OT: Making old tires bite better

The situation is the concrete rear driveway to the garage is so steep that the
riding mower (home brew) spins its old tires rather than climb up the grade.
The tires are 18 inch outside diameter with fairly coarse knobs, therefore costly.. The problem is thay are so old they have become hard and cracked. I had to put tubes in them to hold air. Is there some way to give them new life? I have let alot of air out hoping a bigger foot print would work and it only seemed to help a little. I also tried chains but they spun on the concrete. The concrete has a broom finish, not smooth. The traction is so close that if someone pushes the mower it will go. Don't always have two people available. Any ideas welcomed. Thanks, Scott
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You might try "Hot Lap" traction compound... or a little bleach and a wire brush. Jeg's sells the Hot Lap compound, which makes the tires grip better by opening up the "pores" in the tire surface, supposedly... it doesn't make them too much softer though because they still pass the durometer test (sometimes): http://www.jegs.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/ProductDisplay?prrfnbr446&prmenbr61 We're not supposed to use it... but it works real well! >;-} There's more info here: http://www.pro-blend.com/tech7000.html David

the
grade.
therefore
cracked. I

life?
only
concrete.
if
available.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (ShakasCaregiver) wrote in

You might try a racer's trick with some VHT.
--
Anthony

You can't 'idiot proof' anything....every time you try, they just make
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Questions for you, Scott. Are you needing the traction with the hopes of plowing this driveway, or are you just trying to get up the driveway to put the tractor away? If you are trying to plow - I really don't think there is anything you can do to the tires to give you the traction you need - other than possibly adding some weight to a weight box mounted to the back end of the tractor. If you are just trying to get up the hill - and *don't* want to add weight to the tractor, you may try "shaping" the knobs on the tires, possibly with a 4" grinder - REMEMBERING it's the BOTTOM of the tires that are touching the concrete. If you have fairly large knobs on the tires you could bevel the top of the knob (when the knob is on the top of the tire, you could grind it so the forward edge is HIGHER than the trailing edge so when the knob rotates down around and comes in contact with the concrete you will have a "cutting edge" gripping the concrete rather than a "flat pad") This would also provide a little more lbs/sqft pressure at the leading edge of the knob. After all, you said the tires were old, cracked and hard anyway, so what can you lose? Hope this helps. Ken.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<snip>
a little tip -- add weight to the wheels instead of the tractor, and only the wheels bear the weight
much kinder to axles and bearings
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yeah, Jon, but the cement blocks keep flopping over and over and the rope I tied the blocks to the tires with keeps coming untied.... <G> Ken.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (ShakasCaregiver) wrote:

Have you tried filling the tires with water/antifreeze?
--
free men own guns - slaves don't
www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/5357/
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

the
grade.
therefore
cracked. I

life?
only
concrete.
if
available.
We used to use bleach on old, balding tires to get us through the infrequent snowfalls in Vancouver. It was a long time ago and I don't remember how hard it was on the tires. I do remember passing a cop going up Burnaby Mtn. in a '51 Austin with bleached tires, the cop was having a tough go of it and we just rolled on by. That's heaven for a teenager. Brian, in Cedar
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Brian Barnson wrote:

I was thinking bleach too, that's what drag racers use (used?). Ethylene glycol also effects rubber without shortening it's life and may increase traction.
http://www.eng-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?spid 8&newpid8 &sqid3785
Or perhaps the driveway (if concrete) could be cleaned with a strong solution of muriatic acid. That would take some of the slickness away.
Dick
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
ShakasCaregiver wrote:

You could get the tires siped, which would improve traction a little. google for the words tire sipe or see eg http://www.can4x4.com/articles/siping.html (which also has links http://www.can4x4.com/articles/siping/pages/siping01.html and http://www.can4x4.com/articles/siping/pages/siping04.html that show sipe cutting head and machine in use)
A strip of indoor/outdoor carpet, or runners of gritty stair-tread tape, or painted strips of epoxy-sand mix on the driveway surface might work. -jiw
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Since you are *almost* able to make it now, any little improvement might be enough. 1.) Spray belt dressing on the treads. 2.) Wipe the treads with some solvent which attacks the rubber, making it slightly tacky. Printers use something called "deglazer" to make their rubber rollers carry ink better. That might work.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You could try what the railroad locomotives use and carry a small bucket of sand.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Go to the local tractor dealer and get a fitting (female garden hose/female valve stem) a common item for a tractor owner. Fill the rear tires with water instead of air Problem solved!
T Bone
On Wed, 31 Dec 2003 04:18:05 GMT, "Leo Lichtman"

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
another tactic may be to make sure you don't have the tires too highly pressurized. The old hard rubber tires before the air filled ones were subject to slipping due to the small tire to ground footprint. The ability of a pressureized tire to deform where it touches the ground gives it a bigger footprint and therefore greater traction. Sandbuggies on the outer islands used to lower their tire pressure when leaving the road to venture onto the beaches, because it gave better traction in the slippery sand. Try a lower pressure than you are presently running. I know they say to keep you tires up to pressure on cars, but this is not a car, but a tractor. Old tires also lose their native oil over the years and become more hard and brittle and therefore have less traction than a new tire at the same pressure, maybe the belt dressing will work, but I would expect it will only work for a little while as it will not penetrate too deeply. New tires is really the answer, but I bet lowering the tire pressure will work in the short run too and put off spending any green for a little while.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 01 Jan 2004 21:59:31 +0000, John213a wrote:

Take this idea to its logical conclusion and you get:
http://www.mattracks.com /
I've been toying with the idea of making a set of these for my garden tractor for snow plowing/blowing in the winter.
--
"There cannot possibly be a god in heaven watching all of this calmly."
-- Revi Shankar
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
not water if you live in a cold environment. Get some CalciumChloride from the tractor dealer.
wrote:

be
with
Printers
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 30 Dec 2003 20:22:43 +0000, ShakasCaregiver wrote:

Have you ever worn a pair of felt soled shoes? They're great for navigating slippery rocks. How about trying some lengths of old carpeting around the circumference of the wheels? It should have the same gripping effect that felt has. Note that most indoor carpet uses water soluble glue (from what I've heard), so indoor/outdoor carpet might be best if used in wet conditions.
--
"There cannot possibly be a god in heaven watching all of this calmly."
-- Revi Shankar
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.