John Deere Maintenance Monday: Tires in sandy soil
Fluid in tires sounds like it may solve traction problems, but compact tractors aren't that bag and won't hold much fluid.
Radio interview source: Walter Tubbs, Ag Instructor, Arkansas State University
In this edition of Maintenance Monday, we're answering a question from Lyn in Wisconsin. He has a food plot in very sandy soil, and has a hard time working the ground, especially on the turns. His compact tractor is not a four-wheel-drive. Will fluid in the tires help the traction?
Walter Tubbs is a John Deere ag tech instructor at Arkansas State University-Beebe. He says it can be tricky to turn in loose soil if the wheels don't have anything to bite on. The soil tends to push up and away. Lyn could put fluid in the tires, but the tires on a compact tractor aren't that big and won't hold much fluid.
"It sounds like maybe his implement may be a little big for the tractor, or a little heavy on the back," he says. "And instead of putting fluid in the tires, he may look at possibly getting some weights and putting some front weight on the tractor, as far to put more weight on the front end so when he does turn, there's pressure on the tires that will make it turn."
Most owners' manuals have a section on proper ballasting. There should be information on how much weight can be on the front in relation to the size of the implement on the back.
"Some of that could be putting fluid in the rear tires also as far as for traction, but it seems like he's really just complaining about the turns and not so much the pulling, which leads me to believe that he doesn't have enough weight on the front end," says Tubbs. "It doesn't say that he's got a front end loader on it, which if he had a front end loader, that would add a little more weight up front and give it a little more ability to turn."
Another option is to make sure you have the right set of tires. Floatation tires have a wider footprint. They offer grip, but help the tractor stay on top of soft soils rather than dig in. Talk to your dealer if you still have questions.
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