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Rubber Belt Base Makes Better Steel Wheels
Peter Nolt drives his tractor on a new kind of steel wheel. It uses a base of rubber belting secured to steel bands over wheel spokes. Steel cleats attached to neoprene cushions fasten to the rubber belting to provide traction.
"The combination gives a smoother ride and better traction than with traditional steel wheels," says Nolt. "It causes less damage to the cleat and none to the road. The rubber belting provides ęgive' to the cleats so they level out on the road."
  Members of the Nolt's Mennonite Church don't use rubber tires on farm equipment and tractors. However, steel wheels are hard on concrete and asphalt roads and can damage steel wheels as well. The new-style tires appear to resolve both problems.
Nolt says local craftsman Eli Zimmerman builds the wheels. Nolt has heard there's another craftsman in Indiana who also makes them.
The wheels are designed to attach to OEM wheel centers. Steel tabs are welded to the inside of a 4-in. wide, 3/8-in. thick steel band sized slightly large than the center diameter. The tabs are spaced to match holes on the center and are bolted in place.
Spokes 1 in. wide, 8 in. long and 1/4 in. thick are welded in a V pattern between the center band and two 2 1/2-in. wide steel bands, 9 in. apart. Two layers of 14-in. wide rubber belting are bolted to the circles, creating a 2-in. thick pad.
Steel cleats mounted on neoprene cushions lay across the belting and are bolted to it. The ends of the cleats are bent in a modified, shallow V to provide traction.
"The idea has been around for many years," says Nolt. "It works in the field and is easier on the roads."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Peter Nolt, 2541 370th St., Osage, Iowa 50461 (ph 641 732-5609).


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2010 - Volume #34, Issue #3