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Loader Tractor Floats On Wide Truck Tires
Two-wheel drive loader tractors are notorious for getting mired down in wet feed-lots, farmyards and fields. Pennsylvania farmer Jim Nissley, of Lancaster County, has found a solution swap that skinny front rubber for 12 in. wide truck tires.
When he put new tires on his 3/4 ton, 4-wheel drive pickup, Nissley mounted the cast-off 12 in. mud tires on 16.5 in. tall by 9 in. wide rims that fit his Case loader tractor's bolt pattern, and slipped on the old truck tires.
The rims cost about $60 each, cheaper than new tractor tires. "If I ruin one of the old truck tires, I can buy more used ones for less than $10 each," notes Nissley.
With the proliferation of big-tired, 4-wheel drive pickups, he isn't worried about finding used rubber. "The tires may get too worn fora truck driven on the highway, but they're fine for a tractor."
Nissley prefers the 16.5 in. size to the more common 15 in. mud tires: "Most 16.5 tires have six or eight plies in the tread. Many 15 in. tires have only 4 plies. The heavy-duty rubber will stand up bet-ter to the weight and abuse a utility tractor is subjected to.
"The only disadvantage is when you have a heavy load on the back of the tractor," Nissley points out.. "When the front end gets light, the flat-treaded truck tires can lose ground contact, making it tougher to steer." However, he feels the wide tires' advantages overshadow that minor problem. Now, Nissley can navigate muddy barnyards with ease. His loader tractor also sees planting duty, where the truck tires float across soft, tilled soil. (Greg Horstmeier, Pennsylvania Farmer).

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1988 - Volume #12, Issue #1