built to have their wheels out further. They even supply charts and drawings of how to set them up,usually every 4".
Adding spacers to one that the manufacturer does NOT offer spacers, can lead to a pile of very expensive parts.
 
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The_Wingnut

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I’ve never done a calculation, and your question is valid.

Of course every little bit helps when you widen the rear wheels on a tractor. But how much does it help?

You could get an idea by estimating where the center of gravity of the tractor is, and drawing a triangle with the upper most point at the center of gravity and the two lower points at the outside edges of the tires.

As long as the center of gravity remains between the two inside edges of the tires, the tractor should be stable on a side slope.

When one of the angled sides of the triangle becomes vertical as the tractor tilts, this is the danger point.

I believe that angle would be 90° minus whatever the angle is at one of the lower corners. That lower angle is determined by where the center of gravity is located with reference to the distance between the outside edges of the tires. If the tires are widened, those lower angles decrease.

It should be possible to draw two triangles to scale and see how significant the differences een the angles are, when the tires are widened using wheel spacers, and avoid mathematical calculations if you’re not comfortable making them.

This is simplistic since during operation other things come in to play like the dynamics of the tractor moving and so on.

It seems like it would be a fun challenge for someone to actually make a comparison like that, either with empirical measurements or via mathematical calculation…

Any takers? 😊
Good feedback and valuable point of view. I do agree, every little bit will help, difficult for me to justify the cost of the 2" spacer to gain 4" overall width. Not to mention the potential cost of repairs with the added axle stress.

I too will have to pass on the challenges...already have too many bite marks in the tractor seat and for some strange reason when I do math 2+2 = 5 and sometimes 3.
 
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Hyperborean

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Tractors, like the 'everyone knows it'...Ford 9N-2N-8N series, were designed and built to have their wheels out further. They even supply charts and drawings of how to set them up,usually every 4".
Adding spacers to one that the manufacturer does NOT offer spacers, can lead to a pile of very expensive parts.
Considering the number of Kubota dealerships (like Messicks in PA) making videos on YouTube talking specifically about putting wheel spacers on the tractors they sell contradicts the problems you seem to say that are certain to arise. Such dealerships are going to know first hand how much of a problem they do or don't cause and whether such a modification voids any warranties; none of the videos I've seen so far paint any doom and gloom pictures.

For me, putting on wheel spacers very soon to avoid tipping and roll over is well worth the minuscule risk of maybe causing some problems over an extended period of time. Not losing my life and avoiding potential debilitating injuries is far greater in value to me than whatever it costs to repair a machine.
 
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The_Wingnut

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Tractors, like the 'everyone knows it'...Ford 9N-2N-8N series, were designed and built to have their wheels out further. They even supply charts and drawings of how to set them up,usually every 4".
Adding spacers to one that the manufacturer does NOT offer spacers, can lead to a pile of very expensive parts.
The reason for the adjustable wheel width on row crop tractors like the 9N-2N-8N was to accommodate row width. The same reason row crop tractors of all sizes today are adjustable.
I guess I go back to "does 4" of additional width really provide a noticable amount of stability?"
 

MapleLeafFarmer

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my opinion is in my case nope... wouldn't do either as:

- ballast: Ballast be very important but I use I have other options ranging from backhoe to logging winch, etc.... If new and life of ownership going to be not too too long have at it. I seen a lot of corroded out rims in my time due to liquid ballast. Just yesterday at coffee shop friend is lamenting cost of replacement rims due to corrosion. Not cheap on machine less than 10 years old. Also around here if smaller machines hurts re-sale for these reasons.


- spacers: too many horror stories of expensive broken axles for me. Also I am on mostly flat ground and solution to occasional grades usually exist for me or I simply to not go off camber. IMHO if spacers needed maybe the wrong machine / implement for the job. But to each their own and YMMV. That being said I have an atv / sxs / lifted / huge tires / snorkels, etc.... for driving the swamps during mushroom and berry picking season. Never a problem but do realize I must take extra care versus stock unit. Many tractors are commercial and more hd oriented and built in anticipation of changing wheel width to accommodate tasks. Many of the micro tractors we talk about here are not so a lot depends on circumstances I would say.
 
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Hyperborean

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The reason for the adjustable wheel width on row crop tractors like the 9N-2N-8N was to accommodate row width. The same reason row crop tractors of all sizes today are adjustable.
I guess I go back to "does 4" of additional width really provide a noticable amount of stability?"
A simple test to simulate whether having a wider wheel track is effective is to consider whether it's easier or more difficult to push you over from the side when pushed if your feet are wider than your typical standing stance. Obviosly putting on 4" of wheel spacing isn't going to suddenly allow for a tractor to do things perfectly safe on a 30 degree slope, but every bit helps in the overall picture.
 
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GrizBota

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In theory, this is a simple statics problem. In actuality, the dynamics of momentum are involved (IIRC, someone pointed that out on this site recently).

