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  1. #1
    Veteran Member
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    Ford 4000; Ford 2000(both 3cyl.);JD40; 2004 Kubota L4300; 2006 Kubota B7610; new 2007 Kubota MX5000

    Default Operating on Slopes - Rear Tire Spacing

    Didn't want to hijack the excellent thread on slopes started by 2nstonge, so decided start my own.

    Will setting the rear tires out at their widest setting help significantly when operating on slopes? Do most of you who operate on serious slopes routinely have the rears set out to their maximum width? Can anyone estimate the quantitative improvement in slope handling the wider settings might give?

    My L4300 was delivered with the rear tread width set at minimum. Before delivery I asked the salesman about setting the rears out and he said it wasn't possible on the L4300. Since getting the tractor and reading the manual, I see that by reversing the hub section and reversing rims it's possible to go to a tread width 14" wider than the minimum, with three intermediate settings possible. Now I'm not faulting the salesman on this. He indicated honestly more than once that mine was the first tractor sale he'd made. But the shop owner has been operating in the big leagues for quite awhile and knew I'd be using the tractor on hills.

    There are advantages to operating at minimum rear tread width. The thing takes up less room in the shop for one. Easier to manuever around and between obstacles for another. Probably less strain on the axle and its housing. A smaller tiller or blade will cover the narrow tread width. So going to the wider tread width isn't what I'd call a no-brainer. Simple geometry seems to suggest it's the right thing to do, but the pen & paper solution isn't always right.

    Am interested in the thoughts and experiences of the TBN brain-trust on this subject. Particularly those of you who do most of your work on hillsides.
    Bob

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Operating on Slopes - Rear Tire Spacing

    Bob, I think you've almost answered your own question. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] Of course there are advantages to having the narrower width, as you mentioned, but setting them wider will be safer on slopes. But will it help "significantly"? Yes, in my opinion, but then I guess it depends on how steep the slope is, and how much help is "significant". [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] I wouldn't want to let it make me over confident. Of course I'd be the first to admit that I'm much more of a coward when it comes to slopes that many operators I've watched. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Tim_in_IA's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
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    788
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    Eastern Iowa
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    Kubota B7610HSD, Mahindra 6500 4WD, JD 440ic crawler, ih300utility with loader, jacobsen mower with kubota 3cyl engine, 1066 farmall, 2 560 farmalls.

    Default Re: Operating on Slopes - Rear Tire Spacing

    Definitely set them out. You wont regret it. Also make sure you have weights or ballasted tires or keep a heavy implement on the 3 pt low. Anything to widen and lower center of gravity will help. Always take a steep slope straight up or down, never at an angle if possible. If using a disc or plow or similar ground engaging implement that could catch on anything do your work downhill, then come around for another pass with implement raised on the uphill leg.

    Hope this helps!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Operating on Slopes - Rear Tire Spacing

    My brother does a lot more slope work than I do, and he keeps his tires as wide as possible. He tells me that there is a significant improvement on slopes going wide.
    As long as you owner's manual states it's possible, and instructs the how to, there should be no reason that it can't safely be done on the model without worrying so much about geometry and stresses. If they said it, they built it in.
    Tim gave you very good advice about going up and down hills. Keep in mind that going sideways on a hill, even with wider tires, with a heavy 3pt implement such a brush cutter can be dangerous as the weight of the mower could pull the rear toward the downstroke and cause a turnover. Backing up steep slopes and going forward down them is the safest policy. Never depress the clutch (freewheeling) when coming down either or you may be going for an unexpected no-joy ride!
    John

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    So Cal
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    BX 2230

    Default Re: Operating on Slopes - Rear Tire Spacing



    <font color="blue"> Probably less strain on the axle and its housing. </font>
    But more strain on the rops when its bouncing down the hill [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]


    Wider is better !!! <font color="red"> There is no compromise for safety </font> [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    Its actually all up to you, if you can live with the more narrow width then go for it, I know wider implements will cost more so will adding an edition to the barn to get it all to fit. You have to weigh the cost of what you are doing and how often you do it.
    How long have you had the tractor ? Maybe call the salesman and say you want to trade in your attachments for wider ones and point out that you trusted him and see what he can do. If that does not work go over his head and talk to his boss. A simple phone call or a visit to the salesman may be surprising.

  6. #6
    Gold Member
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    Sep 2003
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    Upstate NY
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    TC40DA

    Default Re: Operating on Slopes - Rear Tire Spacing

    Bob

    I set mine out, and it was immediately noticeable how much more stable it was. VERY much worth it. Do it. Yes, narrower is a little more convenient, but tipping is very inconvenient. I also added 450lbs weight to the wheels, and that's really helpful.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    276
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    Northern Panhandle of Pennsyltuckey
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    Kubota B7610 TLB & MF 253

    Default Re: Operating on Slopes - Rear Tire Spacing

    Bob,
    Looks like you've done your homework RE: the pros and cons.
    I never gave it a second thought and had the dealer set the rear wheels wide before it left the shop. Will also add weight to the rear tires soon. My farm is on the PA/WV line so I have my share of steep grades. Just my .02$
    edski

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
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    N.E. KY
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    Century 3035

    Default Re: Operating on Slopes - Rear Tire Spacing

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( Bob

    I set mine out, and it was immediately noticeable how much more stable it was. VERY much worth it. Do it. Yes, narrower is a little more convenient, but tipping is very inconvenient. I also added 450lbs weight to the wheels, and that's really helpful. )</font>

    How would you know it was more stable? You could only know if you had the tractor over on 2 wheels with the narrower stance, and with the wider setup it doesn't do that anymore.

    I set my tires out wider than delivered. Couldn't really tell any difference, but then again I haven't had more than one tire off the ground at a time. It does make me feel that I'm being safer, but the PPF while out there on the slopes is still the same.


  9. #9
    Silver Member
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    Mar 2005
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    Raceland, Kentucky
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    NH TC35DA, JD X324

    Default Re: Operating on Slopes - Rear Tire Spacing

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( How would you know it was more stable? You could only know if you had the tractor over on 2 wheels with the narrower stance, and with the wider setup it doesn't do that anymore.

    I set my tires out wider than delivered. Couldn't really tell any difference, but then again I haven't had more than one tire off the ground at a time. It does make me feel that I'm being safer, but the PPF while out there on the slopes is still the same.)</font>

    On smooth ground, maybe, but not over irregular terrain. For any size bump or depression that only one wheel rolls over, the movement (roll angle?) of the tractor will be greater for a narrower track than for a wider one. I can easily believe this is noticeable, even when operating on flat, bumpy ground. Driving across a smooth hillside might not feel any different as far as angle goes, but the wider track provides extra "outrigger" effect that reduces the likelihood of a rollover. Besides, my hills aren't all that smooth.

    Whether the difference is really important might depend on how safely you operate your tractor. For any width tractor, there is a safe zone in which you will not roll over. Stay in that zone, and you don't need any extra safety margin. On the other hand...

  10. #10
    Super Member Henro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Operating on Slopes - Rear Tire Spacing

    <font color="blue">How would you know it was more stable? You could only know if you had the tractor over on 2 wheels with the narrower stance, and with the wider setup it doesn't do that anymore.
    </font>

    I think Chatcher is right on as to why it might actually really feel more stable with a wider stance...

    Additionally, an understanding of simple physics would also lead one to feel better about things after spreading the wheels.

    And finally, it probably would feel more stable for the same reason one's car runs better after an oil change or other maintenance... [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] ... because it just feels that way! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img] For me anyway... [img]/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

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