Mower tire traction

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by DodgeDually, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. DodgeDually

    DodgeDually LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    OK i was wondering if anyone has tried this before. I bought a grasshopper zero turn mower a few mths ago love it, and it did great on the hills untill I put the vaccume/bagger system on it. Even w/ the counter weights on to much of the weight is on the rear wheels, and not the drive wheels causing lose of traction on hills. So here is what I was thinking of doing. If I fill the drive tires w/ water/antifrees should that give the extra weight on them to give me better traction on the hills hopefully putting more weight on the drive wheels? As of now I have to back up hills to keep from tearing up peoples lawns.
  2. dutch1

    dutch1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Jayhawk
    Posts: 2,231

    You may want to try a lower drive tire pressure before you go to that trouble or if you have a turf saver type tire go to a lugged style tire. An over inflated tire becomes domed thereby reducing ground contact.

  3. lawnjockey56

    lawnjockey56 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 227

    what a nice trail the antifreeze would leave if you sprung a leak in a nice yard $$$$
  4. steve45

    steve45 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,325

    You can fill your tires with water/antifreeze. Odds are they won't spring a leak.

    I've got a garden tractor that I use to move my airplane with. It has wheel weights, but that wasn't enough, so I filled the tires with water (no antifreeze). That was more than 15 years ago, no leaks, and the tires haven't suffered from freezing, either. The tractor is kept in an open hangar, winter temps can get down to 10 degrees.

    You can buy a garden hose adaptor that will fit your inflation valve. I think you can find them at ACE hardware. Try to get as much air out as you can, first.
  5. DodgeDually

    DodgeDually LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    Where can you find the wheel weights at? The temps here don't get that cold in the winter so I guess I could skip the antifrees. The mower already has the v-bar type tread tires on it. I have played around tire pressure, and a few extra pounds seems to help a little.
  6. lawnjockey56

    lawnjockey56 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 227

    using a tractor to move a plane and mowing a yard where you'd encounter rocks, roofing nails etc. are totally different. Just explain when it does happen that some guy said it wouldnt. Not worth the risk in my opinion-just go with less psi or look into a tire designed for the terrain.
  7. Luvs2Play

    Luvs2Play LawnSite Member
    Posts: 246

    I would use the antifreeze anyway, it has a rust inhibitor that will help to keep the wheels from rusting. The paint is not usually that good on the inside of the wheel. You can get biodegradable antifreeze too that would do less damage if you did spring a leak.
  8. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    Use RV antifreeze or windshield washer fluid. I have WW fluid on the wheels of a small walker mower I have and it made it a LOT better on hills. My grasshopper dealer is actually the one that gae me the idea. He said that's their "trick" for getting the grasshopper frontmounts to do better on slopes with the catcher on the back.

    Best of luck!
  9. bigmower1

    bigmower1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 158

    Thats kind of funny to say, I dont think your really serious about filling up your tires with water and anti freeze. Its probably your tire pressure. Usually you should have only ten pounds a little more or less in them. Experiment with the tire pressure or put some weight on the deck.
  10. PLM-1

    PLM-1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,640

    Move your deck up on the tractor mounts. Tighten down your traction kit. IF you have hydraulic deck lift you can keep tapping that as your're going up the hill and don't lay on the bars; back off them as you ascend. Take off all counter weight. INCREASE tire pressure so you get more PSI down and switch out those nasty Kenda's; put on CarlisleAT101 21x11x10. I didn't like the washer fluid in my tires, when it's wet out it doesn't tend to float as much. I'm a skinny guy so i've had a little bit of trouble with traction on my 722 and this is how i fixed it. I could go anywhere. I have a 928 now and it is a much better balanced machine.

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