Lawn tractors are inarguably the key tool to garden and lawn maintenance. While most garden owners
know how to groom and operate a mower and keep its blades in top shape, not the same is true about a part that’s very often taken for granted. That one, just as important part, is the tires.
Just like any other part of a tool that operates in varied and often harsh conditions, tires are also pretty likely to become damaged or worn out with use. That leads to the question as to how prepared you are to detect issues and select the proper replacement tires.
Points to Consider Before You Buy
It is absolutely vital to choose tires that match the requirements of your lawn terrain. If you have a relatively flat surface to cover, less grip power would suffice. For a mower that you push along, metal or plastic is just fine. If, however, you are going to ride a lawn tractor, go for the inflatable tires that are similar to car ones.
If your garden space is rough or steep, look for lawn mower tires that will have a better grip of the terrain. If you believe you need extreme ruggedness and grip, look at spikes and studs. You should be warned, however, that this kind of tires will disrupt the surface of the lawn as they mow, so you might have to figure out a way to strike a delicate balance here if you don’t want your lawn to resemble a field that’s just been plowed.
Tire Surface Specifics
Experts advise that you go for tires that will cause the least damage to the turf while having sufficient traction at the same time. Flat-treaded ones might just be ideal for a decent terrain. When more traction is required, ribbed tires will do a great job and still remain gentle on the turf.
Tread considerations should include mower operation and tire axle as well. More on that here. If, for example, you are replacing the front tires but not dealing with a drive axle, the ribbed kind will do. Drive and rear wheels, however, require a traction tire, which can be further divided into two kinds – the one creating more friction and compaction, and the one creating less. If you have started feeling overwhelmed by now, do yourself a favor and ask the tire dealer for assistance in deciding on the best tires to fit your list of requirements.
A Word on Maintenance
Just like your car tires require maintenance, inflated law tractor tires involve a certain amount of it as well. Proper air pressure is the very first one that comes to mind, and periodic checks on that are a must if you want to avoid frequent replacement.
If you are not very fond of the idea of having to perform these checks, you should consider steel or plastic tires instead, should your lawn terrain permit their use.
Another aspect of tire maintenance is storage. Make sure you keep your mower in a shady place and away from direct sunlight in order to avoid the development of dry rot that will ultimately result in cracks. If your tires already have some cracks or punctures, caused by landing on a sharp object, for example, there is a good guide on fixing that at https://homeguides.sfgate.com/ways-repair-holes-lawn-tractor-tires-102961.html. Another way that inadvertently causes corrosion is by using harsh chemicals when you wash the tires. Always rinse them thoroughly before storing in order to prolong tire longevity.
Look at The Old Ones
Questions as to what size and type of tires to purchase can be quickly answered by a mere look at the old ones. The numbers on a tire indicate proper inflation size and its overall height, as well as the wheel or rim diameter. Write these numbers down and take them with you to the shop.
The tire sidewall will also contain information on its ply rating. If you have a steep garden full of thorns or mow lawns for a living, you are going to need higher strength and load-carrying capacity. It is definitely a bad idea to replace a tire with one that has a lower ply rating.