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Old 05-04-2008, 08:23 PM posted to
Nonnymus[_5_] Nonnymus[_5_] is offline
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Grant Erwin wrote:
Nunya Bidnits wrote:
Nonnymus wrote:

Dumb question from old Nonny for you smart guys out there to answer:

Why do the tires on gas grills usually have "lugs" on them? Why
aren't they smooth? They are just pushed and not self-driven. I
bought a lawn cart with military-style lug tires and wondered about
it, also, since I pulled it with the tractor.

... maybe its to keep them from sliding around on slick wet muddy

Or maybe the lugs help keep the molded tires from collapsing?


Since the grills are pulled, and since the lugs run side-to-side, they'd
have almost the opposite effect from keeping the grill from sliding side
to side, IMHO. Likewise, the side-to-side lugs probably don't do as
much to strengthen the tires as would ribs running around the periphery.
I'm not an engineer, so I cannot say for sure. They sure as heck
serve no purpose I can fathom on a lawn cart, pulled by a tractor. In
fact, the side-to-side ribs would permit the cart to slide sideways
traversing a hillside, I'd think.

Old Nonny's going to be offline for a while as Mrs. Nonny and I take a
little vacation. Since my comment above included lawn carts sliding
sideways, I'm going to post below something I once wrote as part of the
all too true Big Jim sagas. They cover several memorable occasions with
my best friend. This has nothing to do with barbecue, so since I'll be
gone, please wait until I return to flame me for being off topic. grin

As a matter of fact, if I get a chance before departing, I'll post a
little thing I did for some cruise friends about the southern equivalent
of low and high tea- as told for New Yorker consumption.


The Great Tractor Race

Years ago, my best friend in the world was a neighbor that we'll call
Big Jim. Big Jim was
one of the kindest-hearted men who ever walked this earth. and was a
fellow that would
come to your house at 4:00 am in an emergency, or would shovel your
driveway if you
weren't home when it snowed. This very factual tale of Big Jim hails
from the time that
I decided to break up and haul away a concrete parking area, so that I
could install footers
and build a new garage adjoining my home.

To do this, I rented an air compressor and jack hammer- starting to work
at 7:00 am on
a Saturday morning. Big Jim heard all the racket, and by 7:30, he was
down at the house
with his beloved Cub Cadet garden tractor and trailer to give me a hand.
Although my
own tractor/mower was a diesel John Deere 650 4-WD, we had identical
trailers and
frequently worked together blowing snow, mowing empty lots and helping
out the others in
the neighborhood. We quickly decided that the best place to dump the
broken up concrete
slab would be along a creek behind Big Jim's home, since he had been
experiencing erosion.

By noon, the slab was just broken rubble, since Big Jim and I took turns
on the jackhammer.
Big Jim grabbed some lunch while I returned the compressor and
jackhammer; by 2:00 that
afternoon, we were back at work. Each trailer measured about 4' wide by
5' long and had
sides of about 16" tall, so weight was more of a factor than volume,
when considering the
small tractors we had.

Years earlier, we had cut a path down the steep hillside to reach the
behind Big Jim's house The path was almost straight down the hillside,
ending in a culvert
pipe we'd pushed into the creek and back filled with crushed stone.
Unfortunately, the
culvert pipe had actually floated briefly before sinking to the bottom
of the stream,
moving about six feet downstream. Since the path had already been cut
and the culvert had
been intended to align with the path, the floating downstream caused our
path to take a six foot
jog at the bottom of the hill. Big Jim's huge garden lay on the other
side of the creek.
All told, I'd guess that the drop from Big Jim's lawn to the culvert
pipe was at least 35'
and the water in the creek lay at least another four feet below the
sides of the stream bed.

It was hotter than Hades that afternoon, and Big Jim and I treated
ourselves to a number
of Old Crown beers to stave off the heat, and as a reward for doing so
much work in just
one day. We loaded the trailers with the rubble until the tires began to
bulge, and then
made the first of ten or twelve trips to Big Jim's and then down to the
creek. After every
other load, we'd go back down to my house and sip another Old Crown
while loading up the
trailers for yet another trip.

Toward evening, I have to admit that Big Jim and I had enjoyed "loading
up" in another
sense as well. The "final load" we put in each of the trailers would
have easily been
two loads earlier in the day. Rather than bulging slightly, the tires on
our trailers
were absolutely FLAT. To celebrate the final load, we grabbed the last
two beers and
headed up to Big Jim's to dump the debris.

Big Jim and I have always been a mite competitive and "racing tractors"
is just a
natural extension of that competition. My John Deere 650 Diesel 4-WD
tractor's owner's
manual states authoritatively that the top governed speed of the tractor
is 10.56 mph.
That means the International Harvester Cub Cadet that Big Jim owned must
do 10.57 mph,
since by the time we reached his yard with that final load, he had a
good 4' lead on me.

We bounced across the curb at Big Jim's house, raced up his driveway and
swung wide to miss the side of his garage. The race continued across his
side yard and the tractors screamed as we continued the race behind his
house, behind his swimming pool and through the gate leading to the
hillside and trail. By the time we cleared the gate, the rear gate of
Big Jim's
trailer was easily 5-6' ahead of the weights on the front of my John Deere.
Clearly, Big Jim had won the race.

The balance of that afternoon is engraved on my mind permanently in
individual scenes
.. . . almost as if they were a slide show. The first scene is Big Jim
turning around in
the tractor seat, giving me his biggest grin and also giving me the
finger as he
graciously accepted winning the race. The next scene is Big Jim
screaming "Oh Shit!"
as he realizes that he has just crested the very steep hill at full
throttle, pulling
approximately a ton of concrete rubble behind his little garden tractor.
The third
image is of Big Jim's beer can being extruded straight upward almost 10'
in the air,
as Big Jim clenches his fist and prepares for the most terrifying ride
of his life.

With my own heavier tractor and 4-WD, I easily managed to slow my John
Deere at the
crest of the hill, as Big Jim was setting the new land speed record for
toward a creek. I carefully drove down the hill and jumped off the
tractor, raced to
the bridge and into the cloud of dust, fully expecting to see Big Jim in
the creek-
or perhaps even trapped under the tractor.

As the dust cleared, the first sight to emerge was the churned-up trail
where Big Jim
had thrown his hydrostatic transmission into full reverse in a vain
attempt to slow
down. At the bottom of the hill, with two wheels on the bridge, one
wheel on the trail
and one wheel over the creek bank was Big Jim- still seated on his
tractor. The
trailer had jackknifed and emptied itself in the creek, after tearing
loose from the

I ran up to Big Jim shouting to see if he was OK. His response was
simply, "Go on home. I need to get up to the house." It was then that
I suspected the worst. While he would never admit it, Big Jim had wet

I awoke with a headache the next morning, but managed to drive my
tractor up to Big
Jim's home. Together, we pulled his trailer out of the creek and took it
up to the
house for repair. I thanked him for the help and we sat and talked for
a while. Big
Jim summarized that previous afternoon with the simple statement, "You
know, Nonny,
the problem ain't in the going, its IN THE STOPPING."

The incident was never discussed again- except for whenever my good wife
is around Big
Jim and his wife. Then, she always seemed to steer the conversation
around to tractors,
grown men racing, too much beer, wild rides and sudden incontinence.


Never believe a person who is
Drunk, Horny or Running for Office.