So back to statics and the “tip over test”, if we have a tractor set up to its minimum width of say 66 inches and we revise the rim configuration so it it 70 inches wide (2 inches on both sides) and we presume the center of gravity is at the mid point of the width (and stays there as the machine is tipped) then the additional force it would take tip the machine over can be estimated by summing the moments about the outside edge of the tire it is being tipped about.

The lever arm at the center of gravity is half the width (so 33 and 35 inches). Since the weight at the center of gravity is constant for a simplistic static evaluation, then the additional force it would take to tip the machine is the ratio of the two lever arms. 35/33 = 1.06, or about a 6% increase in stability. Basically the factor of safety against tipping is about 6% greater than it was, in theory, for a static situation. Not much but enough that in a some cases it could be the difference between flopping or not.

We’ll let the MEs or folks with a MS in physics get into the details of a dynamic (moving) evaluation. Plus it will be interesting to read what others have to offer on that front.
 
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Dusty71

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In theory, this is a simple statics problem. In actuality, the dynamics of momentum are involved (IIRC, someone pointed that out on this site recently).

So back to statics and the “tip over test”, if we have a tractor set up to its minimum width of say 66 inches and we revise the rim configuration so it it 70 inches wide (2 inches on both sides) and we presume the center of gravity is at the mid point of the width (and stays there as the machine is tipped) then the additional force it would take tip the machine over can be estimated by summing the moments about the outside edge of the tire it is being tipped about.

The lever arm at the center of gravity is half the width (so 33 and 35 inches). Since the weight at the center of gravity is constant for a simplistic static evaluation, then the additional force it would take to tip the machine is the ratio of the two lever arms. 35/33 = 1.06, or about a 6% increase in stability. Basically the factor of safety against tipping is about 6% greater than it was, in theory, for a static situation. Not much but enough that in a some cases it could be the difference between flopping or not.

We’ll let the MEs or folks with a MS in physics get into the details of a dynamic (moving) evaluation. Plus it will be interesting to read what others have to offer on that front.
I’m working w Messicks on a Grand L4060 HSTC at the moment. I live in Warrenton, VA & our property is hilly. I’ve had several “holy moly” moments on my 60 inch cut ZT.

I spoke w Bro-Tek this week & they recommended at least 3 inch spacers on both rear wheels. Front spacers not required though 1.5 to 2 were suggested.

Thoughts …
 

GrizBota

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I’m working w Messicks on a Grand L4060 HSTC at the moment. I live in Warrenton, VA & our property is hilly. I’ve had several “holy moly” moments on my 60 inch cut ZT.

I spoke w Bro-Tek this week & they recommended at least 3 inch spacers on both rear wheels. Front spacers not required though 1.5 to 2 were suggested.

Thoughts …
I’m wondering what Kubota thinks about it. I think your new L has the ability to have the rear rim centers mounted such that you can gain about two inches on each side as it is.

From an engineering stand point, the further the wheels are from the bearing(s) in the housing, the more load applied to both the bearings and the axle shaft. If going wider is within big K’s design parameters, wider might be what you want. I don’t think my manuals mention spacers one way or the other.

BTW, the percentage increase in load on the bearing would be much more than 6%. Say the existing pivot point on the tire is 14 inches from the nearest bearing, you add 3 inches so now It’s 17 inches to that bearing. The ratio is 17/14 = 1.21, or a 21% increase load on that bearing. Obviously I’ve simplified this a fair bit, so the next ME to weigh in can correct this for me. The point is the load on the bearing is a couple to several times greater than the additional righting force that was gained by adding spacers.
 
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Dusty71

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I’m wondering what Kubota thinks about it. I think your new L has the ability to have the rear rim centers mounted such that you can gain about two inches on each side as it is.

From an engineering stand point, the further the wheels are from the bearing(s) in the housing, the more load applied to both the bearings and the axle shaft. If going wider is within big K’s design parameters, wider might be what you want. I don’t think my manuals mention spacers one way or the other.

BTW, the percentage increase in load on the bearing would be much more than 6%. Say the existing pivot point on the tire is 14 inches from the nearest bearing, you add 3 inches so now It’s 17 inches to that bearing. The ratio is 17/14 = 1.21, or a 21% increase load on that bearing. Obviously I’ve simplified this a fair bit, so the next ME to weigh in can correct this for me. The point is the load on the bearing is a couple to several times greater than the additional righting force that was gained by adding spacers.
Griz,

Bro-Tek recommend 3 inch spacers for each rear wheel. The gent I spoke w at Bro-Tek mentioned that spacing on fronts is not required & potentially puts extra stress on front axles during loader / grapple work.

He indicated the cab adds several hundred pounds and the wider stance will be noticeable on the hills.

Folks from Messicks do not sell
spacers; though will install & had no qualms / concerns about doing so.

I appreciate your prompt response & guidance here. I believe the added weight of the Grand L4060 will certainly play to my advantage in the hills.

Pls keep feedback & opinions coming … This is all new to me. I’m learning from you seasoned folks & trying to do this right 1st time.
 

