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Author Topic: Tractor tires for the woods: R1, R1W, R2...or something else?  (Read 14622 times)

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Offline kentuckydiesel

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Tractor tires for the woods: R1, R1W, R2...or something else?
« on: January 26, 2012, 12:18:11 pm »
I have a John Deere 5200 (45hp MFWD tractor) with a 540 loader which I use every weekend to transport/stack logs, pile brush, etc.  The rears are starting to get worn, and on my hilly wet property, it has been getting pretty bad about sliding and rutting things up. 
Currently have 9.5-24 tires on the front, 13.6-28 on the rear.  My JD tire chart tells me I can go up to a 16.9-28 on the rear with the fronts I have, so that's the plan...just unsure about the tread.
I have only ever used R1 tires in the past on any of our tractors, but instead of the 90% rolling pasture work and 10% hill/woods work I am used to, I am now looking at 90% hill/woods work.  I considered a high floatation tire, but the cost of changing wheels and tires is a bit scary.  Now I am considering tires in either an R1W (w stands for "wet"-has deep lugs with a flatter tread) or an R2 (mud/water-has deep widely spaced lugs) tread.
Do any of you have any experience with going from an R1 to either of these other tread styles?  I think either would be better for mud, but I also have 2 months out of the year here where the ground is rock hard...plus my ground is rocky, so if either is bad for those situations, they are out.     

Thanks,
Phillip
Stihl 024 Woodboss
Homelite EZ-Automatic
Homelite Super 1050
John Deere 5200 MFWD w/540 loader
Northern Hydraulics wood splitter
'95 F350 CC DRW 4x4 Powerstroke
'85 F250 4x4, 6.9 diesel, Western Plow
'87 F800 w/dump, plow, and salter
Vermont Castings Defiant Encore 2190

Offline Corley5

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Re: Tractor tires for the woods: R1, R1W, R2...or something else?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2012, 05:12:24 pm »
Double Diamond ice chains for the tires you've got  :) ;D
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Offline OntarioAl

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Re: Tractor tires for the woods: R1, R1W, R2...or something else?
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2012, 05:18:40 pm »
+2 for the chains
Al
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Offline dsgsr

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Re: Tractor tires for the woods: R1, R1W, R2...or something else?
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2012, 06:00:18 pm »
+3 for the Ice chains. If you are going to get new tires, stay with R1,s  regular or wide and a heavy ply. They will be the best for mud and the chains will help with sliding on the hills and 2-months of hard ground. I've been logging with a tractor for 10-yrs. and the Ice chains are a happy medium between nothing and Canadian ring chains with cocks (ruff ride on a tractor).


David
Northlander band mill
Kubota M59 TLB
JD 5085M
Takeuchi TB175 Excavator
'08 Ford 550 dump

Offline Maine372

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Re: Tractor tires for the woods: R1, R1W, R2...or something else?
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2012, 07:08:58 pm »
r4 industrial tires. usually more plies than the ag tires. usually wider, squarer corners. lugs arent usually as deep, but put the chains to em and go.

Offline Ironwood

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Re: Tractor tires for the woods: R1, R1W, R2...or something else?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2012, 07:27:20 pm »
I ALWAYS change out tires to R4 (true R4, not the half r4 half r1 you see). I was eyeing a bigger tractor with 13.9x24 on the rear and the Titan Loader/Grader made the most sense. Your challenge will be finding a pair with the right ratio front to rear. You gotta have a little "lead" on the front as that is how the differentials are designed to work on the MFWD. TractorByNet has some forum discusions about conversions. You fronts seem REALLY BIG to me, but some larger tractors go to the very large fronts. The Titan Loader/Grader tires are not wide but REALLY tough true R4's. you may need to visit a few commercial tire shops t olook at what you can find in person, I never made any headway until I spied the Titans at my buddies local shop.


 Ironwood
There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love to do, there is only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.- Wayne Dyer

Offline bill m

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Re: Tractor tires for the woods: R1, R1W, R2...or something else?
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2012, 08:02:26 pm »
Stick with the R1 tires and put a set of chains on.

