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post #1 of 16 Old 08-18-2014, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Traction?

One of the areas of physics which gives me the most trouble is the interaction of area, friction, and applied force. Thought it might be interesting to knock this around a bit.

Here's a link to a high powered John Deere competition tractor pulling against an aged steam tractor. Weight and pulling angle win out.


A 850 H.P. John Deere diesel vs. a steam tractor rated 18 H.P?


http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=FLQhvruimfs


I wonder at what point the extra weight of the steamer would be negated by the larger tire contact area (apparently) of the rubber tired tractor?

Last edited by klr4evr; 08-18-2014 at 11:33 PM.
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post #2 of 16 Old 08-18-2014, 02:13 PM
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I would be interested to see what would happen if the hitch/attachment point on each piece of machinery was at the same height instead of the hitch on the steam engine being markedly higher even before the JD started digging into the ground. The higher hitch/attachment point on the SE would tend to help the SE lift the JD's tires off the ground while the JD would be pulling the SE's wheels down into the ground with even more force than the weight of the SE alone.

Who knows? There may be some "hitch height formula" they've devised to try to keep things more equal during these head-to-head pulloffs. It seemed the JD was completely outmatched by that old behemoth.

It would also seem to me to be an advantage of the steam engine's "tires" that they wouldn't flex like the tires on the JD.

Do they put fluid in pulling tractor tires like they do in farm tractor tires? I would imagine that steam engine weighs considerably more than that JD tractor, perhaps even twice as much if not more. I bet one wheel off that steam engine weighs more than both rear tires on the JD. In the case of these two battling machines, I would stay the steam engine has a big advantage due to its immense weight.

It might also be largely a matter of design. The JD is obviously capable of spinning its wheels at high speeds while the SE engine is not. The SE is probably really not capable of travelling any faster than it does in this video: the rear wheels can only turn so fast no matter how much power is applied to them.

Here's a video of another steam engine pulling a sled as far as it can and it finally just kind of runs out of oomph without the wheels ever spinning at all.


I would also note other descriptions of the original video refer to that particular JD as a "drag tractor" and it doesn't really look like a pulling tractor, so I'm sure it's been modified for higher speeds rather than for brute torque and traction so it would be at even more of a disadvantage in a pulloff no matter how many HP it boasts. It's possible the same tractor in its original configuration would have fared better than this modified one. As modern tractors go, it's pretty small.




Last edited by planalp; 08-18-2014 at 04:04 PM.
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post #3 of 16 Old 08-18-2014, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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The spinning traction question is another which interests me. I've been told by some competitor friends that moto-cross tires are intended to give good traction while spinning while trials are intended to give best traction while not spinning. They ran trials tires on the MX bikes they use for trails at the cottage in order to reduce tearing up of the trails. I've played with both sorts of tires and this seems to hold.

On the other hand, a spinning tire in a dirt or other aggregate would seem to have the tendency to break away material due to the impact of the treads. This would seem to suggest that a tire which digs in without spinning should provide better thrust. Using the back or side of an axle to snap branches from a log seems to be the same action, requiring less effort than bending to snap them off.

These actions seem to be similar to your low range scenario which mirrors my experience with 4 wheel drive.

It would be helpful, or at least interesting to better understand this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by planalp View Post
I would be interested to see what would happen if the hitch/attachment point on each piece of machinery was at the same height instead of the hitch on the steam engine being markedly higher even before the JD started digging into the ground. The higher hitch/attachment point on the SE would tend to help the SE lift the JD's tires off the ground while the JD would be pulling the SE's wheels down into the ground with even more force than the weight of the SE alone.

Who knows? There may be some "hitch height formula" they've devised to try to keep things more equal during these head-to-head pulloffs. It seemed the JD was completely outmatched by that old behemoth.

It would also seem to me to be an advantage of the steam engine's "tires" that they wouldn't flex like the tires on the JD.

Do they put fluid in pulling tractor tires like they do in farm tractor tires? I would imagine that steam engine weighs considerably more than that JD tractor, perhaps even twice as much if not more. I bet one wheel off that steam engine weighs more than both rear tires on the JD. In the case of these two battling machines, I would stay the steam engine has a big advantage due to its immense weight.

It might also be largely a matter of design. The JD is obviously capable of spinning its wheels at high speeds while the SE engine is not. The SE is probably really not capable of travelling any faster than it does in this video: the rear wheels can only turn so fast no matter how much power is applied to them.

Here's a video of another steam engine pulling a sled as far as it can and it finally just kind of runs out of oomph without the wheels ever spinning at all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln17jYbVkfQ
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post #4 of 16 Old 08-18-2014, 04:21 PM
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Yeah, I don't know. I'm not an authority on traction, but I'm starting to think the Kawasaki engineers should have come out with a steam-powered KLR sporting cast-iron "tires." My requirements for good traction always outweigh my requirements for speed.



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post #5 of 16 Old 08-18-2014, 07:15 PM
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I remember pulling a large plow with a John Deere diesel tractor on the farm in heavy clay and the tires (with fluid) would just slip a little as the tractor was pulling... I'm guessing the tractor was right at it's traction threshold... Work girl work!

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post #6 of 16 Old 09-24-2015, 08:48 PM
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I was on the South side of 'Green Mountain' just southeast of Jeffery City, WY a few weeks ago. Riding on a near 'Bald' Avon rear 'Gripster'. I chose an overgrown, washed out, rutted 4X4 road to 'Maybe' access the top.

The 4 stroke, low rpm torque of the KLR, carried me up with very little drama. Had I been on my 2 stroke KX500, it may have been spinning its rear tire considerable more. Inspite of being equipped with near new Knobby tire, on a considerably lighter bike.

Power delivery and power curve (band) difference is sort of like the Steam Engine vs the JD diesel competition tractor!

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post #7 of 16 Old 11-29-2015, 11:40 PM
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The wider rubber tires on the Deere spread the
weight out further than the steamer, too.


This video isn't what we'd experience in a car or m/c but I'm just tossing
out that some tall, skinny cage tires such as 70's or 75's aspect ratio with
a narrow contact patch are best for rain and snow traction. The driving and
steering weight is more concentrated. The tradeoff is that it's easier to spin
the wheel in sand or mud and end up digging in. The wider tires would get
further in loose muck. Pickup truck snow tires in particular seem to always
be narrow and tall with a gnarly zig zag tread. Must all be for a reason.

Good videos.

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post #8 of 16 Old 12-01-2015, 02:01 AM
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In mud a narrower tire with big lugs/knobs can cut down through the sloppy mud to a firmer base.

I stopped while ridding on the TCAT in Saskatchewan to check out the rig in the photos. It might have a better chance against the steam tractor, but how would you like to buy tires for it? I like the tow strap on the front in case it gets stuck, but if it does, who do you call for a tow?.
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Last edited by GoMotor; 12-01-2015 at 02:06 AM.
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post #9 of 16 Old 12-01-2015, 04:00 AM
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Hi GoMotor, the next time your riding TCAT in Saskatchewan give us a heads up at the Saskatchewan Dual Sport Club! We have a great core group of riders that can guide - show you a few extras!
Cheers!
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post #10 of 16 Old 12-01-2015, 11:02 AM
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I personally think that the tow line attachment plate looks more than just a "little flimsy" on that modern Case tractor!
I wouldn't count on it, in a stuck situation.

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