Flat front wheels on a walk behind?

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by GoneOverdone, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. GoneOverdone

    GoneOverdone LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Hey, this is my first post in this forum, sorry if I'm a little wrong in mower terms... I've been working with my Dad for a while now, and as long as I can remember, he's always had flat tires on the fronts of his mowers(not on purpose, though). I know flats on the larger rear drive wheels are a big no-no. I think it's do-able with the 36" ExMark Metro because it's fairly light, especially in the front, but I'm not sure if it's good with a 42" Wright Centar. I couldn't really find anything about it on the internet, other than people complaining of flats and $100 flat free tires, but I was just wondering if there was any actual disadvantage and/or danger to having flats up front. Any responses are appreciated, and thanks in advance.
     
  2. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,711

    I might think the Quality Of Cut (QOC) would suffer...?
     
  3. 944own

    944own LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,160

    I ran a 36 like that for a while till the tire came off the rim then I had to fix it.
     
  4. Vecchio Lawn Care

    Vecchio Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 905

    My 36" wb has flat fronts
     
  5. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,916

    I think there is confusion on the terminology. It sounds like the OP is speaking about smooth surfaces on the tire, no tread. Usually "flat" refers to lack of inflation, that is no air in the tire.

    Why would anybody run front caster tires without being inflated? But, normally all front caster tires have no tread, that is a smooth surface.

    What say the OP? No inflation in the tire, OR smooth surface with no tread?
     
  6. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,963

    Our front tires were flat with little air most of the time. After pricing no flats I removed all tires and rims. Threw away tires and cleaned up all rims and painted em. Got new tires without tubes and put them on. Pain to put on until someone showed me the trick. So far no flats this year.
     
  7. Breezmeister

    Breezmeister LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from South Jersey
    Posts: 1,458

    Welcome.

    Scalping a lawn....

    Couple of things you can do

    Back in 02 when I started to work for this LCO, I was getting hit with one or two front tire flats a month.
    Over the next 4 years I switched all the Lescos WB to the solid tires, two machines a year untill all 8 where done.
    You should get 2000 to 3000 hours out of these, including the bearings if you keep them greased.
    You can figure out the cost per hour......The advantage was I don't have to fix flats in these little tire
    any more and no one is scalping the lawns.

    I'm surpried that no one else has suggested this... But you can use a tire sealer. I plug everything else
    from the WB rear tires, rider tires and Kubota tractor and Bobcat Skid tire, I hate the mess this stuff makes
    when changine tires.... So only as a last restort do I use a sealer.
    If a tire has a cut or alot of holes ( Wire pesticide signs are good for this ) I use Gemples Ultra Seal.

    http://www.gemplers.com/product/G64511/GEMPLERS-Ultraseal-Tire-Sealant-Commercial-grade-1-gallon

    A one gallon jug will fill two 24" rider tires, four 13 WB tires. AND it has a nice sky blue color ;)
     
  8. Jeff in AL

    Jeff in AL LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 718

    Welcome!

    I was thinking the same thing reading this that no one has suggested solid tires!

    I have installed a bunch of 9x350x4 solid tires on units and had no problems with them. On these units the wheel used a 2 piece rim which made it easy to install the solid tire... Depending on the rims on your unit it may be easier to go with a wheel assy, but it will cost more... Either way, you'll never have another flat tire!

    Just don't use grease on the inside of the solid tire when installing onto the rims... The grease will stay slick and can (happened on my first install years ago) allow the tire to pop off the rim with a side impact! Use something like WD-40 which will dry and not allow the tire to come off!

    I also have a few commercial cutters that run with the front tires flat until it gets worn enough that the tire comes off the rim from being beat up. Then they complain or get it fixed. :hammerhead:

    I'm sure there are other companies out there, but the ones we get and stock are from Rotary:
    http://shop.rotarycorp.com/p/tire-solid-foam-9x350x4-heavy-duty
     
  9. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,145

    I don't know what the "flat" is in reference to but I can tell you that you won't cut grass long with tires that have no air in them, as for the surface of the tire itself it really makes no difference whether they are treaded or smooth in front (other than perhaps if you own a Velke the tires can be interchangeable and I have found it to be advantageous to have treaded front caster tires so when the velke's tire is worn I can just swap them, which is how the front tires on my Wb got worn smooth).
     
  10. GoneOverdone

    GoneOverdone LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    I'm sorry, I meant flat as in no air. The front wheels, casters(?) are always flat, no air at all. I really should post a pic to explain, (I stink at terms) but I've never seen a poor quality cut from the walk behind. The ride on rips with the rear wheels alot, I was suspecting that maybe the flats were the culprit. I was asking because I thought maybe it was a safety hazard with flat rires on the front of the ride on. The only time either mower scalps (I'm thinking scalp means cut so low it burns, is that right?) is on the corners of leach field mounds. I'll take a look at solid tires, maybe they'll help out. Thanks for the ideas, guys!
     

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