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#1 IamSherwood OFFLINE  

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Posted June 28, 2011 - 08:08 PM

What options are available?
What sort of homemade ideas are out there?
What should one consider when going down that road?

#2 Trent Thomson OFFLINE  

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Posted June 28, 2011 - 08:42 PM

Last winter I made a set of duals for my old Yamaha 3 wheeler. All I used was a scrap piece of 10 inch water main pipe cut to about 6 inches long. I used 4 pieces of threaded rod with washers and nuts to hold it together. Worked great for the 3 wheeler. I could float over the snow pulling the kids on a sled. The RPM's on that would be much greater than on a GT and they held up.

#3 MF14 plowday special OFFLINE  

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Posted June 28, 2011 - 08:47 PM

Will .... there is a man out in Ohio who goes to plow days and has a Cub Cadet 100 totally restored. He used a simple method using plastic rings cut from large diameter plastic pipe as spacers and bolted them together. When I get time I will try to find his post over at weekendfreedommachines.com .... I think ??? he posted there .... and probably on one of the many Cubbie sites.

He plowed at Danville Pa. with the duals on one side.

Hope this helps
Later Will

#4 cp7 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 28, 2011 - 10:56 PM

The couple of guy's that I've seen run duals ended up pulling them off.
Here's a link to the pipe setup. Cub Cadet, John Deere Bolens 12" Rim Dual Wheel Spacers - eBay (item 320720394818 end time Jul-04-11 16:15:26 PDT)

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#5 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted June 29, 2011 - 03:37 AM

I would be a little concerned with the pipe idea... If the outer is in contact only, and you're really pulling, I would think the potential for twisting is there... Especially if the all thread or carriage bolts stretch any and loosen. Of course, 4 bolts at the wheelwright holes would hold up pretty well, lotta strength there. Anyone use this method for a work tractor?

Edited by MH81, June 29, 2011 - 03:45 AM.


#6 hydriv OFFLINE  

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Posted June 29, 2011 - 05:46 AM

[QUOTE=IamSherwood;75807What should one consider when going down that road?[/QUOTE]

Here's my opinion...


Why do you want "duals" on your tractor, anyway?

Do you understand the reasoning behind duals and triples?

This is about spreading the weight of the tractor over a larger surface area to reduce soil compaction. It is NOT about increasing traction.

When you put dual wheels on any tractor, you change the amount of stress on the trans-axle. As you know, the "low -cost" lawn tractors often have axle shafts that are keyed or splined so that the rear rims slip onto those shafts directly without the need for rim bolts or nuts. Those two methods of fastening rims to rear axles are normally employed by garden tractors. When you drive any tractor over rough ground, the tractor is sometimes supported by all four rear tires, sometimes by the inner tire and sometimes by the outer tire. As the Operator of the tractor, you have no control over how the tractor is being supported when you are not on dead flat surfaces. Whenever the outer tire supports the tractor, there is tremendous "leverage" being exerted on the axle shaft as well as the bearing surface that supports the axle shaft. These are forces that were never contemplated by the engineers that specified the bearings used and the strength of the axle shaft.

Perhaps you will get lucky with your dually installation and not bring harm to the trans-axle. I can't say for sure. But logic tells me that you have a pretty good chance at bending or snapping off an axle shaft by going the dually route. If you happen to forget that you have dual wheels on your tractor and accidentally clip a tree or a corner of a building, rock, curb or other immovable object, the LEVERAGE of the outer tire on the 3/4" axle shaft is tremendous. Most of you know that Case GT's are very well made. Back in the early 70's, the factory released a few dual wheel kits for field testing. The kits were withdrawn a short time later due to axle failures. Case axles have a steel flange that is welded to the axle shaft and the stresses of the dual wheels caused the welds to fracture. Without any notice, the tractor lurched sideways when the flange parted ways with the axle shaft. I think that might be enough of a drop on a 16" rim size to cause the person operating the tractor to get tossed off. Case never offered a dual wheel kit after that.