  These are what I use.
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Offline RSteiner

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Re: Tractor tires for the woods: R1, R1W, R2...or something else?
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2012, 06:57:38 am »
As Ironwood said make sure the rolling diameters of the front and rear tires are at the correct ratio or you will have expensive drive train problems.  Not all tires of the same width and rim diameter have  the same outside diameters. 

I use R-1's on my Kubota which spends 90% or its time in the woods.  The one draw back to field tires in the woods is they are more prone to punctures than a forestry tire.  Forestry tires have a tread much like the R-1 but with a little wider bar and a little less angle, almost in between an R-1 and an R-4.  Radial tractor tires also provide good traction even when they get worn down but cost a bit more.

Chains can improve traction and provide some protection to the tire but don't drive across the lawn with them on the tractor.  ;D 

Randy
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Offline Reddog

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Re: Tractor tires for the woods: R1, R1W, R2...or something else?
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2012, 10:09:02 am »
Because of rocks and slash I would stick to R1's, the more open mud treads will have a higher risk of getting cut or punctured.
R4's are terrible in mud and ice, the stiffer casing and harder compound make them much slicker, but does offer more protection from punctures and cuts.

As for chains they can be of great assistance, but on an open Rops tractor can kill you pretty quick. Chains like to pick up slash and small trees on unfrozen/no snow covered ground, which then can get pushed or swung around the control/seat area or jammed right through.

Offline kentuckydiesel

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Re: Tractor tires for the woods: R1, R1W, R2...or something else?
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2012, 10:23:25 am »
Right now the most obvious problem I'm seeing is that my rears are turning into slick mud-doughnuts in the deeper places.  Secondary problem is that they are not treating the ground very well as they are just too narrow. 

The 13.6-28 tires on the rear of my tractor were the smallest rears available on the 5000 series.  I really need to replace them because the tractor came to me with a fairly good set of 9.5-24 tires on the front, and according to the JD tire chart, I'm supposed to run 14.9-28 or 16.9-28 tires to match them.
Here is the tire chart for the JD 5210, which is the same as my tractor, just the next newer model number:
 

Because I need to replace rear tires to keep from having drivetrain issues, buying chains would be a while off yet.  I find it interesting that some of you are using R4 tread. On muddy slopes?
My experience with the industrial tread tires has been that they are worse than a nearly bald R1 in mud or on hills...really made for flat/compacted ground and on/off roads.  Even the tire company websites say they are not for mud or hills.  You guys have found different?  A specific brand?

I was thinking R1w because they have a wider/flatter tread contact area similar to flatness/width of an R4, but they also have deeper lugs than an R1.  Apparently they are what comes on most European tractors as they have boggy/hilly conditions but are on roads a lot too.  Supposed to be a high wet traction/high road traction/slow wearing tire, only sacrificing 7% or so of the pulling traction that R1s have in dry tilled soil (R1W lugs are wider spaced). 

I'm really liking the Firestone Radial All Traction DT R1W in 600/65R28 as they fit my diameter requirements, but unlike the standard tires, they are over 23" wide. Of course, that would mean widening my wheels by 6"...but I would probably be old and grey by the time I had to replace them.  They are higher load tires...so the casing should be nice and thick too.

-Phillip         


Stihl 024 Woodboss
Homelite EZ-Automatic
Homelite Super 1050
John Deere 5200 MFWD w/540 loader
Northern Hydraulics wood splitter
'95 F350 CC DRW 4x4 Powerstroke
'85 F250 4x4, 6.9 diesel, Western Plow
'87 F800 w/dump, plow, and salter
Vermont Castings Defiant Encore 2190

Offline bill m

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Re: Tractor tires for the woods: R1, R1W, R2...or something else?
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2012, 12:48:08 pm »
I run Titan tires on my tractor and have had great luck with them. In the R1 tires I think they have deeper lugs than most other brands. As for R4s they are useless in mud and snow. Using a tractor in the woods means doing things a little different than with a skidder. Anything I cut down no matter how small I cut flush to the ground and when limbing a tree I do not leave any stubs.
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Offline Norm

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Re: Tractor tires for the woods: R1, R1W, R2...or something else?
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2012, 01:21:11 pm »
Go with the Firestone's, their ag tires are the best out there.

