View Full Version : Foam Filled tires.....?????

07-29-2001, 09:26 PM
Well I have been thinking about having all tires switched to foam filled this winter......Does anyone run foam filled tires on their ZTR units????? Pros and cons??????? As we venture into more and more commercial we experince more flats compared to when we handled more residential then commercial....

07-29-2001, 09:46 PM
eggy were you talking about the solid filled foam tires they displayed at the Expo? Those tires where very light, and the problem thing i see is when you need a little better traction with air filled you can always adjust the pressure. Ive yet to have a flat on my drive tires, and since ive been using the slime on my castor tires everything has been ok. I always let 5lbs of air out of my drive tires on several of my jobs do the hilly terrian. Marks Mowing Service

07-29-2001, 09:53 PM
Almost all oem's out there will void your warranty on the frame of your mower, if you foam fill your tire's.
Foam filling is great for not having to put up with flats.
But they can do some real damage to your frame.
The foam filled tires do not take the shock like a air filled tire would.
Some oems offer a foam filled tire option on certain models that they feel it is safe doing it on.
Huslter makes it standard on the "Hustler Hog"


07-29-2001, 10:20 PM

Not the same mowers, but we have two toro 325d's that we had all the tires filled with a solid rubber type filler. They are heavy as anything, but we never get a flat anymore. We use to get flats almost once a twice a week.

Performance wise, they are a much rougher ride at first. After awhile, you seem to forget about it though and assume thats just the way the mower rides. I'm sure if I jumped on a machine with air filled tires again, I would notice a big difference.

We have had no problems handling or performance wise. Maybe they are rougher on the frame, but we have put a couple hundred hours on the machines since the install and have noticed no problems with the machine that it didn't have before.


Vandora Lawn & Landscape
07-29-2001, 11:02 PM
I've seen the in the front casters on wb's. The behave practically the same.

07-29-2001, 11:04 PM
Last month we had six flats in two weeks and two leaks that we couldn't plug. Went to Walmart and bought there "off brand" of slime. Spent one hour filling eight tires. Since then no more flats or leaks. This stuff is great. It cost $20 for one gallon. The gallon filled all eight tires with enough left for another ZTR.

Good luck.

07-29-2001, 11:09 PM
Yep...what Ssouth said.

'Slimed' my tires and no more flats. :D

07-29-2001, 11:15 PM
I've got foam filled on the front castors of both the Toro wb and the Walker.
Toro used to be air but it would be flat EVERY day. They were done by a tire place in town. Heavy little buggers but no change in handling or mowing.
Walker makes foam fro the front castors and I love them.
I wouldn't even think to fill the drive tires because of the heaviness.

07-29-2001, 11:15 PM
Wow Ssouth, 20.00 a gal. sounds alot better than what the real Slime goes for. Thanks for the tip.

07-30-2001, 04:45 AM
I had all my W/Bís caster tires and Velke tires filled

I have to say no more flats but the torture on us and the mowers was harsh

Front caster yokes break and the ride on the velke was rough

The added weight to the front of the W/Bís was great but not worth it

The tires wore out faster and you will have to buy new rims to when they do

But donít fill drive tires you will add to much weigh to the drive tires

I have found filling them half full with Slime helps very well

And if you buy it in a big quantity it not to expensive

I bought a 5 gal pail with pump for $93


David Haggerty
07-30-2001, 06:05 AM
Solid polyurethane seems to be a pretty good deck tire. I have some on an old mower I bought that must be a couple of years old. They feel like a big heavy sponge that wouldn't last any time at all but these don't even look worn.

I don't like the solid (heavy) filled drive tires. I took mine off after the mechanic at Toro drew a line in the dust with his finger down the side of the 325-D of exactly where the frame was going to crack. It was in the shop for wheel bearing and driveline failure. Humm.. wonder what could have caused that?


07-30-2001, 10:18 AM
Foam fill comes in multiple grades. The main reason some people have problems and others don't is because of the type of fill used. The only fill recommended of small turf tires is SuperFlex SoftFill, because it is soft - 6-8 durometer. Many tire dealers will fill your tires with 30 and higher durometer product which is "rock hard". THEY ARE NOT THE SAME!!! Hard fill will cause cracks in the frame. You need to ask your dealer what the durometer is and what product they are using. They can also put in less pressure as well which provides a softer ride. Foam fill gets a bad rep. because of this very problem. If is done correctly with the right product it performs remarkably well. Rear tires can be done as well, however in some cases weight is an issue(90 lbs. for a 23x1050x12). Remember the weight is dispersed by the square inch of the tire footprint. Ex. The footprint of a 200 lb person walking across a golf green versus the larger footprint of a 23x1050x12 at 90 lbs...less additonal weight per square inch on the turf equals less damage. Now if your turning your machine on a dime, you can do damage with air tires just as easily. Hope this helps. Foam fill is the only product that stops flats 100% and the tires will last longer because they stay at the proper pressure for the life of the tire.

07-30-2001, 02:28 PM
Thanks for the advice guys...still kinda sounds like a toss up, I might just have the front caster wheels foam filled, and leave the drive wheels air....maybe a thing to do would be to have a extra drive wheel rim and tire on hand at the shop, so when we take oine mto get plugged we are not out of service...

07-30-2001, 02:36 PM
I would think (not sure) that you could always cut the old filled tire off with a hacksaw or sawzall to reuse the rim.

07-30-2001, 03:12 PM
Ojonesy and others: I have used the foamfill before and found it to be too firm; so much so that it seemed to make tracks or ruts worse than air. My dealer only had the extra firm durometer stuff - can you give me a manufacturer that makes the softer durometer foam, then I can contact them for a local dealer?

07-30-2001, 05:03 PM
We use poly filled tire on castor wheels only. If you use them on the units drive and steering wheel you will get a rougher ride and also incur more damage to the unit itself, due to the extra bouncing it will take.

07-30-2001, 06:01 PM
you cut the foam fill off with a sawsall. It won't stick to a painted rim.

San Diego - the vibration is caused by the stiffness of the fill. When you use the lowest durometer fill, the fill will act as a shock absorber, taking the pounding action away from the axel. Check out Arnco, the mfg. at www.arnconet.com. It talks about 3 or 4 types of fill. We are only talking about SUPERFLEX here.

07-30-2001, 08:48 PM
Flats suck the big one! We foam filled all small tires on our Howard Price 1260, all front tires on WBs and the front tires on our small riders. We have saved tons of money over the past 2 years and all tire are still going strong. We installed double the suggested amount of a slime type product in all drive tires. Only had 2 problems. You ever notice that after you install a new tire how it seems to come back with a piece of utility marker flag wire in it?:cry: The up front cost sucks but when you figure the time you have to pay your help to run all over town to get it fixed it is well worth it.

07-31-2001, 03:54 PM
2 reasons why some manufacturers don't recommend foam:
1 Its easy to say "all foam" is too hard rather than educating their
customers about soft foam products. too much hassel and they don't care about tire failures and downtime as a result.

2 It 's never the machine's design. Funny thing is, many LCOs I talk to say they have deck cracking and related problems with air tires. Go figure.

If done right, it pays for itself and saves you $ and headaches.

08-01-2001, 01:00 AM
on the new mid mount grasshoppers the front caster are foam filled the drive wheels are still qair though