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Old 09-13-2021, 03:37 PM   #1
Garcia
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Default Tractor Tire question

Reaching out to see if anyone has experience with tractor tires. I am waiting for my new tractor, an L seres Kubota, to arrive and am trying to decide between R4 and R14 tires. I have R4 tires on the B7500 I am trading in for the bigger machine. They are great everywhere except on hard snow/ice. Without chains, there is no traction.

I don't expect either tire to overcome ice, but am curious if anyone has experience/knowledge with the R4 and R14 and can give insights on either. I use the tractor to brush hog, maintain a gravel driveway, and plow - and a wide assortment of front end loader tasks.

Thanks!
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Old 09-13-2021, 05:12 PM   #2
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I just went through the process of getting new tires for an l4740hstc had r4 tires and considered the r14 for a long time but stayed with r4 in an 8 ply. The ply ratings and tire sizes for me were not to my liking. I was considering the r14 because I thought they would provide better traction in the snow. Where I chain-up the rears in the winter I stayed with what I know works all year round. I guess I'd spend sometime and figure out the size options of the r14, the ply rating and of course how they look. My original tires were 6 ply and for my machine and how I use it they were not sufficient. I hope this helps. Mike
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Old 09-13-2021, 07:30 PM   #3
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I have R4's that I use with chains on all 4 on my steep driveway. It looks like R14's might be just a bit better on flat land with a normal snow fall. However either 4's or 14's would have a hard time in deep or wet snow. On ice either would be useless without chains.

In the deep snow of last Dec 17th, I would be waiting for spring melt without chains.

Alan
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Old 09-13-2021, 08:10 PM   #4
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I prefer turf tires. They don't dig up my property as much.
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:09 AM   #5
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I agree with both Mike and Biggd on their points, but at this point I will continue running R4s on my L5240 because I use the full capacity of the loader frequently and am often in rough ground. I too run chains in the winter because the because otherwise the machine slides all of the place, but with the R4s even the chains are a bit compromised because, even though they are chain loop bearpaws, some of the crosslinks want to hide between the tire lugs. Plus at nearly 100 pounds apiece they are a real chore to put on. Chains perform much more smoothly on turf tires and can usually be of a lighter construction.
Which tractor are you upgrading to, standard L or Grand L? If you are just going up one step to the standard L and your terrain isn't too rough I would think that the R14s would work out fairly well as the loaders on the Standard Ls only have about 2/3 of the lift capacity of the Grand Ls ...but if your driveway has any slopes I bet that you will still need chains.
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:30 AM   #6
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https://www.messicks.com/school/test...erences-betwee

I run R3 Turf Tires on my L3430. back when I was in the Landscaping business we had L series Kubotas with R1 and R3s. Both performed about the same in snow. Where turf fall on their face is in mud- they load up and become slicks essentially.

Our Case 580K had R4s- good overall, but it was so much heavier than the Kubotas that its not apples to apples. I got them all stuck at one time or the other.

If doing it over (will likely have to as getting sidewall cracking on rears), I would stay with Turfs. I use a front mounted blower so do not need a ton of winter traction.
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:51 AM   #7
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Thanks for the insights. I bought a regular series L, not the Grand L. I plan on putting chains on; with my current setup and R4 tires, getting the chains on without getting "swallowed up" by the treads takes a little finesse. I am thinking the tread on the R14 lend themselves a bit better to chains.

On the other hand, the R4s seem to be a more substantial tire. Turf tires are not a good option given the amount of field work I do - and almost no work on the lawn.

Keep the thoughts coming - I have another week or so before I have to decide.
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Old 09-14-2021, 10:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garcia View Post
Thanks for the insights. I bought a regular series L, not the Grand L. I plan on putting chains on; with my current setup and R4 tires, getting the chains on without getting "swallowed up" by the treads takes a little finesse. I am thinking the tread on the R14 lend themselves a bit better to chains.

On the other hand, the R4s seem to be a more substantial tire. Turf tires are not a good option given the amount of field work I do - and almost no work on the lawn.

