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Floating Wheel Prevents Axle Breakage
Farmers who've tested it say a new spring-loaded "floating" tractor wheel virtually eliminates axles breakage with dual wheel hookups.

"I think it has real possibilities," reports Al Kirchof, Westport, Minn., who put 130 hours on a prototype "floating" wheel during a recnet field test. "In addition to preventing broken axles, it seems to give better footing on rough ground."

Encouraged by the "floating" wheel's performance in a variety of on-farm trials, the inventor -- Ambrose Molitor, Sauk Center, Minn., -- and Greg Gran, president of Brooten Manufacturing, Brooten, Minn., are moving full speed ahead to get it into commercial production.

Here's how it works:
Twelve large springs support the center hub, allowing it to float up to 7 in. in any direction if the wheel strikes a rock or other obstruction, or drops into a hole or rut. Individual springs are installed partially compressed. If the wheel hits a rock, for example, the springs compress about 1 in. per 500 lbs. of impact force, according to Molitor. "Because the springs absorb the shock, you don't have to run the outside dual with less air pressure to prevent axle breakage," Molitor points out. "And, you can pull scrapers and other heavy loads on sidehills without worrying about snapping an axle. In fact, you can even weight the outside dual and run it way out on the axle to get better traction, or the right row spacing, without undue concern about axle breakage."

On 4-wheel drive tractors, says Molitor, the "floating" wheel helps make for easier steering. He thinks the first priority should be to use "floating" wheels on the outside pair where dual or triples are used. "It may pay to use them all the way around for certain jobs where axle breakage or traction are a problem because of rocks, uneven terrain, heavy loads, and so forth."

If you'd like price, "where to buy" and other information sent to you when the wheels become commercially available, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Brooten Mfg., Brooten, Min. 56316 (ph. 612 346-2201).

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