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Tires giving TOO much traction?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Chuck Smith, Apr 22, 2001.

  1. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    I got an e mail from a guy telling me about these new tires by Toyo. He thinks the increase in traction caused him to snap 3 front axles on his 73 Blazer.

    http://www.toyo.com/tires/tire_lines/broad/observe.html

    Here's what he said:
    "I recently tryed a new set of ice compound tires (microbit compound TM.) apparently these tire have ground up walnut shells in the rubber mix. They made it a different truck on ice. The braking was most dramatically improved. I had much less wheel spin when pushing under near 32 degree conditions. But here is the surprise. Maybe this is just co incidence but In a week and a half of heavy snow, I broke 3 front drive axles pushing heavy snow using these tires. I put my old tires back on the front . I left the Toyos on the rear. I couldnt afford to keep replacing front axles. Now if the snow load is too heavy my front wheels can spin instead.
    The tires were made by Toyo, Observe was the model. I put a set of four tires on a rear wheel Ford that I was contemplating takig off the road for the winter due to the poor handling. (Im spoiled now by front wheel drive.)
    And it too is a different vehicle, so I wound up leaving it on all winter. With the increase of freezing rain in our area, these tires will really make a difference."

    Anyone else try these type of tires?

    ~Chuck
     
  2. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    Pretty interesting.:cool:

    Don't know if you can blame the tire's for the axles being broke.

    Like to see if anyone else is using them.
     
  3. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031

    Actually, I could see that happening. We all know how our four-wheel-drive systems "bind" when used on dry pavement, so if these tires actually do have that much traction in snow and on ice, then it could have the same effect as dry pavement would. I think previous wear and tear probably had something to do with it as well, but it is possible that the tires threw gas on the fire... so to speak.

    -Tim
     
  4. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    Slim, you made a valid point. The thing that gets me, is that he snapped 3, not 2 axles. He didn't say if it was the same shaft he replaced 3 times, or if he snapped each of the front axle shafts once, and then snapped one of the replacement shafts.

    Slim, what you said about the tires having too much traction is what I was thinking. My truck has the same front axle as that Blazer, and I only snapped an axle shaft once. I cracked the "ears" off both halves of the axle shaft, but it was my own fault. The u joint was bad, and I had to finish my route, so to me, it was a calculated risk. I had one more driveway to go, and I did finish it, and then snapped the shaft.

    Also, heavy wet snow was a factor here, and an increase in traction with such a heavy load in front of the plow certainly added to the force applied to those front axle shafts. My front tires sure do spin when the snow is heavy, wet, and deep.

    I just wonder what stops the tires from "rotting" with an organic material embedded in the rubber.....

    ~Chuck
     
  5. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031

    Chuck,

    Don't forget, it's not only the alxe that wears. The gears, the axle housing, bearings, etc. all wear as well. As each of these components wear out, it may or may not put more strain on the axles themselves. That's what I meant. Yes, if it snapped the same axle shaft 3-times, those are some serious snow tires... but I would also look at what else could be causing the problem.

    -Tim
     
  6. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    Aside from the traction/front end parts breakage issue, there's one other thing I'm wondering: I understand that generally the "stickier" the tire the quicker it wears due to the rubber being softer, so I wonder what the service life of a set of these tires would be like? Anyone have any experience with them, or have they not been on the market long enough to really know yet?
     
  7. Deere John

    Deere John Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    Back in my wilder days of 6" lifts and 35" Ground Hawgs, I too learned the hard way about torquing too hard on the fuel with the wheels fully turned. I went through two sets on the driver's side in two weeks. I was shown the pattern of the failure of the joints by my mechanic helper, and basically, they self destructed because of the u-joint not being able to fully function at full steer at full power (we were bogging at the time). The joint that failed was the one that was on the inside of the turn both times.

    I solved that problem by backing out the steering stops to limit the steering angle. The price I paid then was turning radius.

    I agree that too much traction combined with the amount of right foot needed to plow wet snow could break these parts. However, I don't know that the effect of the tires would be that extreme that 3 sets would go just on account of the tires. Maybe the axle is slightly bent, were the u-joints worn or not correctly installed? Did the needle bearings get renewed at the time of rebuild? I have heard of guys plowing with four chains and breaking parts (rear parts too), but that's a level of magnitude higher up the using-a-truck-to-do-a-loader's-job scale.

    I don't want to open up a can of worms here :rolleyes: , but the advent of the CV-joint has eliminated alot of annual maintenance for me, and the annoyances of torque steer. Me thinks that in the longer term, they are less expensive to operate too.
     
  8. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031

    Rob,

    We do a lot of snow-tires on the Mercedes & BMW's we sell at work, and yes they are a softer compound. But, they are only meant for the winter season. If you don't drive like a mad man, and put them on and take em off at the right time of the season, you can get anywhere from 3-6 years out of a set of snow tires. I'm assuming the same would apply to the "Observe" tires. Although, plowing, I don't think the 6-year mark is very realistic.

    -Tim
     
  9. plowjockey

    plowjockey PlowSite.com Sponsor
    Messages: 622

    All this tire talk is making me "nuts".:D: