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  1. #1
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    201
    Location
    Johnstown, Pa
    Tractor
    MF GC 2300

    Default Front chains on GC?

    Has anyone run front tire chains on the MF GC series SCUT? The snow has been relentless this year, I'm running out of traction. I have a good set of rear chains & weights. I need more traction while dealing with the snow we have.

    Thanks
    Who is John Galt

  2. #2
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    4,256
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    GC2310,

    Default Re: Front chains on GC?

    Don't put chains on the front. Damage will result.

    Put a nice backhoe on the back, and you won't need any chains.

  3. #3
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    104
    Location
    Jefferson Colorado
    Tractor
    MF 2300

    Default Re: Front chains on GC?

    While running my GC with the front mounted snowblower, to get the blower to dig down to the last 1" or so of snow, my front wheels are typically about 4" OFF the ground!
    Raise the blower (or fel) when progress stops and put it in reverse and dump or hit it again!
    I have no tire chains, just a small homemade weight box--150lbs??, have never been stuck, am cutting thru drifts up to 5ft deep that are so hard the tractor can stay on top.
    Went to a blower as I ran out of places to stack the snow with the fel!
    Just passed 500 hrs on my GC.
    The early bird may get the worm but---
    The second mouse gets the cheese!

  4. #4
    Platinum Member mustangsallysdad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    559

    Default Re: Front chains on GC?

    The front axle on a GC2300 series is a lot beefier than a lot of people give them credit for...I have almost 1700 hours on my 2004 2310 TLB and have run front and rear chains (use common sense, fronts alone could cause damage due to possibly providing the primary traction, which it is not designed to do) for approximately 30 days of continuous use each of the last 6 winters. Primarily pushing, loading, and plowing with both the FEL or 54" plow, and we tend to get heavy, wet snows in this part of the country. I just take my time and little bites and try to not unduly overstress the front. By the way, at my very first service interval that required the front transaxle fluid change, I dropped the factory recommended (required for warranty) use of hydraulic oil and put in an EP 80w-90 gear oil. My only concern at that time was that perhaps the factory seals or "O" rings may not be compatible with some element of the gear oil and may cause some degeneration of those components, but, to date and 1650 hours later I've had absolutely zero problems with the front axle. I've got some industrial background in the usage of hydraulic oil and I'm not impressed with it's properties as a stand alone lubricant. You can buy chains on Ebay pretty reasonably and a quick check found a set of 20 x 8-8/20 x 8-10's for $45 plus shipping. That is the size I've been using for years. You may need to cut out a couple of links as I recall, but they fit well and as long as reasonably snug they won't flop around and damage any steering components. Just my experience and a lot of seat time. I'm sure others will attest to my experience as these are great all around little tractors, just don't ask them to do more than designed for. Also, I've always removed my backhoe for plowing because it makes the front end way too light and effects the steering and negates the reason for placing chains on the front in the first place. The most weight I've ever had on the 3PH was either a 185# 5' blade or my 100# "Frankenhitch". Hope this helps.
    Last edited by mustangsallysdad; 02-15-2010 at 07:24 AM. Reason: Forgot to add that all 4 tires are loaded.

  5. #5
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    4,256
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    GC2310,

    Default Re: Front chains on GC?

    Quote Originally Posted by mustangsallysdad View Post
    I dropped the factory recommended (required for warranty) use of hydraulic oil and put in an EP 80w-90 gear oil.
    The manual for the 2300 says you can use Permatran -or- SAE 80 GL4 (gear lube) in the front diff. EP is absolutely the best choice.

    As far as the front chains go, yes, if your careful you can also play with dynamite safely.

    With the backhoe on, I push a 72" plow, with turfs, on gravel, through deep snow drifts, without chains, no problem o.

    Pushing a plow is about weight. That's why garbage trucks, and dump trucks, can do it with 2wd.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member mustangsallysdad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    559

    Default Re: Front chains on GC?

    Quote Originally Posted by ray66v View Post
    The manual for the 2300 says you can use Permatran -or- SAE 80 GL4 (gear lube) in the front diff. EP is absolutely the best choice.

