4x4 ATV / Tractor?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Ted DuPuis, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    I was planning on doing some sort of weighting for the tires, and may still do that. One idea was to get some old gym weights and bolt them to the wheels. But I don't have anything for that now, I'll give it a shot as-is.
     
  2. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    It's a pretty thick bolt in the area where it's welded. But I'm a bad welder, so who knows. Either way, it's a $100 tractor, so it's not a big deal.

    Rather than buy a beater I'd be more likely to put a ball on front of the VR4 and Avalanche.
     
  3. tmyers

    tmyers En-Route

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    Good day to try it out but your 310 is in the shop. Will be interesting so see how it works in a light snow.

    I doubt my tow buddy would do much in the snow.
     
  4. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    We'll see. I'm not betting it'll do much in light snow, but it might. There are a lot of slightly slick spots where it'll just get hung up.
     
  5. CJones

    CJones En-Route

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    You'll probably be ok with the welded gears until you get onto good dry pavement with weight on the tires. That's when the pumpkin bomb goes off.. Although, in a lawn mower, maybe it's more like a pumpkin firecracker.
     
  6. tmyers

    tmyers En-Route

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    just lean so one of the tires has less weight on it in a turn and it will slide easier. Just like the live axles in the old three wheelers.

    It's all good
     
  7. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Yeah, with a whopping 18 HP behind it, I think I have power tools that are more powerful. :D

    We'll see how it goes. If this doesn't work I'll probably have to go for a 4x4 ATV or some sort of beater.
     
  8. foka4

    foka4 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ted,

    Good luck with your tractor project. For others who can benefit from the information, I use an early '90s John Deere 322 garden tractor for moving airplanes, and can add to the earlier discussion with the following points:

    1) Weight is paramount. I have 240 lbs of iron weights on my tractor, and the tractor itself is fairly heavy. This setup easily provides enough power and control to handle a light twin on any hard surface, except maybe polished concrete (which would simply require more weight).
    2) An old hydrostatic tractor gives great control, since you can gently change speed, creep along, and reverse direction without grinding gears.
    3) Weight on the front tires of the tractor becomes important for moving bigger tailwheel airplanes (3000-5000 lb.), since a lot of side steering force is required to disengage the tail wheel detent.
    4) Power steering isn't essential, but is a really nice thing to have if you use a lot if weight up front.
    5) For less than the cost of a ratty old ATV, you can probably find an old used hydrostatic garden tractor that will move planes nicely, but also mow grass and blow snow. That's a lot of versatility in a small package.

    The old John Deere 318, 322, 332, 420, 430, and 455 are all fairly common, serviceable, and more than capable of doing the job.

    M
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  9. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Thanks, Matt, good information. I might look for a Deere if I continue to find this unsatisfactory.
     
  10. Arbiter419

    Arbiter419 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yeah buddy!

    Ive been through a 185S, 225DX and a 250R

    [​IMG]
     
  11. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Rimguard is the best fluid for tires. It weighs more per gallon than antifreeze and costs less. Whatever you do, don't put saltwater in the tires, even if you have tubes. You might also see if you can get the tires siped.

    http://www.rimguard.biz/

    If you can weld or bolt a box behind the rear axle and fill it with scrap iron it will put more weight on the rear wheels than the same weight on the wheels.
     
  12. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Probably won't matter, but wheel weights won't put the weight on the chassis, axle, and axle bearings.
     
  13. ron22

    ron22 Cleared for Takeoff

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    You need to get one of these. You can even plow out you plane first.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Used the tractor for the first time today. It worked great! Double the traction made all the difference in the world, until...

    The damn thing quit working in reverse. All it does is spin the belt, gearbox is locked up in reverse. In forward it works great, and then it will work in reverse for a bit until it stops going again. That makes me think that I had some piece of slag or something from welding that didn't get out, and is causing it to get held up.

    So now I'm back to square one and need to figure out whether to try to take it home, pull the gearbox, and mess with it again, or do I just give up and buy something else. I'm leaning towards option 2...
     
  15. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    You're so close, just like a Broncos Super Bowl. LOL
     
  16. tmyers

    tmyers En-Route

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    Nate, that was not close!
     
  17. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    The lead up took months, just like his tractor. Then on the day it counted, it choked. :)
     
  18. tmyers

    tmyers En-Route

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    I see your point
     
  19. JHW

    JHW En-Route

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    forget the transmission. To maneuver the plane around you want a garden tractor with a hydrostat drive. The smooth application of torque also greatly aids traction.

    here's ours albeit not the business end. No wheel weights, just a hystat and good back tires at low pressure. never an issue with traction
     

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    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
  20. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Yeah, I'm more figuring I need something else. The hydrostatic drive sounds good. I just can't figure out why it's fine going forward but seizes up going back.

    Oh well, time to start searching.
     
  21. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Ted, you know you're gonna tear into the tranny anyway...

    ....just sayin'... :D
     
  22. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    You have underestimated my capability to set things on fire. :)
     
  23. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Most likely you've got a shaft with excessive axial play and it's letting a gear move to where it binds against something else.

