Tire chains on snowblowers - Pre Impression - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 20 Old 01-09-2020, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 157
Post Thanks / Like
Thanks (Given): 4
Thanks (Received): 14
Likes (Given): 2
Likes (Received): 24
Tire chains on snowblowers - Pre Impression

Wow, what a rough ride on dry pavement. It jumped and shook like crazy. It left chain marks everywhere.

I know on snow, it would be different, but still, it is so rough on the machine and pavement.

A set of X-trac wheels seem like the way to go. Tire chain is the thing in the past. I only put it on, because it is cheap and temporary fix.

What is your experience with tire chains like? I haven't used it in real snow, yet.
dman2 is online now  
Post Thanks / Like - 1 Thanks, 2 Likes, 0 Dislikes
Thanks Fat City thanked for this post
Likes Fat City, Kiss4aFrog liked this post
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 20 Old 01-09-2020, 02:56 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,667
Post Thanks / Like
Thanks (Given): 0
Thanks (Received): 152
Likes (Given): 1
Likes (Received): 549
That is correct.

Chains bounce the machine and operator very much, causing undue premature wear, as well as marking up surfaces.

All snowblowers now, and since many years ago, come with the X-Trac design, because they work the best, plain and simple.
oneacer is online now  
Post Thanks / Like - 0 Thanks, 2 Likes, 0 Dislikes
Likes gibbs296, Huntergreen liked this post
post #3 of 20 Old 01-09-2020, 03:00 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Lawrenceville NJ
Posts: 2,300
Post Thanks / Like
Thanks (Given): 97
Thanks (Received): 197
Likes (Given): 76
Likes (Received): 463
Garage
Unless you have lawn tires on your snowblower or are on pure ice or a steep hill AND pushing deep snow at the same time, you don't need them.

1986 Ariens ST522, 5hp, 22"
1995 Murray Craftsman 10hp, 29" w. 12" impeller
A 1983 Real John Deere 10hp, 32" w. 12" impeller, 16" auger, 20" high front, cast iron gear box, chains
Noma 9hp, 27" w. 12" impeller
Noma 5hp, 24" w. 12" impeller, 20" high front
Gravely Convertible, 12hp Kohler cast iron, 26" width, 600 lbs of cast iron & steel, 2 speed impeller, 4 ground speeds
Dynamark 8hp, 26", 12" impeller, for sale
Several other 5hp, 8hp, several 2 cycle, all for sale
JLawrence08648 is offline  
Post Thanks / Like - 0 Thanks, 1 Likes, 0 Dislikes
Likes foggysail liked this post
post #4 of 20 Old 01-09-2020, 03:08 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: South of Boston
Posts: 68
Post Thanks / Like
Thanks (Given): 0
Thanks (Received): 8
Likes (Given): 24
Likes (Received): 24
I bought a used Ariens 1028 a few years back that had chains on it. (The guy had a really steep driveway.) I tried them once and took them right off. Sold them on craigslist.

Ariens Hydro Pro 28
CTHuskyinMA is online now  
Post Thanks / Like - 0 Thanks, 1 Likes, 0 Dislikes
Likes Kiss4aFrog liked this post
post #5 of 20 Old 01-09-2020, 03:28 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Anchorage AK
Posts: 278
Post Thanks / Like
Thanks (Given): 0
Thanks (Received): 14
Likes (Given): 11
Likes (Received): 80
I ran a Toro for 10 years with chains as well as other machines.

No issues. That was on asphalt mostly.

Maybe the newer generation is more sensitive?

I do think that winter compound tires may negate the need and something like the you put them in Grip Studs can be a good answer now that we did not have "back in the day"

I just put some left over Grip Studs in the Yamaha track, neighbors driveway has a steep pitch for 10 feet and new asphalt it was having problem with grip on. Before it was gravel and no issue.
Mine is old asphalt and grip is good even with a bit steeper pitch (levels out sooner)

1998 YT624 Have Owners and Service Manual, Rubber Disc Drive (not hydrostatic)
RC20 is offline  
post #6 of 20 Old 01-09-2020, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 157
Post Thanks / Like
Thanks (Given): 4
Thanks (Received): 14
Likes (Given): 2
Likes (Received): 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLawrence08648 View Post
Unless you have lawn tires on your snowblower or are on pure ice or a steep hill AND pushing deep snow at the same time, you don't need them.
I have snow hog tires. They were more than half way wore out. My snowblower didn't go anywhere with them, especially at the end of my driveway where it was a little steep. Snow wasn't deep. Only 1 inch.

Someone on a different forum said that, even with the new snow hog tires, his snow blower only worked well on flat surface. It was pretty much useless on steep driveway and deep snow.

I would only trust the x-trac tires with no chain on steep hill and deep snow. Anything else is hit, or miss.

Different snowblower, different traction, I guess. Wheel size, snowblower weight, polymer skid shoes, tire pressure all help.
dman2 is online now  
post #7 of 20 Old 01-09-2020, 08:28 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Anchorage AK
Posts: 278
Post Thanks / Like
Thanks (Given): 0
Thanks (Received): 14
Likes (Given): 11
Likes (Received): 80
Toro badly needed them, always some form of packed snow to deal with. So yea, you need traction no matter what the form and not just in a few conditions.

