Tractor Mud Wheels

"They'll pull a corn chopper through more mud than a big 4-WD," says Bruce Rootkie, Brook Park, Minn., about the home-built mud wheels he made from scratch and mounted on his IH 986 tractor.

"The outside rim on each tire consists of two 8-in. pieces of channel iron that were rolled into circles and then welded together side by side to make a 16-in. wide wheel. The steel lugs were made from pieces of 2 1/2 by 4 1/2 by 1/2 in. angle iron. I staggered two sets of lugs on each wheel in order to get a smoother ride.

"To mount the steel wheels on the tractor, I rolled two 3-in. wide pieces of angle iron and welded them together. Then I drilled holes to bolt them to the tractor hub. I then welded spokes made from 1 1/2 by 3/8 in. bar stock, between the inner and outer wheels.

"These mud wheels are extremely strong. I used them to pull a corn chopper through wet ground in corn this fall. They give a smooth ride in the field and can be removed when no longer needed," says Rootkie.