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Lowering a M149A2 Water Buffalo Trailer??

tmuenster

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I am considering buying a M149A2 water buffalo trailer to use at my farm. The trailer would be pulled mostly with my tractor so it would be nice if the water buffalo set a little lower. Does anyone know if these trailers can be easily lowered? Maybe swap out the springs or remove a suspension shackle? Smaller tires? Thanks for any advice.

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glcaines

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I have an M149A2 water buffalo trailer with a 400-gallon stainless steel tank like the one you have pictured. I pull it around on my 40 acres with my John Deere 5520 tractor. It works great. However, you have to be careful, especially if you are on uneven or hilly ground. The water will slosh around and you can flip the trailer and or tractor if your tractor isn't big and heavy enough. My JD 5520 is a very large tractor. I also have a smaller JD 4600 tractor and I learned the hard way not to use it to pull the water buffalo with a load of water in it. I also pull the water buffalo with my M35A3 deuce. Why do you want to lower the water buffalo? This would not be easy and modifications will diminish the value. Just make certain you have a large enough tractor to handle the weight and especially the sloshing of the water.
 

tmuenster

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Gary,
Thank you for your advice and sharing your experience. I have a Kubota L6060 which is a midsized tractor that I think is a bit smaller than your JD 5520. I read the M149 Water Buffalos have a high center of gravity and the free surface effect of the water makes them prone to overturning. My thought was by lowering the tank closer to the ground then it would be less likely to tip. I’ve been filling some 300 gallon totes and pulling them around on my equipment trailer or in my dump trailer. It seems to work ok but it would be nice to have a dedicated water buffalo.
Thanks again,
Tom
 

juanprado

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The easiest thing to do if just low speed and not on the highway is to dual the tires. In the first sandbox, that was a field modification to make them more stable and traction in sand. Just need to use the appropriate thimbles and outer nuts with 2 more rims flipped dish in. These rims and tires are cheap and easy to find.
The wheel bearings and hubs will be fine as long as you are not barreling down the interstate at 80 mph with a full tank....
M200 Gen set trailers use duals as a reference and almost the same running gear.

Or, Change the tires to a smaller size but make sure you can find tubes for the smaller size you change to.

YMMV
 

tmuenster

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JuanPrado,

Thanks for the excellent suggestion. I would not use the water buffalo on the highway so no issues there. The ”dually“ setup sounds like it would be an excellent way to improve the stability without having to lower the suspension.

I did find a guy in South Dakota that has a business recycling aircraft tires for farm use. He suggested the setup below. The tire is 36” tall and 11” wide. How tall are the M149 tires?

Thanks,
Tom

Www.FarmLandingsLLC.com



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juanprado

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Specs I found on the interwebs say 41.2 for the 900x20.

The bolt pattern looks right but need to know more about the rims and tires. Also need to see the weight rating to make sure you are safe. Cool rim if 20 inch and one piece, folks around here would gobble them up.

The military has gone to a one piece modern wheel that is tubeless to replace some of these older 900x20 set ups but I have not seen any surplused. I live in New Orleans and see many trains going through here with military equipment and eyeballed them. What I reference is not the 10R22.5 one piece as those are out there but require different lugs and studs. Typically they are all right hand and not right/left as the older trailers.
 

msgjd

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all those things you and other's mention will help .. have you also considered rotating the axle 180* and bolting it to the top of the springs? .. Being you aren't going to road the trailer, it won't care about the change in camber and would very slightly increase the wheeltrack width (stability).. I no longer have an M149A2 (stainless cylindrical) and don't recall if the U-bolt plates, clearances, and other mating surfaces will allow this mod or be strong enough
 

tmuenster

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I found a tech manual for the M149 Water Buffalo and researched the suspension. The suspension appears to be very well engineered like a lot of military equipment. The suspension includes a radius rod, shocks, and leaf springs. I don’t think I would want to try to flip the axle to top side of the springs and eliminate the shocks and radius rod assembly. However, it was a great suggestion to rotate the axle to the top springs.

Adding dual tires seems like the best option if I proceed with buying the M149. Leave it to the Soldiers of the US Army to come up with a solution like that during a war. I salute those Soldiers for thier ingenuity.

Thank you to msgid, juanpardo, and glcaines for sharing your expertise and opinions. The SteelSoldiers community is incredibly helpful and I am grateful for your assistance.


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Tinstar

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IMG_2770.jpeg

Grabbed a set of these in March for $25
Still haven’t installed them yet
They look to be a bit wider footprint so that will help.
I also tow it around the ranch with
my M1008A1 and my Yanmar YT359C tractor.
Both do well but you do have to really pay attention when partially filled.
 

juanprado

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View attachment 927506

Grabbed a set of these in March for $25
Still haven’t installed them yet
They look to be a bit wider footprint so that will help.
I also tow it around the ranch with
my M1008A1 and my Yanmar YT359C tractor.
Both do well but you do have to really pay attention when partially filled.
Using those rims requires different nuts. Right hand lugs are available. Oe uses right on both sides. I am having trouble finding left lugs.

I do not want to go the trouble and expense of changing the left studs.
 
Last edited:

gringeltaube

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Using those rims requires different nuts. Right hand lugs are available. Oe uses right on both sides. I am having trouble finding left lugs.

I do not want to go the trouble and expense of changing the left studs.
If it was mine I would simply modify those holes to fit our std lug nuts...

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tmuenster

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I was giving this matter more consideration and is there any reason the tires could not be turned “dish out” and reinstalled? The new tire track width would be nearly as wide as having the dually setup but not require the additional tire.

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Mullaney

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I was giving this matter more consideration and is there any reason the tires could not be turned “dish out” and reinstalled? The new tire track width would be nearly as wide as having the dually setup but not require the additional tire.

View attachment 927512
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That would work.
It just puts more strain on the wheel bearings.
If you keep them greased and examined regularly - that could still work.
 
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