Tire suggestions for a Walker MT20GHS

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by hboyd_com, May 5, 2003.

  1. hboyd_com

    hboyd_com LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 150

    I picked up the 1996 MT20GHS w/48" deck. It cuts really well and is in good shape. The hydraulic controls need a little adjustment as it tends to want to drift backwards whenever it is in neutral. but other than that it runs great.

    The machine has 834 hours on it and I assume it has the original tires (drive) which appear to be fairly well worn. I had some difficulty driving across and/or up hills. Would new tires help with this problem? Is there a more aggressive tread that I should use other than the standard Walker turf tire?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. CMerLand

    CMerLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 393


    Chances are its not your tires but your drive pulleys that are worn out. These are the upper pulleys that the drive belts ride in. You can try just changing the belts but that may not resolve the problem for long. AS the pulleys wear they allow the belt to ride lower in the pulley which loosens the belt and will prevent good hill climbing. My dealer has replaced these a few times on my 97 walker and with that number of hours you may be due.

    Best of luck

  3. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    I just picked my new Walker saturday, got the low profile tires on it, they are wider than the standard tires but I have some hills i have to climb that it just won't do. Has anyone had any experience with the ATV style tires? I have seen some on a few machines before and I was wondering if they would make it hard to turn without ripping a hole in the ground. I notice the tires slip very easily on the walkers, even after turning at the end of a run I have to slowly let the levers back out so I don't break the tires loose and spin them.
  4. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    The Lo profile tires should help but there are a few things you have to understand about a Walker. There is more traction going in reverse than forward. The machine should have no problem backing up the hill. The 48"deck is not very heavy, if you put a 52SD on there or a 62" on it you will find that the increased weight on the front really makes it bite harder on the hills if you chose to run up and down.
    If you have a speed up kit you must make sure that you replaced the stock spring that yanks the idler down on the belt. The speed up kit requires a stronger spring. Make sure that you have a good belt and also make sure that your hydros are filled to the correct level.
    I do not know the incline that you are dealing with but I can tell you that I have had a Walker for 6 years now and do some pretty decent sized hills on a riverfront and found the Walker to be much easier than a walkbehind. Good Luck.
  5. hboyd_com

    hboyd_com LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 150

    Mow Ed,

    First, thanks for answering my question. However, please explain how worn pulleys could be the problem. The problem I have deals with the tire itself spinning so I don't understand. I would think that the problem you describe would be characterized by the tires remaining stationary but the drive system slipping. Please clarify.

    Also, wouldn't the condition of the tire have an impact? The slope I am trying to cut appears to be just over the 20 degree max recommended in the manual.

    Thanks again.
  6. hboyd_com

    hboyd_com LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 150

    Any other opinions?

    Thank you.
  7. musselman

    musselman LawnSite Senior Member
    from utah
    Messages: 301

    You could go with the wider tire (low profile), but this would require buying new rims also...personally I would just buy new tires for the rims you have with the regular tread. try expermenting some on the hill. go in diffrent directions..if the hill is to steep you will need to back up the hill....Ive never had a problem with hills with the regular tread tire.....yes there is a more aggressive tread out there and it may help.....but it will tear up more turf if it slips. Ive found it takes quite awhile on a any mower to find out what it is capable of doing...sometimes it is to your advantage to get out the small walk behind to do the really steep areas. good luck
  8. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    I didn't suggest the worn pulleys but I have just recently had one burn up on me. A worn pulley will generate heat from friction and will cause slippage and possibly heat a belt and make it wear prematurely and possibly just snap.
    Your description of the wheels slipping is typical for the 42 or 48 deck. It goes back to less weight on the drive tires. The balance of a Walker is different than a midmount z where the Walker drives from the front and the z from the back. What I suggest you do is try to back up the hill in the same spot where you are slipping when you try and go forward. The wider tires will give you a bigger footprint but you can try a cheaper solution by letting a little air out of your dirve tires also. This may or may not help but be aware that if you let air out that your height of cut will change slightly. You also should be aware of sidewall flex on the tires and not let too much air out.
    I would experiment a little as was suggested above. The Walker is a great hill mower and it took me a while to learn just how to hit certain slopes. I wouldnt be without the 52SD deck, it is a great piece of equipment for the Walker. Let us know what happens. I hope this helped.
  9. hboyd_com

    hboyd_com LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 150

    Thanks for your comments Mow Ed. By replacing the pulley I assume you mean the pulley on each hydrostatic motor... correct? I plan on replacing those and the belt just to make sure they are in good working order. Is there an aftermarket supply for the pulleys or do I need to buy Walker?

    I did try backing up yesterday and it made a world of difference. There are still some spots that I couldn't navigate but I was able to get to 90% of the hill. I noticed while backing up that I had to pull the right control all the way but throttle the left one to keep it straight. I assume that it is simply an adjustment but it might be indicative of a slipping pulley on the right motor?

    Thanks again for your help.
  10. cblackwe

    cblackwe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 85

    MOW ED,
    Got some pictures of your Walkers?? You provided a ton of information about performance of Walkers. Very useful for a future Walker owner..Thanks.:D

    Which engine do you run? Seems like the 26hp EFI Kohler would be preferred for the 52 or the 62 SDS deck.

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