    I second the recommendation to get something with a hydrostatic transmission although there are some garden tractors with a variable speed belt drive that is almost as good. I have a larger (compact utility) tractor at home with a hydro tranny and FWD and I love how the two pedal control works.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
  24. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    I probably need to look into it more. The issue I have is wanting to keep cost outlay to a minimum. The tractors that would be most appropriate cost in the thousands of dollars, which is more than I want to spend.

    I'll look into it more and make a decision. If I decide to spend that much, I'll probably end up buying a used 4x4 Kubota or the like.
     
  25. ElPaso Pilot

    ElPaso Pilot Cleared for Takeoff

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    I think you're making this too hard...

    Take a look into Craigslist and with the search term hydrostatic. There's a lot out there, particularly if you don't need a functioning mower deck.

    This was on page 1.

    http://cincinnati.craigslist.org/grd/4273589405.html
    [​IMG]

    I also think you'll have better luck not welding up a lawn tractor to pull heavy loads with, the drivetrains aren't built for that. Look for a garden tractor, and use weight, chains, and/or good tires.


    Here's another one, and you can clear the snow as well!

    http://cincinnati.craigslist.org/grd/4257875580.html
    [​IMG]

     
  26. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    You're right that I'm making it too complicated. Also the welding didn't work out well, obviously, but it was a fun and cheap experiment since the mower was really inadequate anyway. The issue is that I tend to be the sort who wants something that will always work in any condition - which is why I drive an AWD car with studded snow tires among other things. If we lived in the South, the mower we have probably would've been fine, but still a bit small.

    Of those two you listed, the first Cub Cadet might be a good one. Could also do a 4x4 ATV, with the view that if it doesn't work out, I still have a 4x4 ATV and that would be fun. I wouldn't mind spending the extra cash on that.

    I also don't want to spend a bunch of time messing around with it, and don't want to spend a lot of money. These are opposing requirements, obviously.
     
  27. ElPaso Pilot

    ElPaso Pilot Cleared for Takeoff

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    Here's an effective, inexpensive thought for you, that worked very well on one of my tractors to balance out a snowblower.

    See the square holes in the rear wheel below? Fits a carriage bolt nicely.

    Take the wheel off, put 4 long carriage bolts in those holes from the back side, each through a foot long piece of steel pipe, tightened down with a nut and large fender washer.

    Fab up a quick cylinder out of cardboard or sheet metal, several inches tall, larger than the wheel diameter and smaller than the tire diameter.

    Neatly line the whole apparatus with a plastic trash bag and fill with concrete.

    You now have a quick, custom fit wheel weight of any mass you'd like, and it comes off by unbolting 4 bolts. The pipe keeps the bolt threads free of the wet concrete and lets you crank down the nut tightly to keep the weight stable against the wheel.

    [​IMG]
     
  28. Chip Sylverne

    Chip Sylverne En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Fear is the poison of our lives.
    Umm, Ted, have you priced a used 4x4 Kubota lately?

    They ain't cheap.
     
  29. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    As I said, my requirements are opposed. So something will have to give.
     
  30. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Heh. I like that Ted won't give up on the cheap tractor. I do stuff like that too.

    Dumb side question... How does one work on the mower deck of a garden tractor safely? I assume drive it up on something sturdy? Automotive ramps?

    I'm used to regular lawn mowers you just flip over. LOL.

    Asking because something is jammed in the blade of one side of mine and there's obviously about 2" of ground clearance to even look under there. Engage belt driven dual blades, engine stalls. Oof.

    Just a "will have to fix" project before the grass starts growing again. Right now it isn't very important...

    [​IMG]

    That's the driveway in the high beams a couple nights ago. You can only see halfway down it. Can kinda see the LED runway lights. :)

    It's -4F here tonight and was -16F last night and -12F the night before...

    Crunchy snow. ;)
     
  31. ElPaso Pilot

    ElPaso Pilot Cleared for Takeoff

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    Auto ramps for the quick jobs.

    Most decks can be pulled in a few minutes for the bigger jobs, and just flip it over. :)
     
  32. ron22

    ron22 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I ussaly just grab the front of mine and lift it up and set a jack stand under it to hold it there. Nver thought of using ramps.
     
  33. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I don't think I could lift mine. It's heavy. Murray double bladed beast. And it's dwarfed by the real three cyl tractor and 48" brush cutter deck.

    Just learning Zen and the Art of Giant Lawnmower Maintenance here... Heh.
     
  34. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Ah, the old Lincoln Locker.

    Sorry to hear it didn't work out Ted, but I give you credit for trying!
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
  35. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I have a 3 blade snapper 48" Pro

    I use a pair of auto ramps for quick stuff. Bottle jack and automotive jack stands otherwise.
     
  36. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Actually I tried it this past weekend and it half worked. Whatever's broken in it is only half broken, clearly. The setup seems to work ok in a pinch for moving the plane either into the hangar (provided it's lined up already by pushing) or for pulling out of the hangar, but it doesn't work for getting the plane pulled to and from the pumps.

    I'm going to order a front hitch for the Avalanche and try that, and then it can be the airport truck if it works. And if not, front hitches are useful.