need Temp Solution to traction issues

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by YellowDogSVC, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,168

    I have the Trail Blazers. I don't mind the clanking. If you use their little hand winch thing, it was not bad taking them on and off. The floatation is excellent. I did some side hilling with them and it worked my tires over pretty good. I have Nu Airs now so who cares. I don't use them very often, but I may as the mulching continues to gain altitude. It will be May before the snow is gone up there and they are not going to want to wait for it to dry up. That would be like July.
  2. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Messages: 3,792

    Are you using VTS and mulching?

    I have the hulks and the sidewalls are strong. I ran solid fill hulks under tracks for years.
    Do you do any driveways with the trailblazers? I can't seem to remember how my driveways did with the tracks. I have a line on a used set of trailblazers.

    Hey, off the subject KSSS, but have noticed increased performance when mulching in the cold? I just knocked out a job with 10" to 15", 30' trees and a number of 10" dead live oaks. It was like i was operating a machine with 2x the normal hp? Temps were in the 30's today. Yesterday temps were in the 40's to 50's. I am thinking that the cold fluid gets thick and is more efficient?
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  3. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,168

    I have not done any mulching for since Winter started in earnest. My guess is the cooler the air the more easier it is for the machine to keep it cool, as the machine and hyd. fluid get warm the efficiency drops off. I see it big time in my big excavator when it gets really warm.
  4. tallrick

    tallrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    The wider tires are preferable to the narrower ones and I personally prefer the 16" wide tires on even the 763. With a worn-out set of those I can go over most lawns and even turn a bit without digging in. Now to be specific tread patterns do have an effect. The "ditch digger" tires have wide spaces between tread bars while the "skid steer" style tire has more tread bars and less space so you do not dig in as much. Most ground here is either sandy or rocky, and in sand the wider tires are mandatory. The 10" wide tires typical to a 763 will quickly sink in dry sand. The ditch digger style tire gives the best traction in the sand. Plywood, mats and the like are pretty useless. I do have a bit of conveyor belt that I use at times. Yet my preference remains for worn-out ditch digger tires which I lower the air pressure to as low as 20 psi. No ruts and any grass torn out regrows in short order as most roots remain. I have yet to find tracks for my machines.
  5. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Messages: 3,792

    ever feel like you are beating a dead horse?

    Here's where I'm at. I found a set of loegering trailblazers for a very good price. My issue with metal OTT is having to load and unload on improved surfaces. I had two half-day grinding jobs today. One required me to unload on county road and the other had me driving over cement driveway. If I had OTT tracks I would have had to bring a lot of mats or plywood and/or take them off. That will get to be a pain. A few years back, I ran two machines. One with tracks one without. Both machines were identical and I just took the one I needed.

    SO, here I am. I am told my 14 x 17.5 tires won't do THAT much better than my 12x16.5's so I think won't make that swap (plus those tires and rims are unused and can be sold).

    So, I am left with three options.

    1. Grin and bear it.. keep working with my hulk tires and hope it dries out soon
    2. Purchase metal OTT tracks and hope I can schedule smart and/or get enough where either I need them or don't so as to minimize taking them on or off or taking mats or plywood.
    3. Take a loss on my machine, trade in to a CTL and just be careful when working on rock but get traction in almost all situations where I am frustrated now.

    That's what I'm wrestling with this week. Though work dried up, I don't want to get rid of my mini ex or toolcat so the only machine I have to sell or trade is my s330 which I really like. Any thoughts??
  6. AEL

    AEL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,724

    Mabee put the wider tires on yellow dog, with your counter weights removed you might get better results then i did(mine arent removed). Its worth a try before you sell the machine! Good luck
  7. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,168

    I think it comes down to a couple things Yellow. Does not sound like to me that running steel will work real well for you. Trading your machine in for a CTL will really be expensive. I think the case is really made for a set of VTS. I know you don't like the weight but with 18" of tracks the weight is a nonissue. With a mini ex taking the VTS off and on is easy. I think it solves all of your problems. You keep your 330 machine, you have tracks to get you around in the mud and help quicken your grading jobs verse wheels. You have the ability to go back to tires when you need to. You will be wider and heavier. You may need to get a deck over or a different trailer but that at least is adding to your net worth while helping you get your equipment around as opposed to trading for a CTL which sounds like it will put you upside down in the new CTL. As fast as they depreciate you cant afford to go into a CTL backwards. I know you have some reservations about the VTS, but there are a lot of guys running them I think its the best solution for you. I think you will like the VTS but if you want to make a change when its time to trade the 330 you can sell the VTS. I think you would find yourself getting another wheeled machine (hopefully a BIC equipped 465) and keep the VTS. IMHO.
  8. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Messages: 3,792

    KSSS -- I have been looking at the VTS. A new set is $16500 which I thought was high. I have been looking on IP.. I would definitely need a new trailer, new bucket, new grapple, and probably be forced into CDL. I haven't seen a light deck over trailer but maybe haven't looked. I like the low center of gravity my utility trailer provides especially with all of the back roads I work on.

    How is the track ride? I do so much grapple work carrying large logs on in rough fields but not sure how tracks would feel. I know my mini ex is somewhat of a rough ride even at 3.2 mph!
  9. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,168

    Your dirt bucket would need to be wider, but I have a 73" grapple (the Saber tine bucket by Quick Attach) that is more narrow than is my VTS and its not an issue. If you have an enclosed bottom grapple that would need to be the same width at a min. as your VTS.

    The VTS has some suspension to it, so rides quite nice, the tracks give some vibration in the older tread design, I am hoping that the newer design tread does not do that.

    I forgot about the CDL issue.

    You could if you already haven't and PM Dirty and speak to him in depth about the VTS since he has a set on a big Bobcat and get his thoughts.

    KRtrax could likely find you a good deal on set. I would not pay full retail. No reason to, a little hunting and you should be able to save 8-10K.

    I can get my 440 on my Tow Master trailer which is not a deck over, but just barely. I think it is 82" between the fender wells and the machine is about 80 with the little bolt thing. I agree with you on having a low deck height. I think the stability is much improved if you go to a back hoe style tag trailer with tandem duals as opposed to a single wheel deck over. A backhoe style tag with electric brakes are pretty cheap right now since the back hoe guys are dying off like T Rex.
  10. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,454

    I kinda see the problem a little different now and different choices. Mattes, plywood, temp. ground support and others just don't fit. Vts is $9-$16k for a ballpark. Switching skids around is equity loss of (?) $15-25k. The game plan is not fitting this way. What about going the other way? Think of a small to medium loader from the TW50 (8k,51hp.,1 yd. bucket to the ?. I think it would depend on the rates....I know they are offering incentives like 3yr 3000hr. warranties as incentives. As for the trailer, pulling, and current set up I would go get a cdl class a license (nothing but a weekend class and some studying at minimum cost), reevaluate my options, and worry about pulling upgrades till later.

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