Spring is here!
Its time to start thinking about maintaining your lawn and garden equipment.
How can you find the right size tire?
What’s the best tread pattern for your intended use?
We, at OTR Wheel engineering, are here to help you make the right selection.
Signs that its time to replace your tires
Purchasing new tires for your lawn and garden equipment is not something that you do as often as you would with tires for your car, unless you own very large acreage or use the equipment for commercial use. Whether it be a ride-on tractor, mower, wheel barrow or UTV, knowing when to replace your tires can become pretty tricky. Here’s some tips for judging when to replace your lawn/garden equipment tires.
Check out your tread… is it dead? Try using a penny and inserting into a grove. Its time to change the tire if you can see all of Lincoln’s head.
Sometimes old tires can start to accumulate dry rot. This can become a serious matter, especially if you use a riding lawnmower, because dry rot can cause your tires to blowout. Check for dry rot by looking at the tire’s sidewall and the lowest part of the tread surface. If you see cracks forming in the rubber, then you know it’s time to replace the tire.
If you’re losing air pressure quickly, its likely you have a hole in the tire. You shouldn’t have to put more air in the tires very often, considering that you typically only use the equipment during warm seasons. If you don’t replace it, then you’ll waste a lot of time filling it up over and over again.
Finding the right size tire
Most of the time, buyers are looking for the same exact sized tire that came with their equipment when they bought it. Occasionally, owners want to change the tire size for performance, or just for aesthetics. Rarely is it purposeful to change the tire size on your lawn/garden care equipment. Nine times out of ten, you’re going to want to stick with the same size tires that your equipment came with. Here’s how to find the size of your tires;
Check out the sidewall of the tire. It’ll show a series of 3 numbers.
18 represents the overall diameter of the tire, in inches. 8.50 inches is the width, with an 10 inch rim.
Sometimes, in smaller garden tractors, these numbers will be represented with a “/” instead of a “x.”
For example; 4.10/3.5-4 is a common size. The first number is the width, the second is the height of the sidewall, and the third is the rim diameter. To get the overall diameter, you’ll have to do some math.
- (rim diameter) +(sidewall height) x 2=total diameter. In this case, it would be 4+3.5×2=11 inches.
Also, there is sometimes a two number system. 5.30-12 means that the width is 5.30 inches with a 12 inch rim.
Choosing a tread
In regard to lawn and garden equipment, tread patterns will typically fall into 3 different classifications; Turf , lug, and smooth.
These tires are great for avoiding damage to turf. The smooth surface allows for a gentle glide, without compacting or ruining the surface. This is the ideal tread for a tire when uniform, undisturbed surfaces are necessary; like golf courses. They allow the putting green to be mowed without leaving marks or compression that could alter the path of a golf ball. Unfortunately, the smooth treaded tires have the disadvantage of lacking traction. When it comes to slopes, these tires will not be of much use. They will slip and slide and get stuck in wet grass, mud and loose dirt.
Lug treaded tires are ideal for extreme traction. The term “lug” refers the raised bars that run across the tires. Lug can vary in depth, from shallow to deep. This lug helps to provide extreme traction by allowing the tire to push into the surface. These are particularly useful in slippery, dirty and muddy areas. They are most useful on steep slopes, as they allow the tractor to dig in and push up the slope. Lugs will dig into the ground and alters the turf. They will compact it, and dig it up as they move forward. This causes an issue when you require working on surfaces that shouldn’t be altered.
These tires are a happy medium, and are the most common on ride-on tractors. Their designs provides for decent traction on slick surfaces without digging up and damaging turf. Their footprint may result in some compacting and wear on the turf. These tires are generally used on highly trafficked turf, and will in most cases be the best option for the average lawn.