My DIY Tire Drag Sled v1.0
I might be taking the week off from the gym, but I’m not taking the entire week off from working out.
My tire drag sled!
I’ve been wanting to get back to doing conditioning. Sure I walk to/from the gym, but it’s not enough… makes for a good warm up and cool down, but doesn’t really do much for my conditioning levels. There was a short time where a guy brought his Prowler to the gym and that was awesome, but he stopped coming at that hour. I tried sprints, but it was hell on my knees and shins. Machines at the gym are boring as hell and don’t work me enough. I’d do hill sprints… if there were hills around here within easy distance (I’m not going to drive an hour just to sprint). I’d love my own Prowler, but they are costly and they’re going to make a LOT of noise. I’m trying to be somewhat considerate of my neighbors. A drag sled would be cheaper, but being a sheet of metal would still be loud. I read a lot about these tire drag sleds and figured why not give it a try.
My goal? Improve conditioning. If it helps me shed some fat? I certainly would like that end result. But I really do just want to bring up my conditioning levels because getting winded sucks.
I stopped into a small Mom & Pop auto repair shop on the drive home from the A-Zone range and asked if they had a tire I could have. They had a stack, gave me one. Awesome. Cost me nothing but a little time and trouble, and it was very kind of them to just give me a tire. Thinking about it tho, next time I might seek a truck tire instead of just any old tire, as a truck tire will be a bit bigger and heavier.
I’ve been researching ways to put this together. There are a zillion ways online, but here’s what I did.
- 25′ of 5/8″ nylon rope.
- 2 3/8″ eye bolts, with nut
- 4 3/8″ fender washers
- some scrap wood
- a patio deck block
I took my drill, inserted a 3/8″ bit, and drilled 2 holes in the tire.
I just picked a spot for the first hole, and opted to drill it just above the midline in hopes that will affect the balance of things and keep the tire flat on the ground (instead of putting it at midline or below it, or even too close to the edge). In terms of where to put the other eye bolt? I just held my hands out and measured that way — it’s basically “shoulder width” apart.
It’s a little tough getting the bolts in there, due to all the steel belting, but just keep working at it. I did opt to put a fender washer on each side, to ensure a good hold, but no need for anything like a lock washer since the tire will give enough and should put ample backpressure on the nut to keep things secure.
I took the rope and cut it in half. I tied large loops in one end using a double bowline knot. These will be the handles. I wanted thick rope to make it easier to grab, and large loops so it doesn’t compress my hands too much when pulling. The double bowline should remain secure. I must admit this is NOT the material I wanted to use… the rope doesn’t hold the knot very well, and I probably should have gotten 30′ instead of 25′ because I lost a lot more than I anticipated to the knots… it’s just thick and doesn’t hold very well, tho you can pull VERY hard and get the knots to tighten up better. I would have loved chains, but that would be very costly. I did look at tiedown straps, but they all would come with a ratchet and I don’t need it and the price was just getting too costly.
The other end of the rope was tied in a sliding knot. I forget what it is… it’s not a two-half hitches nor a taught-line hitch, but a similar variant. I figured a sliding knot would be necessary so I could fine tune the rope lengths to ensure they were the same size after all this knot tying. I opted to go for 2 separate rope handles because I felt that might be a little more secure and might give me some more options in pulling… but I could be wrong… it could become hampering if I try to do things like sideways pulls. But we’ll see. There are so many options out there on how to make a sled.
I had some scrap wood that happened to be just the right size to fit in and fill the tire. I did have to use my circular saw to cut it in half so it would go in, but that’s all I did.. just cut, put it into the tire, and let it be. No securing it down, nothing. It should be fine.
And then finally there’s the patio block to provide some weight. I weighed the whole contraption and it’s about 80#. My understanding is, for my goals, that’s potentially a lot of weight…. maybe too much to start with. I might start with just the tire itself to break myself into it. Start light, even too light.
In the end it cost me about $25, most of that for the rope. The eye bolts and nuts were $0.85 each, the 4 fender washers $127, the patio block was like $6, and the rope made up the rest of it. Of course, the more you use junk you have lying around the house, the cheaper this project can be.
I paced off 75 yards up and down the street outside my house. My goal? Lift Mon/Thu, drag the tire Tue/Fri. I have some simple routines from Andy Bolton and I’ll start with those and see how I do. It won’t be just a pure drag. I’ll probably do some light stretching, basic calesthenics to get my body warmed up, then drag, and a little cooldown and stretching. I doubt it’ll take me more than 30 minutes.
We’ll see how it goes.