When they decided to put the D-100 Davis bsckhoe on the 644 and 646 compact loaders that used the same trans-axle as the 200 and 400 Series Garden Tractors, they created a "Flotation Kit" to solve the problem of the tractor's back wheels sinking in soft ground. The cast iron trans-axle housing was redesigned to include webbing or gussets as part of the casting to increase the strength of the housing. They used 12" Ag tires on very wide rims and those were bolted to special axles that extended about six inches further from the trans-axle housing than the original axles did. This was done to place the stresses on the rims in the proper place. Rim "offset" is an important consideration when engineering any type of axle. You can have zero offset, meaning that the metal plate with bolt holes is situated half way between the inside and outside of the actual rim................or you can have negative or positive offset of that metal plate by moving it closer to or further away from the outside edge of the rim. When everyone drove rear-wheel-drive cars, the metal plate had a slight negative offset. Many "Hot-Rodders" back in the day drilled out the spot welds that secured the rims to the wheel centres and moved those centres to create a "deep dish" wheel that looked "cool". This was often done to all four corners of the car. Rear wheel bearings suffered as a result and they failed prematurely. So did the outer bearing on the front end of the car. In addition, the increased negative offset threw the entire geometry of the steering out of whack and that affected how the car handled. Quite often, a front-end alignment specialist could not set the caster, camber and toe-in to factory specs due to the change in wheel offset. However, the car did look "cool" with those deep dish wheels.

Today, most of the cars are front-wheel drive and they use alloy wheels with almost total negative offset. But the front axles are engineered to compensate for those wheels and that's the point I'm trying to make. Anytime YOU decide to make a modification to something that was engineered by someone else, you run the risk of paying a price you did not anticipate. Companies employ engineers who use their education to design products that will work but are not over-built. They engineer in a margin of safety but no company is going to use 3/4" steel plate to build a mower deck when 1/8" steel plate will do the job and last for a reasonable amount of time. Products are often subjected to rigorous testing in real world conditions prior to ever coming to the marketplace. Whenever you modify the end product, you toss out all of that R&D so don't be surprised if something goes wrong as a direct result of what you did.

Is a bent axle on an old LT the end of the world? Hell no. You're a big boy. You can decide whether the "cool factor" outweighs the risk of a bent axle, broken aluminum trans-axle housing or a failed bearing that is now allowing trans-axle fluid to puke out.

Personally, I can see the reasoning behind modifying a GT to make it look like "Mini-Me" while sitting beside a full-size Ag tractor with dual wheels at shows. What I don't see is any value in adding dual wheels to a lawn tractor, yard tractor or garden tractor you intend to perform work with on a regular basis.

Your turn. Explain to me why I'm wrong.
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#7 MF14 plowday special OFFLINE  

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Posted June 29, 2011 - 06:15 AM

The original reason duals were offered on garden tractors was to increase stability on hillsides or when using a loader.

Otherwise your explanation is right on.... and I can feel your pain :D
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#8 hydriv OFFLINE  

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Posted June 29, 2011 - 08:03 AM

The original reason duals were offered on garden tractors was to increase stability on hillsides or when using a loader.

Otherwise your explanation is right on.... and I can feel your pain :D


Just curious............ do you have any reference material to support your statement? Perhaps a sales brochure or service bulletin put out by one or more manufacturer's????

To be perfectly frank, I'm having a problem buying into either of those claims.

I have run two wheel drive loaders, four wheel drive loaders and articulated loaders over my fairly lengthy career and the last thing I would want on a loader would be dual wheels. To me, they would be a royal PITA. If loader stability is an issue, then either the tractor was not designed to have a loader as an attachment or the bucket is too large or the tractor has not been "weighted" properly to provide the needed stability. Wheel weights, counter-weights and tire loading will accomplish most stability issues far better than dual wheels will.


Tractors are meant to go UP hillsides and DOWN hillsides. Putting a tractor into a cross-slope situation is like playing Russian Roulette. Sometimes you get away with it but it's the one time that you don't that can give you a bad day. The problem with dual wheels is that the weight of the back part of the tractor is now divided onto FOUR tires instead of TWO. We add wheel weights and we load tires to force the tread into contact with the ground to get better GRIP. Putting on duals lessens the grip of the tires. Grass can be a very slippery item, especially when it is wet or even damp. While duals do lower your centre of gravity and keep you from tipping over, you may find it even harder to keep the tractor from sliding on the grass. If I was forced to cut cross-slope on my property, then loaded Ags with lots of added weight would be my choice.

#9 MF14 plowday special OFFLINE  

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Posted June 29, 2011 - 08:19 AM

OK ... I agree that generally to increase traction by adding duals must be accompanied by an increase in weight.

Just examine any old gt advertising literature and you will see duals on tractors mowing across hillsides ... and duals on loader tractors.

Did you ever go straight down a hillside and lose traction ... and one wheel maintains traction and drives the other wheel in the opposite direction via the differential .... quite scary when that happens .... been there done that on gts and farm tractors.

I live here in hilly western Pennsylvania

#10 MF14 plowday special OFFLINE  

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Posted June 29, 2011 - 08:29 AM

hydriv said "Grass can be a very slippery item, especially when it is wet or even damp. While duals do lower your centre of gravity and keep you from tipping over, you may find it even harder to keep the tractor from sliding on the grass. If I was forced to cut cross-slope on my property, then loaded Ags with lots of added weight would be my choice"

Around here on much of the mowing must be done across the slope and I could post some pics later to illustrate.

