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not only an ariens query, but what do you guys run for tire pressure ? i prefer chains, but have read posts where good tires do the job. my xtrac tires at 12 psi work just ok, but could they work better at 8 psi etc ? just curious ?
 

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not only an ariens query, but what do you guys run for tire pressure ? i prefer chains, but have read posts where good tires do the job. my xtrac tires at 12 psi work just ok, but could they work better at 8 psi etc ? just curious ?
My Carlisle Xtrac tires say to run at 14-17 lbs, both in the manual, and on the tire sidewalls. Do yours have any pressure rating on the sidewalls?
 

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That... is an interesting subject!

The manual for my ST1032 (buried in the "dealer prep" section) says to inflate the tires to 20 PSI. I think in other literature for that machine (the service manual?) I've seen a recommendation of 14-20 without chains and 20 if you're using chains.

But... the tires (sno-hog type) that came with the machine, the xtracs I put on there, and the sno-hog type ones on my ST824 all say "max. 14 PSI" on the side!

So I inflate them to 14... but would love to know why the manuals call for more.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My Carlisle Xtrac tires say to run at 14-17 lbs, both in the manual, and on the tire sidewalls. Do yours have any pressure rating on the sidewalls?
good question.......tires say max 20 psi. at 12 psi they are still kinda stiff.
 

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I also have the x-tracs and i run about 14 psi but i know for a fact that the softer you put your tires, the better traction they'll get. But by doing so, you are sacrifying on manoeuvrability of the machine.
 

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That... is an interesting subject!

The manual for my ST1032 (buried in the "dealer prep" section) says to inflate the tires to 20 PSI. I think in other literature for that machine (the service manual?) I've seen a recommendation of 14-20 without chains and 20 if you're using chains.

But... the tires (sno-hog type) that came with the machine, the xtracs I put on there, and the sno-hog type ones on my ST824 all say "max. 14 PSI" on the side!

So I inflate them to 14... but would love to know why the manuals call for more.
Didn't I read someplace that the high pressure 20LB setting was something to do with shipping and transport? I know mine was at about 20 when it arrived in the crate, with a note to check tire pressure according to the manual before using.
 

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For what it's worth, I just looked through the service manual I have that covers a bunch of 924 series models from the 1990s, and in multiple places it says "20 PSI". There's a chart with specs for each model that lists tire pressure, all say 20 PSI.

Then in the maintenance section it says:
4.11 TIRE PRESSURE
Maintain the unit tire pressure at a maximum of 20 PSI (138 kPa).
No mention of shipping or other special circumstances.

With all due respect to Ariens, I'll keep the pressure at or below the limit on the tire sidewall - I figure the tire maker is in the best position to decide what will and won't make the tire fail!
 

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My tires say max of 20psi. I usually set them for 17psi at 30degrees. That way, when the machine is inside with a garage temp of maybe 45-50, the PSI won't go over the 20PSI rating. The 17psi lets the tires "squat" enough so that the entire tread contacts the ground.

As far as chains, a neighbor of mine just bought chains for his brand new Ariens Platinum 24 (which I ultimately convinced him to purchase), and I think he wasted his money. The treads are already so wide and deep that the chain sort of falls into the grooves and seems like it doesn't allow the tire to dig into the snow as well as they would without the chains.
 

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The pressure shown on the side-wall of the snowblower tires is for maximum load. For a 4.8 x 8 (Ariens 4.8 x 16) 2 ply tire the max load is about 435 lbs. So at 20 psi the two tires can support a maximum of 870 lbs. That pressure is not optimal for traction on a machine weighing 300 to 400 lbs but Ariens says to use the side-wall pressure.

Temperatures in the winter vary significantly and that affects the tire pressure and so does the nominal leakage of air through the tires apart from any leaks. So for optimal use the pressure needs to be checked occasionally, just like your car tires.

My dealer recommends 14 psi and I have been using that pressure for a long time. It seems to be a good compromise to me. Honda recommends 8.5 psi for their machines with tires. That low a pressure may give more traction but if not checked regularly then the pressure could fall so low that it will not maintain a seal with the rim when subject to high side loads.

Lower pressure gives better traction while higher pressure gives more load carrying capacity. 14 psi is a compromise.
 

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I'm fussy about tire pressure, on my machines and my vehicles, always have.

I don't really care about the manufacturers recommended tire pressure. I vary mine depending on the machine, vehicle, use, conditions, load, distance, temperatures, speeds, and roads.

For my snowblower I use to use 15 lbs., now 12 lbs. I've always felt that was too hard for traction. Now I've been thinking of 10 lbs. Checked in the cold weather! And my tires never lose air. If they do, I fix it.
 

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My manual says 15 psi..so that is what I use.....I installed chains a few years ago and it made a big difference......It works dramatically better on deep snow and icy surfaces. I would put them on any machine I have in the future.
 

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but if u put chains on them wouldnt a higher pressure make the chains dig in the ice and snow better?
a lower pressure makes my machine harder to maneuver
 

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My tires say 20psi, the Ariens manual says 14. So I'm running at 14, with chains. I might try lower, though, maybe 10 or something, to see if I'd get more grip.

The chains should still dig in similarly whether 14 or 20, I'd think. They may sit a little looser on the tire at a lower pressure, however. I deflated my tires to install the chains, snugged them as best I could, then inflated the tires. I have have things looped through the chains, going across the hub, to help pull the slack out of them.
 

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I run the sidewall pressure stamped into the tire when I do tire pressure correctly.

But during the season I just step on the tire and if it's not real soft, then it's fine. I don't check tire pressures much, my foot is my tire gauge.

You get better traction when the rubber is soft and new. So if your tires are old and your fighting with a spinning tire, replace the tires!
 

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With snow traction, it’s all about concentrating the most weight on the smallest contact patch.

For that reason, I run the max pressure the tire is rated for.
That's an interesting and possibly correct assertion. Just wondering what you may be basing it on?
I remember watching Russian Lada Niva 4 wheel suv videos and noticing on how effective they were in the deep snow. I also noticed how tall and narrow their tires were compared to American 4 wheelers like Jeep.

* I owned a new Lada sedan back in the 80's. Complete rust out in 5-7 years. Live and learn.
 

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odd that skinny tires are better in the snow than fat ones, u would think it would be the other way around
 

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Money_man said:
". . . I have one tire that doesn't hold air longer than 2 weeks. Never gives me any grief traction wise . . ."
I put Inner Tubes in as soon as I realized that most snowblowers don't have a differential, and their tires are subjected to a lot of twisting and turning.

Some manufacturers certainly must realize that the beads of tube less tires are out of place on snowblowers, and equip their product with Tubes ?
 
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