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How much traction do you gain with chains?

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BrianV_
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Joined: 23 Jan 2017
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Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:20 am    Post subject: How much traction do you gain with chains? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

So, this is my first winter snowblowing with my MF230 and a pull-behind snowblower. The tractor has about 50% tread left on the rears and filled tires.

On light snow, it does well... but I start having some bad traction issues when I need to break through drifts ahead of the snow blower, or get into deeper snow. I can work around it by backing up to a draft and taking 'bites' out of it with the blower, but this is pretty time consuming.

The base layer under everything that's fallen is hard-packed snow, so not necessarily the best traction scenario.

I assume my best option would be chains, but I know nothing about them. Are there different styles that make a real difference? Do most dealers carry them? I'm not sure what size tires are on my Massey, but a quick browse of the classifieds suggests that most chains listed come with a tractor attached, so presumably I'm ordering new.
 
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Hotflashjr
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:30 am    Post subject: Re: How much traction do you gain with chains? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

There are different styles and I am not an expert in that. However I can tell you chains make a huge difference in moving snow on pre-packed conditions from my experience. My JD MT I had would push snow with a plow fine during the first storm or if the ground was clear of snow. After the 1st snowfall it just didn't like to push much snow. I put on tire chains and it all of a sudden was like being back on clean ground. I have a JD 1010 that I blow snow with backwards. Makes a huge difference with that having chains on the hill. I can blow backwards up the hill instead of slide down the hill. I have always luckily found a set used around instead of buying new so not too sure on the best approach there.
 
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grizz02
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:39 am    Post subject: Re: How much traction do you gain with chains? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

tractor chains are different then semi chains they have a diamond shape to keep the cross bar from falling in between the lugs but if your tires are wore out you could use sem,i chains I would find the type that have ice bars on them it would help with your ice base
 
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el6147
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:46 am    Post subject: Re: How much traction do you gain with chains? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

the best time to buy chains is at auction when no one else is buying chains or you can buy
from the site below.

I picked up two sets of 15.5-38's at auction this past August for 15.00 a set.
tire chains

 
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Dean
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:49 am    Post subject: Re: How much traction do you gain with chains? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Tire chains make an enormous traction difference in snow/ice.

The link to tirechains.com is a great source for information about the various designs.

Dean
 
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SVcummins
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:50 am    Post subject: Re: How much traction do you gain with chains? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

They make a world of difference tractor chains
come in highway type without cross bars and field
type with cross bars to hold the chain up out of the
lugs .
 
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rustyfarmall
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:54 am    Post subject: Re: How much traction do you gain with chains? Reply to specific post Reply with quote


It is simple. If you are using your tractor for purposes of snow removal, you need chains.
 
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Mike M
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:54 am    Post subject: Re: How much traction do you gain with chains? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

You may also benefit from turning your tires around to get more traction for backing up.
If you got ice, chains are going to be needed though.
 
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BrianV_
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Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:59 am    Post subject: Re: How much traction do you gain with chains? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I've found a pair with the welded-on V-bars about a 45 minutes drive away that will fit for $500CAD (~$400 USD):

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-heavy-equipment-parts-accessories/ottawa/tire-chains-for-tractor-size:-12-4x-28/1318006987?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

That's a decent chunk of change, but considerably less than a similar new pair which would run ~$750CAD to buy.

Would the welded on 'points' cause problems with indoor storage? I store it in my barn on a cement floor between storms. Would those tear up the concrete?
 
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Dave H (MI)
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:08 am    Post subject: Re: How much traction do you gain with chains? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

A lot! Never used a blower on a tractor but blade is not going to go all winter here without chains at some point.
 
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Eldon (WA)
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:19 am    Post subject: Re: How much traction do you gain with chains? Reply to specific post Reply with quote


Nothing beats chains when you have hills and ice! The rougher the ride the better they work. The best thing about chains is when you get to take them off...it feels like you're riding in a Cadillac!
 
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IowaJohn
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:24 am    Post subject: Re: How much traction do you gain with chains? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

For me chains are a must getting
around on snow and frozen ground. We
don't have much snow right now but the
ground is froze and that makes it
easier to spin out without chains.
I've got some decent sized trees I'm
cutting down and pushing into a pile
and there is no way I can move them
without chains.
 
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showcrop
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Location: Chester NH

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:44 am    Post subject: Re: How much traction do you gain with chains? Reply to specific post Reply with quote


Brian, I am in southern NH, and have cleared snow for around 55 years without ever using chains. It depends on the type of snow and how well frozen the ground is. Dry snow on well frozen ground pushes very easily. This what the conditions are here most of the time. Sticky snow is another ball game. If you spin on it it will quickly freeze into ice. Those times that we get sticky snow here are not very common, but when we do, what it takes is slowing down and taking less at a time in order to avoid spinning.
 
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davpal
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:47 am    Post subject: Re: How much traction do you gain with chains? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Your tractor will go from almost worthless to amazing in about 10 minutes!
 
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onefarmer
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Location: St. Johns Mi

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:57 am    Post subject: Re: How much traction do you gain with chains? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Back a lot of years we had a really bad ice-storm. I was working for my uncle who is three miles away. I needed to get there so I drove my Farmall M with the tire chains on. On the way I found a guy with his van down in the ditch. Now the ice was 1/2" thick and just like a sheet of glass. Anyway the M spun some but pulled it up out of the ditch fairly easy. Only thing was the van still couldn't go on the ice.

Without chains we would have needed a winch and a tree to pull against. That was the worst ice-storm I've seen. The county eventually spread sand on all the roads.
 
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