Dusty71

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SCAG Tiger Cat 2
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Warrenton, VA
Griz,

Bro-Tek recommend 3 inch spacers for each rear wheel. The gent I spoke w at Bro-Tek mentioned that spacing on fronts is not required & potentially puts extra stress on front axles during loader / grapple work.

He indicated the cab adds several hundred pounds and the wider stance will be noticeable on the hills.

Folks from Messicks do not sell
spacers; though will install & had no qualms / concerns about doing so.

I appreciate your prompt response & guidance here. I believe the added weight of the Grand L4060 will certainly play to my advantage in the hills.

Pls keep feedback & opinions coming … This is all new to me. I’m learning from you seasoned folks & trying to do this right 1st time.
You’re spot on regarding the rear rims being pushed out further. I’m doing that for certain to widest point. I read i. the forum (not the post) somebody had a L4060 and added 2.5 inch spacers after pushing his rims out. He indicated stability increased noticeably & tractor was made re stable on his hills. Let me see if I can find his post as he had before and after pics once spacers were added … the stance is noticeably wider.
 
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GrizBota

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Griz,

Bro-Tek recommend 3 inch spacers for each rear wheel. The gent I spoke w at Bro-Tek mentioned that spacing on fronts is not required & potentially puts extra stress on front axles during loader / grapple work.

He indicated the cab adds several hundred pounds and the wider stance will be noticeable on the hills.

Folks from Messicks do not sell
spacers; though will install & had no qualms / concerns about doing so.

I appreciate your prompt response & guidance here. I believe the added weight of the Grand L4060 will certainly play to my advantage in the hills.

Pls keep feedback & opinions coming … This is all new to me. I’m learning from you seasoned folks & trying to do this right 1st time.
You’re getting a nice machine to be sure. I agree, you will “feel” that cab, the weight will be high, not in your favor. Myself, I’d have the new tractor set up to maximum rear wheel with and see what you think.

I concur front wheel spacers won’t do much as there is a center pivot point in the front axle, so it will do nothing until it hits the limiting pad to stop the teater todder effect of the front axle. But it would indeed certainly load the bearing with every scoop of the FEL.

Curious, did you look at an equivalent 4060 LE HSTC? If so, how much less expensive is the Limited Edition than the normal Grand L set up the same way?

Oh, and fill the rear tires. I wouldn’t use the CaCl (which two of my tractors do have). That’s just a future problem in the making.

Enjoy you new equipment and be safe, clearly that is on you mind.
 
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Dusty71

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You’re getting a nice machine to be sure. I agree, you will “feel” that cab, the weight will be high, not in your favor. Myself, I’d have the new tractor set up to maximum rear wheel with and see what you think.

I concur front wheel spacers won’t do much as there is a center pivot point in the front axle, so it will do nothing until it hits the limiting pad to stop the teater todder effect of the front axle. But it would indeed certainly load the bearing with every scoop of the FEL.

Curious, did you look at an equivalent 4060 LE HSTC? If so, how much less expensive is the Limited Edition than the normal Grand L set up the same way?

Oh, and fill the rear tires. I wouldn’t use the CaCl (which two of my tractors do have). That’s just a future problem in the making.

Enjoy you new equipment and be safe, clearly that is on you mind.
The Ltd Edition is a bit less expensive.

I was initially looking btw MX5400, L4701 now replaced by L4802. So started chatting w folks here and at dealers regarding new L4802.

Grand L4760 was out of my price range w implements.

L4802 was my initial interest though I noticed smaller HP Grands had higher lift capacity.

A friend w a much larger property has an MX & loves it though he also has several massive working farm tractors (400 cattle & 464 acres) that’s a big property for where I live … might be nothing other places.

The MX was then at the top of
my price range (higher lift cap than the L4802)

Eventually, I found the Grand series (by accident) looking at LA 805 & LA 1055 loaders.

Went down the Grand rabbit hole. Long story shortened - the L4060 w needed implements & cab comes in below my price pt. The Grand 3560 (28 PTO) even lower though I’ve got 12 acres I need to hit a few times w a bush hog & it gets 4.5 less at PTO than the L4060 (32.5 PTO) …

Initially, I wasn’t considering a cab bc I thought they’d add 9-11k to the cost. Turns out it’s actually closer to 5-7k to the cost on smaller tractors.

My buddy has done bush hogging for me last several times w a Kubota L3430 (27 PTO) and often struggles w some of the hills when grass is tall. Especially when working on the hills. I’m on 18 acres w several hills & flat pasture.

Use cases for tractor: Invasive Russian Olive removal w grapple & FEL w Piranha blade, removal of several large fallen black walnut trees, plus limbs down after storms, grading 400 yrd gravel driveway, possibly widening top round about near house, leveling several smaller 1 acre fields that have some dips & ruts, snow removal, 4 - 6 1/2 acre to 3/4 acre food plots, building out larger garden for my wife approx 1/3 acre … I’m sure there is other stuff.
 
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