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Chains for wet lawn traction?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by begreen, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Most of our property is on a slope. When the grass is damp it can be very slippery making it hard to get traction heading uphill. Does anyone here use chains for lawn mowing? Is there a better solution?

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  2. gmule

    gmule Feeling the Heat

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    Chains are great for traction. They will tear up your grass though. It is probably best to wait until the grass is dry or you can fill the tires with water for more weight or add some wheel weights
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Neighbor is using chains and his lawn looks ok. I'm going to see what he has on his tires.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Whoa, he has heavy duty ATV chains on his mower. Says he digs up the lawn a lot less with them on then the slicks he made spinning out before.
  5. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I put windshield washer fluid in all the tires and wheel weights in back. Seems to help.
  6. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    It's a fine line. You don't want the extra weight causing ruts either. Are your tires just bald?
  7. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    I started leaving the chains on after winter of 11-12, and don't have a problem tearing things up. However, I don't have a slopey yard/lawn.
    I also don't mow when the lawn is wet.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    No, our tires have lots of tread left. The rubber may be getting harder though. It's only a problem in spring time, but a royal PITA. Neighbor's property has the same slope as ours. His dad was visiting from PA and saw him slipping on the uphill. He told him to slap some chains on, so he tried them. He says it's made a world of difference.
  9. gmule

    gmule Feeling the Heat

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    Interesting, I always seem to dig things up when I have the chains on. I guess with that information it probably wouldn't hurt to give it a try.
  10. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    My garden tractors have always had chains on them from the day they come home. This place is red clay and only has probably twenty sq. feet of level surface on the whole 5.5 acres. Many years ago my father in law was visiting and he went home and put chains on for year around duty after that.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I try to mow when not wet, but sometimes it is damp. We can't put off mowing here. If you do it will get ahead of you so you have to take the best that the weather affords you. In the field where it grows longer, the grass at this time of year is really succulent and juicy even on dry days. Level and slight slope mowing is not an issue. This is only on the steeper slopes (which is the whole lower portion of our yard).
  12. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Exactly what I do, even with traction control and a locking diff. I have to make uphill turns often while mowing, and the chains make all the difference. I mow when the grass is dry, but the grass has a high moisture content, usually. Chains do a lot less damage than spinning tires do, especially if I take it easy on the turns. OTOH, if I do get to spinning a tire, the chains do a great job of creating wide divots in the lawn!

    My larger International tractor has ag tires, and if I spin those, they do more damage than the chains ever could!
    I recommend chains on turf tires year 'round.
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Great. That's what I wanted to hear. Just ordered them from Amazon. Thanks heat seeker and BB!
  14. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Yep, need to stay on top of it so it doesn't get too long, or you end up with wet grass anyway.
    Your climate has to be tough for mowing.
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    At this time of year it is. We've had a nice spring and the grass is loving it. I've been mowing since mid-March. Sometime I swear you can see the grass growing. At our latitude, long daylight hours really accelerates this.
    NW Walker likes this.
  16. nate379

    nate379 Guest

  17. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Yeah I forgot to mention that I run wheel weights on the rear also. I need'em for traction with trailers loaded with wood coming uphill out of the woods.
  18. NW Walker

    NW Walker Member

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    Ain't that the truth! I might have to follow your lead on the chains, I have the same problem.
  19. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I think you made the right decision. I leave the chains on my mowers year round.
    They worked so well the first time I tried them I went up a slope and the mower flipped over on top of me. Luckily, little harm done.
    Be careful!
  20. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Ok? Guess I'm just talking to myself on here?
  21. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    You may still need weight. Add weight via tire ballast, wheel weights, or frame weights if you still spin more than you'd like.
  22. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I would've suggested ATV or HDAP type tires myself but some folks balk at the price.
  23. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I got the rears used for $40 and the fronts I bought new for about $120 for the pair. I just got the fronts this year, had a leak in the stockers and got tired of filling it up. Was a good excuse to upgrade since the turf steer tires are useless in the winter when on a bit of ice or hard snow.

    I gave up using chains because they tear up the yard and driveway if a person is not VERY VERY careful. I don't have a manicured lawn per say but it was starting to look like I had mud bog racing events from the chains tearing it up!
  24. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    Plus you can easily remove the chains when wet Spring is done.

    Which will be , what, two weeks in September ? ==c
  25. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I checked on the ATV tires. At $150 a pair._g I think I will see how the chains work out. Our grass is probably quite different and deeper rooted than some. It's pretty tough. Looking at his lawn, you would never know our neighbor has chains on his tires and he cuts at a good clip.

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