Offline dsgsr

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Re: Tractor tires for the woods: R1, R1W, R2...or something else?
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2012, 06:52:38 pm »
Trust me, Go with the R-1's, just as heavy a ply and as wide as you can w/Ice chains. I log with R-4's and they are useless. I have Ice chains on them which makes them almost useless.


David
Northlander band mill
Kubota M59 TLB
JD 5085M
Takeuchi TB175 Excavator
'08 Ford 550 dump

Offline John Mc

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Re: Tractor tires for the woods: R1, R1W, R2...or something else?
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2012, 03:18:45 pm »
It's been quite a while since I nosed around about tractor tires. I thought R1w's were a lot wider than R1's... kind of like an R1 tread pattern put on an R4-shaped tire. If my recollection is right, you'd be looking at replacing your rims as well if you wanted to go to an R1w.

I've never even seen an R2 tire. I thought it was something you'd use in a "rice paddy" type situation? (Again, it's been so long since I considered this stuff, I could have everything all mixed up.)

I do second the recommendation of checking out Tractorbynet.com  There is not the concentration of logging/woods-work experience on there that there is here on FF, but there are a bunch of folks who really know the options when it comes to tractor tires. Like any internet site, you sometimes need a good BS detector... they have their share of folks with limited experience, but who think that their model tractor - or their tires, or their implement - is the best solution to any problem.  Like my signature tag-line says... "If the only tool you have is a hammer..."
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline kentuckydiesel

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Re: Tractor tires for the woods: R1, R1W, R2...or something else?
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2012, 08:59:47 am »
I thought R1w's were a lot wider than R1's... kind of like an R1 tread pattern put on an R4-shaped tire. If my recollection is right, you'd be looking at replacing your rims as well if you wanted to go to an R1w.

I've never even seen an R2 tire. I thought it was something you'd use in a "rice paddy" type situation? (Again, it's been so long since I considered this stuff, I could have everything all mixed up.)

R1W tires have wider tread for any given tire size, and they can generally be found in metric sizes which are usually wider for any given diameter, but same size "English measurement" tires in R1 or R1W use the same rim sizes.

From John Deere:
Quote
Tread designation - The tread designation is used to describe the tread and indicate tire usage.  Designs offered are all lug- or bar-type tires and are separated into one of three specifications: R1, R1W, or R2.
 

R1 is a standard tread and is used primarily for general dry-land farming.  These tires have the shortest lug height and the narrowest spacing between lugs.
 
R1W is a wet traction tread for wet, sticky soil conditions.  This tread fills the gap between R1 and R2 tires having a deeper lug with wider spacing than R1 tires but shorter and narrower than R2. R1W is defined as having a lug height about 20 percent deeper than an equivalent R1 tire, but this could vary from 15 to 35 percent depending on the tire and manufacturer.
 
R2 is a tread type used typically with cane and rice or other crops grown in wet muck or flooded fields. Tread depth of R2 tires is approximately twice as deep as R1 tires. R2 tires also have the widest spacing between lugs to allow mud to shed easier. The wide-spaced lugs can show extra wear and cause problems with vibration when roading. R2 tires may not pull as well as R1 or R1W tires in drier soil conditions found in most row-crop applications.
Typically, tires with R2 tread should be matched on the front and rear of a tractor while R1 and R1W treads can be mixed or matched on the same tractor to meet requirements or preference.
   

Anyway, I am going to be modifying my rims as I am going with wider than stock tires.  At this point it's just a matter of figuring out what will be the best bang for my buck.

-Phillip
Stihl 024 Woodboss
Homelite EZ-Automatic
Homelite Super 1050
John Deere 5200 MFWD w/540 loader
Northern Hydraulics wood splitter
'95 F350 CC DRW 4x4 Powerstroke
'85 F250 4x4, 6.9 diesel, Western Plow
'87 F800 w/dump, plow, and salter
Vermont Castings Defiant Encore 2190