    As far as the front chains go, yes, if your careful you can also play with dynamite safely.

    With the backhoe on, I push a 72" plow, with turfs, on gravel, through deep snow drifts, without chains, no problem o.

    Pushing a plow is about weight. That's why garbage trucks, and dump trucks, can do it with 2wd.
    I believe every individual's situation dictates what works best...for me, 1,400' of inclined, chip sealed driveway with R4's and chains have never let me down...I find that with the added weight of the backhoe the incline causes the load to steer the tractor as the front end gets way too light...I just plowed 27" of heavy, wet snow in our last big one and my set up worked perfect for me. My dealer's initial recommendation was to remove the backhoe when plowing so as to not place uneccessary strain on the driveline...I'm not sure I agree with the dealer on that as these are extremely well built little machines...always better to err on the side of caution. As always, all things in moderation.

  7. #7
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    4,256
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    GC2310,

    Default Re: Front chains on GC?

    Quote Originally Posted by mustangsallysdad View Post
    My dealer's initial recommendation was to remove the backhoe when plowing so as to not place uneccessary strain on the driveline...
    Unless this comment was pertaining to the use of chains, it makes no sense to me. The tractor was built to have, and use a backhoe. Pushing the front bucket into a pile of dirt, with the hoe on the back, would certainly be something they built it to handle.

    Chains do put a lot of strain on a drive line.

    I tore the rear end out of a bullet proof geared tractor, using chains to pull a plow.

    The 2300 being hydraulic drive, a bypass valve should afford some level of protection when using chains on the rears.

    However, most agree, the fronts need to be able to slip to avoid damage.

  8. #8
    Gold Member MF RED in MT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    319
    Location
    NW Montana
    Tractor
    MF GC2410TLB

    Default Re: Front chains on GC?

    I believe that each tractor owner has to make some choices that may only fit their own snow removal operation and may not fit someone elses snow removal operation in regards to different types of equipment .
    I myself have snow chains on both the front and rear tires of my tractor, and also have them on the bottom of my boots, and also have an ice gripper on the bottom of my cane .
    Oh yeh, my front tires of the tractor still slip on the ice with the chains. I also walk very slowly and carefully so that I do not slip and fall on that same ice.
    I believe common sense, skill, and good sound experience can avoid most any damage to your tractor. When it permits, I will take the tractor out of 4WD, but when its needed I will use the 4WD . I have had 4WD's for 37 years and have known throughout these years not to place it in 4WD on dry pavement.
    F.Y.I. before ground freezes and the snow flies, I place many snow markers throughout my driveway perimeter, so I can easily know how far to place my snowblower during use, in order to prevent damage .
    Not everyone needs or should use snow chains on the rear and/or front of their tractor, but I do.
    KC
    2009 MF GC2410TLB; Sims Cab; MF 2360 Snow Blower; MF 2340 Dozer Blade; Woods HC54 rotary rear cutter. Frontier 48" BB. KC

  9. #9
    Platinum Member mustangsallysdad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    559

    Default Re: Front chains on GC?

    ray...what front end damage did you experience from the use of chains on the front? How many hours on your tractor? Thanks.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member mustangsallysdad's Avatar
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    559

    Default Re: Front chains on GC?

    That is exactly the point I was trying to make...folks roam these forums looking for good, sound advice from experienced users and I don't think answering someone's question about the use of $45 chains with the answer of a $2000-$3000 backhoe is serving the public good. I think the OP was looking for some traction and steering help and chains will provide that. By the way, my fronts will still spin with the chains and after years of use I've yet to do anything other than change the front axle oil at the recommended intervals. My tractor stays in 4wd even when mowing (hilly acreage), so I will stand by my experience that the use of chains on the front will NOT cause damage if used with a little common sense. If I had to worry about tearing something up everytime I used it, I wouldn't get anything accomplished.
    Last edited by mustangsallysdad; 02-16-2010 at 08:20 AM. Reason: forgot the checkbox...was replying to MF RED in MT.

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