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  1. #1
    Silver Member gladehound's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
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    Kioti LB1914

    Default Cutting / Groving / Siping R-4 for snow

    I know R-4's in snow has been discussed to death but after a quick search I couldn't find anything about cutting them for better performance. I recently picked up an Ideal Heated Knife, also known as a tire groover. With a little help from a forced air heater to really get the tires warm, it worked like a charm. (I tried to go to work on 10 degree F tires at first and it was slow going)

    My plan is to both groove and sipe my R-4's for better traction. This evening, I did the grooving part. 20 minutes for the first rear tire, 15 minutes for the second (since I had some practice on the first). Here are some pictures of what I did. I'm hoping this improves snow traction some.

    When I get a chance I will sipe them on either side of the grooves for even better traction in hard packed snow/ice. The theory is, the more biting edges the better the snow/ice traction.

    It's snowing now, I'll see how they go in the morning!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -groved-tire1-medium-jpg   -groved-tire2-medium-jpg  
    Ron
    2004 Kioti LB1914 w/ FEL

  2. #2
    Veteran Member jake98's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    Dingmans Ferry PA
    Tractor
    53 Cub, 70's JD 410, Kioti 25hst

    Default Re: Cutting / Groving / Siping R-4 for snow

    Nice job! Did you have to do some soul shearching before starting that?
    Kioti CK 25 Hydro: box blade, brush hog, rake, roto-till, grapple, bucket forks, de-stump cyl, Wallenstein Chipper
    John Deere 410 Backhoe Loader: 25 hoses ready to blow


    Thus by the beneficence of Providence, we shall behold our empire arising, founded on justice and the voluntary consent of the people, and giving full scope to the exercise of those faculties and rights which most ennoble our species.

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  3. #3
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: Cutting / Groving / Siping R-4 for snow

    DO you ever load heavy with the FEL? If you do, and spin the tires slightly, siping will all the force to tear them up quick. Just a word to the wise.

  4. #4
    Super Member mjncad's Avatar
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    5,114
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    In the civilized First World
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    A couple

    Default Re: Cutting / Groving / Siping R-4 for snow

    Please let us know how well that works out for you.
    Paraphrasing Douglas Adams - So long and thanks for all the bacon.

  5. #5
    Gold Member kday64's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
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    South Eastern Connecticut
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    Kubota BX2360

    Default

    Did you make a template first or did you go freehand?

    Looks good. Keep us posted.

    ~Kevin
    Kubota BX2360, 54" Fine Cut MMM, LA243 FEL, BX2789 Rear Snow Thrower

  6. #6
    Silver Member gladehound's Avatar
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    Kioti LB1914

    Default Re: Cutting / Groving / Siping R-4 for snow

    "Nice job! Did you have to do some soul shearching before starting that?"

    Thanks! Not too much, I like to mess with stuff.

    "DO you ever load heavy with the FEL? If you do, and spin the tires slightly, siping will all the force to tear them up quick."

    I hear you! I do take the tractor to it's limits. I'm going to sipe so that there is rubber connecting the lug on both sides of each sipe with just 4 sipes per lug. I think this should maintain enough strength. This is how the sipes are on my 7,000 pound truck which has much higher contact patch pressure and can spin all 4 on asphalt and has never torn a lug. So I think it will work out OK. I certainly have to be careful not to teke too much out! I've noticed that all the lugs have a 2x width to height ratio so I maintained that with the groove, only going 3/8" down with an inch remaining on each side. The groove is open ended on one side but the sipes will be close ended on both sides.

    "Did you make a template first or did you go freehand?"

    Free hand

    I'll keep TBN posted on how this turns out both in terms of traction and long term durability of the tires. Now it's time to plow some snow!
    Last edited by gladehound; 01-12-2011 at 12:59 PM.
    Ron
    2004 Kioti LB1914 w/ FEL

  7. #7
    Bronze Member
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    May 2010
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    Location
    West Jefferson, NC
    Tractor
    Kubota B7610

    Default Re: Cutting / Groving / Siping R-4 for snow

    Wouldn't chains work better and not reduce the life of your tires?

  8. #8
    Elite Member RalphVa's Avatar
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    Charlottesville, VA, USA
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    JD 1025, previously Gravely 5650 & JD 4010

    Default Re: Cutting / Groving / Siping R-4 for snow

    You could also put some metal screws into the lugs.

    Ralph
    The natural gardener
    God's original intent

  9. #9
    Elite Member Duffster's Avatar
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    Wisconsin

    Default Re: Cutting / Groving / Siping R-4 for snow

    Quote Originally Posted by NC tractor driver View Post
    Wouldn't chains work better and not reduce the life of your tires?
    Quote Originally Posted by RalphVa View Post
    You could also put some metal screws into the lugs.

    Ralph
    Or studs but I am guessing he doesn't want the surface damage.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking." George Patton

  10. #10
    Silver Member gladehound's Avatar
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    Kioti LB1914

    Default Re: Cutting / Groving / Siping R-4 for snow

    I used them this morning and traction in the rear was much improved. More than I thought it would be.

    We had 6" of light snow. Not much of a challenge so I took it out of 4WD and put the 6' blade strait to let the snow pile up in front and plowed the 200 foot lane from the barn to the road without slipping a tire. The groves allowed the tires to hold snow on the surface of the lugs where it would normally just fall off and this gives much better traction and one reason snow tires work as well as they do. They worked so well that I don't think I'm going to sipe them. Not unless later I think I need more traction.

    Yes, chains are fantastic for traction. But there are several reasons why avoid them.

    1. surface damage to neighbors paved driveways and to my garage floor.
    2. I don't have clearance for rear chains (design error in my opinion)
    3. I have front chains and have used them and didn't like the damage to my garage floor or neighbors driveway.
    4. I'm worried about over stressing the front axle with front chains and very heavy plow hanging off an already heavy bucket on a relatively small tractor.

    I don't believe that increased tire wear is a real concern for the rears. In theory the increased wear would be proportional to increased contact pressure. So I might get about 10% faster tire wear in the rear.
    After 420 hrs there is little wear on the rears, so I'd rather have the snow traction.

    Siping on the other hand should not increase the wear rate so long as it's done in a way that the lugs don't chunk off since contact pressure is not changed.

    The fronts are a different story and are at around 50% wear. I will not grove or sipe the fronts. There is too much contact pressure and the lugs are already only half as thick as the ones in the rear.
    Last edited by gladehound; 01-12-2011 at 01:01 PM.
    Ron
    2004 Kioti LB1914 w/ FEL

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