Keep the thoughts coming - I have another week or so before I have to decide.
Yes R14s may be friendlier to chains. I assume that you know this chain install approach: Block the front wheels from rolling and use a floor jack in rear center to lift the rear tires an inch or two. Lay out the chains to the rear and drape one end over the tire. Tie a cord to each side of the chain and loop forward to catch onto the tread. With trans in neutral hand rotate the tire forward until the chain comes around.
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Old 09-14-2021, 10:52 AM   #9
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Yes R14s may be friendlier to chains. I assume that you know this chain install approach: Block the front wheels from rolling and use a floor jack in rear center to lift the rear tires an inch or two. Lay out the chains to the rear and drape one end over the tire. Tie a cord to each side of the chain and loop forward to catch onto the tread. With trans in neutral hand rotate the tire forward until the chain comes around.
Thanks! I have not tried jacking up the rear but will. I know the chains for my 7500 and new L will be very different animals based on size. It's always a bummer when I don't plan ahead and am wrestling with the chains on a cold, snowy day. Much easier when it is warm out!
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Old 09-14-2021, 10:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garcia View Post
Thanks for the insights. I bought a regular series L, not the Grand L. I plan on putting chains on; with my current setup and R4 tires, getting the chains on without getting "swallowed up" by the treads takes a little finesse. I am thinking the tread on the R14 lend themselves a bit better to chains.

On the other hand, the R4s seem to be a more substantial tire. Turf tires are not a good option given the amount of field work I do - and almost no work on the lawn.

Keep the thoughts coming - I have another week or so before I have to decide.
Are you getting the tires loaded?
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Old 09-14-2021, 11:46 AM   #11
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Are you getting the tires loaded?
Yes - the weight is very helpful for what I do.
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Old 09-15-2021, 08:30 AM   #12
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If you are going to use the tractor on the grass do not get R4 tires, it will destroy it no matter how careful you are. I got them and I regret it. I have a B3200 and to go from R4 to turf tires it was 1500 dollars. At my house I went with turf tires and I can go us any hill with them. If your in the woods get R4. My two cents.
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Old 09-15-2021, 04:02 PM   #13
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Garcia,
The R4s on my L5240 are getting fairly worn and without the chains are fairly useless traction-wise. I can't complain, the tractor already has about 2,000 hours on the tach, but I usually only need to run it at about 1500 rpm so that is likely closer to 3,000 hours of operating time. The rears still have plenty of wear for the summer, and with the chains on the back work fine in the snow. My fronts however are very worn, there are chunks of the tread blocks missing, and a lot of cracking in the sidewall. I don't want to run chains on the front for fear of hooking the loader subframe so replacing the tires with something that would offer a lot better steering in snow has been on my mind. I had been considering adapting some 8 ply studded truck snow tires of the right diameter, but after what I have learned through your thread I think I'm going to try the R14s. The outside diameter and rolling circumference are close enough to be a match to the old R4s on the rear, and both have the same 6 ply sidewall rating. I've had two front tire failures in rough work, but both were due to ripping off the valve stems rather than puncturing the sidewall. On a previous L5030 I did puncture a sidewall, but that tractor had turfs. The only place I can see a problem is that the load rating drops from 3500# per tire to 2340, so I guess when I am moving havy material I'll need to increase my front pressure from the present 30 pounds to closer to 40 (45 is the max). I'll also need to be sure when working heavy loads to run my 900# counterweight all the time. Counter weighting a tractor is even more effective the loading tires because it shifts some of the load back off the pivoting front axle onto the solid rear axle. Without the counterweight my loader feels quite tippy even though the rear tires are loaded. A good rule of thumb for sizing the counterweight is to make it about half of what the loader is capable of lifting to full height and in your case that is about 550 pounds or so. I made mine up out of an old juice barrel, a couple of angle irons for the uprights, and 7/8 rod for the lower links. The PVC tubes were used to space the angle irons while the concrete set up and now usually have a shovel and rake stuffed in them and the old firehose protects my chainsaw
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Old 09-15-2021, 10:28 PM   #14
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Garcia,
the tractor already has about 2,000 hours on the tach, but I usually only need to run it at about 1500 rpm so that is likely closer to 3,000 hours of operating time.
RPM does not change operating hours. Hour meters spin when the tach is moving.
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Old 09-17-2021, 09:24 AM   #15
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I appreciate all the input. In the end I opted to stick with R4's. Delivery next week!
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