Garden Tractor Forums banner
21 - 40 of 47 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Lawn tractors will pull a surprising load with a 14.5 hp engine, as long as the load is on wheels and there are no slopes involved.

In general, LT transaxles are limited to a maximum static load of 600 - 700 lb, including the operator, but not including the rims and tires and any ballast applied to them.

The lack of weight carried by the rear wheels is the limiting factor for pulling loads with your tractor. The engine is big enough to tow a 7000 lb trailer when installed in a heavier tractor that can carry more ballast.
Yes surprisingly it does have impressive pulling power but if the pulling power was better it would really help!

Kind regards
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Glycol based fluid such as Antifreeze tends to make rubber go a bit soft. I wouldn't use it in tubes.

I had a set of tubed tires on a garden tractor loaded with Antifreeze and they started leaking after a couple of years. Once I got them drained (which took a very long time to do without making a huge mess) I pulled the tubes out and both of them felt like a slimy wet noodle. The antifreeze must have been seeping through the thin rubber, I could not find any holes in the tubes but they were both very slimy and soft.

Alcohol based Windshield washer fluid isn't quite as heavy but it works good in tubes. Windshield washer fluid can be alot cheaper as well. Some of our local auto parts places have the -20F blue stuff on sale for around $2.50 a gallon from time to time.
Thanks for letting me know!
 

·
Tractorholic
Joined
·
575 Posts
Yes surprisingly it does have impressive pulling power but if the pulling power was better it would really help!

Kind regards
Load the rear tires with windshield washer antifreeze or plumbing antifreeze. While it will work with tubes, it is messy and time consuming when either filling or emptying. It is better with tubeless tires.

The second step for ballasting is to add wheel weights and 2-link tire chains.

The third step is to add about 150 lb of weight to the rear of the tractor.

The above combination will pretty much max out the axle capacity for load carrying, and put it at some risk for torque capability, but it will result in a substantial increase in pulling power.

As with any piece of equipment, the closer you get to maximum performance, the shorter the service life becomes. We constantly receive requests from LT owners for assistance because they regularly used their tractors on steep grades and reduced the hydro transmission service life by 80% in the process.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
sometimes it just doesn't move and it clicks under heavy load
Well..

What i would do in your position is just have realistic expectations. It sounds like the possibilities for your machine started in the 'low-to-medium' range and might have gone down to 'really low' if it makes a clicking noise and doesn't move. That's not engine or belts.. almost certainly internal to trans. Might have some already partially stripped teeth skipping across each other as the shafts flex apart from each other, etc.

The good thing, things that 'look like a riding mower', most people can't tell the difference between one with a lot of pulling potential and one without, so you can often find a 'good starting point' for pretty cheap because the person who has it might think it's 'just another riding mower'.

So i would keep your eyes out for the next project with better bones for pulling. Anything you learn on the current machine along the way will be put to use again in the future, so as long as you're not sinking a crazy amount of time or money, or getting demotivated and giving up, it's all good in the end.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Well..

What i would do in your position is just have realistic expectations. It sounds like the possibilities for your machine started in the 'low-to-medium' range and might have gone down to 'really low' if it makes a clicking noise and doesn't move. That's not engine or belts.. almost certainly internal to trans. Might have some already partially stripped teeth skipping across each other as the shafts flex apart from each other, etc.

The good thing, things that 'look like a riding mower', most people can't tell the difference between one with a lot of pulling potential and one without, so you can often find a 'good starting point' for pretty cheap because the person who has it might think it's 'just another riding mower'.

So i would keep your eyes out for the next project with better bones for pulling. Anything you learn on the current machine along th
e way will be put to use again in the future, so as long as you're not sinking a crazy amount of time or money, or getting demotivated and giving up, it's all good in the end.
Good idea! I think I will take a look for a quad though due to more speed and power
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
55,656 Posts

·
Tractorholic
Joined
·
575 Posts
Good idea! I think I will take a look for a quad though due to more speed and power
Again, power is not the answer for pulling. Weight is. Neither is speed. Hard, sudden stops tend to break things.

Your tractor could weigh as much as 650 - 700 lb when properly ballasted. The difference between that and a quad is that the bulk of the weight is carried by the two drive tires, not spread out to all four tires as on a quad.

I have a 16 hp GT that is more than capable of out pulling two or three quads at the same time. Why? Because it weighs 2465 lb with all-up ballast weight.

How much difference does weight make? 800 hp JD vs18 hp.steam.

 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,154 Posts
Weight and low gearing on the steam tractor wins! Also, look at the angle of the tow rope. The JD rear end is being lifted up by the pull on the rope reducing traction.
 

·
Tractorholic
Joined
·
575 Posts
The angle of the tow bar is insignificant when compared to the weight difference between the 18 hp steam tractor and the 800 hp JD. Even when the steamer had its rear tires down in the trenches dug by the JD and the JD was on undisturbed ground with the tow bar almost dead level on the last pull, the steamer still walked away.

The purpose of posting the video is to show that more horsepower does not affect pulling power nearly as much as more weight. Even with a tow bar that is attached at the same height on two tractors that are the same except for the load on the rear tires, the tractor with more weight on the drive tires will outpull the other even if there is a 1.25% hp advantage for the other tractor. It is, after all, an extreme example when compared to the 44.44% advantage in this video.

Likewise, the low gearing is irrelevant. Whether high or low, once traction is broken, the tractor with the spinning tires loses. There-in lies the difference between torque and horsepower.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,154 Posts
Understood. My point was that it was never a fair match to start with. Traction is key. Weight and surface area in contact with the ground factor in. It clearly shows the difference in technology used and the different design priorities considered between a modern pulling tractor and a vintage steam traction unit. HP = torque x rpm x K. I think gearing is relevant to pulling loads. If you are not traction limited then the torque at the wheels will be the limit and that depends on available HP at the working RPM and the gear ratio. If you have a lot of traction you can still move a lot of weight with a few HP, you just can’t move it quickly.
 
21 - 40 of 47 Posts
Top