2006 - Volume #30, Issue #4, Page #11[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Dual Wheels Keep ATV Safer On Steep Hillsides
Matthew Barbery fitted dual wheels to his Yamaha Big Bear ATV, and he says they make an enormous difference in crossing steep slopes. "The duals make the ATV almost impossible to turn over sideways," he says.
Another advantage is in wet conditions, since the dual wheels leave only a shallow track without damaging the crop.
Barbery puts less air pressure in the outside wheels than the inside ones. On flat, hard surfaces this allows the ATV to ride primarily on the inside tires. The outside wheels come into play only when they're needed. If the machine is being used in wet field conditions, the pressure in all the wheels can be equalized so that the machine's weight is distributed equally.
The add-on wheels mount similar to tractor duals. A 6-in. wide metal spacer between the wheel rims keeps the wheels far enough apart to keep mud and debris from clogging up between them. The centers of the wheel rims were cut out to accommodate the spacer. A steel bar welded across the rim is used to pull the outside wheel in toward the inner wheel.
A pair of lugs are welded to the inside part of the inner wheels. A screw tightener hooks over the bar and the ring and is tightened with a wrench.
One disadvantage of the add-on wheels is that they make the ATV much harder to steer, as it wants to go straight ahead when you try to turn. Another disadvantage is the extra width of the ATV, which makes it more difficult to get through narrow gates. It might not hurt to have extra mud guards, either.
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