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"Bolt-Tightened" Tire Chains
Kerry Kligora came up with an easy way to install tire chains on skid loader wheels using bolt-tightened chains.
  “I use an air ratchet or cordless drill and a deep socket to snug the chains up. Each tire gets 4 chains, which is more than enough for the tire to get good traction without causing a bumpy ride,” says Kligora.
  He bought some 800-lb. test chain and cut it into sections that almost circle the tire perpendicular to the rim. Then he inserted and welded a full thread carriage bolt through one end of each chain section. He wrapped the chain around the tire and put the bolt through an existing hole in the wheel rim, then placed the other end of the chain over the bolt and added a washer and a nylon lock nut.
  “It’s an easy way to install tire chains, without the hassle of moving the tires out by adding wheel spacers,” says Kligora. “My small New Holland L250 skid loader has very tight clearances, but these chains are small enough to fit without the need for wheel spacers. And, they stay on tight with no slop. My dad also installed bolt-tightened chains on his New Holland LS160 skid loader which is a much bigger machine, with no problems.
  “I came up with the idea because I’ve never been real good at putting tire chains on tight, and after losing a couple fingers in accidents it became an even harder job. After finger tightening one chain I move the skid loader forward and install the rest of the chains. It goes real fast. I can install 16 chain sections in about 10 min., whereas it would take me an hour or more to install a full set of ordinary tire chains. At first I double nutted the bolts in order to reduce vibration, but now I just use nylon lock nuts.”
  He uses the skid loader during the winter to move snow and manure. “After one season of use the chains show hardly any wear, although I use this skid loader only on gravel and not on concrete.”
  Test chains are smaller and lighter than ordinary tire chains, which he says offers an advantage in handling.
  “We live on hilly terrain, and if it gets icy ordinary tire chains make the machine ride jerky when turning, whereas my tire chains ride smoothly through turns. They provide just enough traction to keep the skid loader moving, but not enough to rip out the machine’s final drives.”
  The chains are also cheap, so if one breaks it isn’t a big deal. “Test chain sells for about 80 cents per foot, and including the bolts, each chain section costs only about a dollar to make,” notes Kligora.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Kerry Kligora, 2138 County Hwy. E., Mineral Point, Wis. 53565 (ph 608 553-2062; kerry.kligora@gmail.com).

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2014 - Volume #38, Issue #2