Unless its a winter compound and even then weight on the wheels is a factor that more traction helps, studs maybe (chains were the only solution back in the day)

Now instead of -17 we need some snow when my neighbor is at work and I can see how the 8 studs per track do on her now slick driveway (no ice)

1998 YT624 Have Owners and Service Manual, Rubber Disc Drive (not hydrostatic)
RC20 is offline  
post #8 of 20 Old 01-09-2020, 08:34 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Anchorage AK
Posts: 278
Post Thanks / Like
Thanks (Given): 0
Thanks (Received): 14
Likes (Given): 11
Likes (Received): 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by oneacer View Post
That is correct.

Chains bounce the machine and operator very much, causing undue premature wear, as well as marking up surfaces.

All snowblowers now, and since many years ago, come with the X-Trac design, because they work the best, plain and simple.
I totally disagree on the claimed issues end.

I think its a totally invalid group of assumptions. Sure never bothered me either let alone did anything to surfaces. Not much weight there, not like its a push back tug at 250,000 lbs.

The Toro lasted 25 years with chains. No issues with marked surfaces and I would not call it premature wear (it was a race to see if the engine totally failed first or the frame fell apart).

So you believe the front and rear bearings on the engine went due to chains? I think it was because it was a relatively cheap engine though it lasted a **** of a long time. There was a better engine (I think it was a few years latter) that was much heavier duty - my brother had one, I believe Toro realized they had a dog and replaced it.

Not a clue on the snow blower tires these days, but I do know that Nokia also offers studs on their winter compound tires for those who have poor traction systems in their autos.

1998 YT624 Have Owners and Service Manual, Rubber Disc Drive (not hydrostatic)

Last edited by RC20; 01-09-2020 at 08:36 PM.
RC20 is offline  
post #9 of 20 Old 01-09-2020, 08:53 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Lowell area, MA
Posts: 3,772
Post Thanks / Like
Thanks (Given): 176
Thanks (Received): 344
Likes (Given): 481
Likes (Received): 850
I've been using Snow Hogs with chains for 15+ years. The chains have been flipped once, but they're getting close to worn out (through).

With with a differential they don't drag when turning around at the end of a pass. But because of the diff, once one wheel loses grip, I stop moving. Not as bad on the flat areas, but on the driveway's incline, it's a problem.

I'd really like to try X-Tracs, but haven't had the chance yet. I confess I'm a bit leery of trying just tires, and then not having enough grip. I tried just the Snow Hogs at one point, when I got a new machine, and quickly had to put the chains back on. Buying a set of X-Tracs would be somewhat pricey, and I'd need to have them mounted. It would be a bummer to do that, then need to buy chains again anyhow.

If I had triggers steering, it would let me get away with a bit less grip, since I'd effectively have a solid axle most of the time. But I generally keep the differential active, except for the really slippery storms, then I lock it, for solid axle + chains.

I've also thought about trying to add weight at the wheels, for more traction, but haven't pursued that yet. Mounting them directly to the wheels would be easier on the wheel bearings, etc, but tougher to avoid interferences.

Ariens 1024 Pro
Toro Power Clear 221QR
Toro Power Curve 1800
RedOctobyr is online now  
post #10 of 20 Old 01-10-2020, 08:01 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Wilmington, MA
Posts: 879
Post Thanks / Like
Thanks (Given): 11
Thanks (Received): 111
Likes (Given): 19
Likes (Received): 311
Obviously to a degree it's a matter of opinion, but I'll throw in my $0.02...

My first Ariens had solid (non-pneumatic) tires with 95% worn-out tread. Needless to say they were useless without some kind of "traction aid". I got chains for them, never liked them (the chains) that much because of the bouncing and how hard they made the machine to move when not under power, but they gave very good traction. Later I tried screwing a bunch of sheet-metal screws into the tires as "studs" which worked about 2/3 as well as the chains and was less annoying to use but the screw heads would wear and I'd have to add more from time to time. Traction-wise on a 1-10 scale I'd give that machine a "1" as I got it, an "7" with chains, and a "4" with the screws.

My next Ariens and a couple that followed it were 1960s and 1970s models with pneumatic turf tires and locking differentials (the earlier machine did not have that feature). I kept a set of chains around and would put them on when really needed but 75% of the time no chains but diff locked was enough. Traction I'd rate "8" with chains and locked diff, "4" without chains but diff locked, and "2" or "3" with no chains and unlocked diff.

My current machines (Ariens ST824 and ST1032) both have lockable diffs and pneumatic tires, and I've never used chains on either. The ST1032 has x-trac tires which I'd give a "9" for traction with the diff locked. It's almost too much... turning the machine with the diff locked is almost impossible. On the other hand, the tires grip well enough that I can usually run with the diff unlocked and be okay.

The ST824 has sno-hog tires which I'd rate about a "7" with the diff locked. That machine is pretty easy to turn with the diff locked, partly because the tires don't grip quite as well and partly because it's lighter, so that's how I usually run it.

So to summarize my experience/opinion: chains help if you have crummy tires but have drawbacks, with better tires they're not needed.

~1994 Ariens 924084 (ST1032) "papa bear": restored, re-engined, real nice!
1991 Ariens 924050 (ST824) "mama bear"
Toro PowerCurve 1800 "baby bear"

Be alert! America needs more lerts.
ELaw is offline  
Post Thanks / Like - 1 Thanks, 2 Likes, 0 Dislikes
Thanks classiccat thanked for this post
Likes JLawrence08648, aldfam4 liked this post
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome