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ZTR tire recommendations steep slope

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ribertgropius, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. ribertgropius

    ribertgropius LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    I have an older (1994) Bunton 60" ZTR that I am using this year on my new property in VA. I have some very steep grades, and my existing Carlisle turfmate tires don't seem to get any traction to the point that I just start to slide down the hill. I have a bad feeling about setting myself up for an accident, so thought I should look at replacing the tires with something with a more aggressive tread.

    I mow about 6 acres, and the grass is all on red VA clay. Any suggestions for replacement tires? I was looking at the Carlisle Multi-trac C/S or the Turf Trac RS but wasn't sure what made sense. I also thought about ATV tires but don't know what would be best with the clay. The Bunton has 23 x 10.5-12.

    Any other suggestions for improving traction?

    Last edited: Apr 24, 2010
  2. bam

    bam LawnSite Senior Member
    from .
    Messages: 261

    get a walkbehind mower.

    The ZTR's are only meant to be used on so many degree slope. Read the operators manual. If your climbing and the machine is sliding, then the hydraulics are giving out, leaving you with no control til your at the bottom, whether that's right side up, or upside down.

    Choose the right machine for your environment. It doesn't sound like you should have a ZTR in the first place.

    You have alot more control with a walk behind unit. If you're climbing slopes, by no means are you using the ZTR for speed, and a walkbehind would outperform in the end.
  3. ribertgropius

    ribertgropius LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    "sliding down the hill" is probably a bit of an exaggeration. I lose traction and the machine skids sideways, and it takes a fair amount of maneuvering to get it back on the swath I am cutting. Your point is well taken, however, about the grade being steep for a ZTR.
  4. Jaybo700R

    Jaybo700R LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Messages: 21

    Bad Boy offers a "Field Trax" tire option I was thinking about these tires regardless what ZTR I end up buying. Might have to be a little more on the ball to not tear up turf in the turns but the added traction for wet Oregon ground in the spring and fall will be helpful to me.

    Field Trax

    The other option I was considering was getting a tire knife and grooving the standard turf tires for more open area - Used to do the same thing way back in the day when I raced ATV's.

  5. heather lawn sp

    heather lawn sp LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    Carlisle AT101 CHEVRON. We've had good results with our Kubota outfront. We foam filled these tires to prevent sidewall deflection and lower the centre of gravity. They seriously weigh 70 pounds each loaded-up. You may have to go to TRUE POWER to get the right size for you


    JENHEN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I too would be interested in some feedback. I bought an Exmark XS zero turn. Came from factory with Carlisle Multi-trac C/S. When going horizontally along a 45 degree hill, the heavy mower will slip down the hill. The ZTR's front caster will turn downhill. I'll try to slow down or reverse the wheel on the high side. This does nothing but spin the wheel and the whole machine continues to turn sharply down the hill until it's off the slope.

    So at this point, I can't recommend the Carlisle Multi-Trac C/S once they are down to 50% wear. Are these the same as the Titan C/S? What's the next more aggressive set up but still safe for lawns?

    Thank you.

  7. heather lawn sp

    heather lawn sp LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    The game with slope running is that you use the lower wheel steering almost exclusively. In your case don't reverse the upper wheel to prevent a dive, it doesn't have enough traction. You should power forward with the lower wheel, the opposite to what you think you should be doing.

    Carlisle and Titan are the same tire

    JENHEN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Thank you Heather for the quick reply. I have tried your suggestion of accelerating the wheel lower on the hill. This just decreases the arc but ultimately the result is still off track at the bottom. What's weird is this happens right to left (i.e. right wheel higher). When going from left to right, it's fine and I can control just as you've described. I suspect the left wheel may be in worse condition.

    Appreciate the confirmation of Carlisle and Titan. Would you have a suggestion for the next step up in traction but still useable on residential lawn?

    Thank you again for your input....much appreciated!

  9. ribertgropius

    ribertgropius LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    I like the design of the AT101 and know they are out there on the Dixie Choppers. Unfortunately, they don't come in my 23x10.50-12 size. Carlisle Tru Power looks like they would rip the lawn pretty badly on turns with their flat face, even though they carry the size.

    Is it possible to substitute the oversize 24x12.00-12 on the 23x10.40-12 rims (8.5" wide) and just lower the deck a 1/2" to make up the difference? I am also assuming I have enough clearance for the 12" width of the AT101 vs. the 10" width of my turf tire, but I need to verify that.

    Dimensions for comparison:

    23x10.50-12 turf tire: 22.8" h, 10" w
    24x12.00-12 AT101" 23.9" h, 12" w

  10. heather lawn sp

    heather lawn sp LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    23 x 10.5 -12 Carlisle ALL TRAIL

    Been using ALL TRAIL on the 25 hp M655 Deere 54" deck
    Just mounted the above noted tire on the Kubota ZD221. It's aggressive. It tears grass easily. It's a good hill climber but much of hill work is technique not traction. Much of that technique has to be learned the hard way. There's not too many driving schools. You have to have a high threshold of fear and a good sense of balance.

    Another tip of hill running. You might think moving across a hill quickly will get you out of the danger zone quicker. Slowly is much more stable and less likely to side slide.

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