Its not done with duals but usually by reversing wheels to increase the overall width of the tractor and then add weights ..... just what you said.

I'm only saying that lots of early gt advertising literature promoted duals for side hill mowing.

#11 MF14 plowday special OFFLINE  

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Posted June 29, 2011 - 08:43 AM

Would someone check the axle bearings in GEEZER'S beloved CC original and check for wear on the side with tripples !!!

.... if you don't know Geezer ... I will explain later ...

http://www.mytractor...=1&d=1231595742

Edited by MF14 plowday special, June 29, 2011 - 08:53 AM.


#12 hydriv OFFLINE  

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Posted June 29, 2011 - 09:17 AM

OK ... I agree that generally to increase traction by adding duals must be accompanied by an increase in weight.

Just examine any old gt advertising literature and you will see duals on tractors mowing across hillsides ... and duals on loader tractors.

Did you ever go straight down a hillside and lose traction ... and one wheel maintains traction and drives the other wheel in the opposite direction via the differential .... quite scary when that happens .... been there done that on gts and farm tractors.

I live here in hilly western Pennsylvania



We obviously agree on several points.

- adding weight is important if you want more traction.

- dual wheel kits were offered on certain brands of GARDEN TRACTORS however, I've yet to see them having been offered on a LAWN TRACTOR.

I find it surprising that manufacturers would show cross-slope operation of a tractor when most Operator Manuals and Tractor Safety Manuals tell you emphatically not to do that. Now if the dealer who was adding the factory-endorsed duals to a customers tractor said to the customer that it was imperative to add wheel weights and load all the tires, then that would be different. The owner would not be relying solely on the duals to solve his cross-slope mowing problems.

What concerns me most about some threads that I see on forums is the total disregard for safety. We always have to be mindful that many people come across threads in various forums by sheer accident while conducting searches on the internet for information. It's one thing for six highly experienced mechanics to have a conversation amongst themselves and leave out certain procedures; because each of them knows that the others in that group are totally aware of those procedures. That is not the case with forums such as this one that are constantly read by people with little to no experience in tractor safety. They go down to the big box store, buy a tractor and take it home. The Op Manual gets put into a drawer or on a shelf along with the spare key and the warranty card. The Buyer is an instant expert because he or she has a valid drivers licence. Then they do something very stupid with the tractor that either hurts them or kills them. At that point, the phone starts ringing off the hook due to "ambulance chasers" calling and offering to sue the manufacturer, the store that sold the tractor and anyone else that comes to mind.

And yes, I've lost traction while descending a hill........just as you describe. Many years ago, there was a highly experienced dozer operator running a machine with a six-way blade during the winter. He was pushing snowbanks off the edge of a parking lot in a public works operation. He was travelling cross-slope when his dozer lost traction, slid into the river, rolled over on top of him and pinned him underwater. He drowned. It was a foreseeable and preventable death but his experience with his machine over-rode the safety rules.

#13 MF14 plowday special OFFLINE  

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Posted June 29, 2011 - 09:31 AM

Yes ... the safety issue
.... and people today don't have the common sense of previous generations IMO

.... I see lots of side hill mowing .... that I would never attempt !!!

#14 ducky ONLINE  

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Posted June 29, 2011 - 09:53 AM

I use the spacer method as most do. I have used duals for years to give my Massey 1855 the ability to handle a 2 row corn planter loaded with fertilizer in soft ground for years with out issues. We have heavy ground up here and a dual on the top wheel also helps with traction when plowing. I did get a little slip when plowing so I cut a couple of notchs out of each side of the spacer and welded a tabs to the wheels and no more slip.
I used the same method on my 4855 4 wheel drive as well.

#15 wvbuzzmaster ONLINE  

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Posted June 29, 2011 - 01:11 PM

I have a 1974 Gilson 16 HP gear drive tractor that came with original dual wheel kit (the spacers and the extra set of wheels and tires. In the brochure they are displayed on a Gilson like mine equipped with a FEL (mine has no FEL). My spacers bolt the to hubs to extend the second set of tires out (no big rings). The PO told me that he took them off because he was tired of tree climbing lol. I have yet to test his statement but he told me when you clip a tree the thing climbs it. The transaxle in my Gilson is a Peerless 2300 if I remember correctly, if that helps anyone. I would think that any Peerless 2300 transaxle that uses all 5 lug bolts (some use only 3 bolt hubs) would be capable of handling dual wheels with no problem at all.




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