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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to be doing a lot of work on my tractor this winter, a Craftsman GT3000. One of my projects is to replace the rear (maybe fronts, too) tires. I'm familiar with car and motorcycle tires, DOT dates, weight and speed ratings. I think I saw some Carlisle's with an H speed rating. Really now? My tractor might hit that terminal velocity if it went over a Buffalo jump.

Q 1. I'm familiar with car tire brands, but aside from the OEM Carlisle's, I've never heard of these brands. Simpletire.com, says Carlisle, Duro, Jetzon, and a couple of others are premium brands, and they also list also rans: Deestone, Galaxy, Track Guard, BKT, etc. Are these all equivalent for a mowing tractor?

Q 2. I have Turf Savers, and compared to a Carlisle Turf Master they look like they will not damage a lawn. Turf Masters? Maybe. Is this right?

My inclination is to go w/ the Carlisle again, these have lasted 20 years and I don't expect any other brand will top that. Besides, if I last another 20, I'm probably not going to be mowing then.
Is there anything I should know beyond avoiding shady dealers?
 

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I buy mine from Summit Racing. If you want some traction, look at the Carlisle Field Trax HD.
 

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Duro and Jetzon are Carslile copy cats. Just cheap tires that hold air.

Turf saver and Turf Saver II are just run of the mill turf tires.. The Turf Master and Turf Trac R/S are the premium line

Deestone, Galaxy and BKT all make really nice tires if you can get ahold of them.
 

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It is all in the materials used in the tire construction. I guess you can only trust a reputable brand to use good materials.
I have a never flat wheel barrow tire that after 4 years of almost no use, has 3/8" cracks, looking like a gator's skin.

Then, I have a 1968 Sears Super 12 with original tires still on it. Yes some dry rot but a quick dose of TireJect and they are
holding air just fine.

Good luck finding a good tire.
 
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I'm going to be doing a lot of work on my tractor this winter, a Craftsman GT3000. One of my projects is to replace the rear (maybe fronts, too) tires. I'm familiar with car and motorcycle tires, DOT dates, weight and speed ratings. I think I saw some Carlisle's with an H speed rating. Really now? My tractor might hit that terminal velocity if it went over a Buffalo jump.

Q 1. I'm familiar with car tire brands, but aside from the OEM Carlisle's, I've never heard of these brands. Simpletire.com, says Carlisle, Duro, Jetzon, and a couple of others are premium brands, and they also list also rans: Deestone, Galaxy, Track Guard, BKT, etc. Are these all equivalent for a mowing tractor?

Q 2. I have Turf Savers, and compared to a Carlisle Turf Master they look like they will not damage a lawn. Turf Masters? Maybe. Is this right?

My inclination is to go w/ the Carlisle again, these have lasted 20 years and I don't expect any other brand will top that. Besides, if I last another 20, I'm probably not going to be mowing then.
Is there anything I should know beyond avoiding shady dealers?
I use Carlisle AG or bar tires, but you sound like your wanting to keep the Carlisle Turf Master and I like those too, I have a set with approximately 2 hrs, My old Ariens ran the Carlisle Turf Masters, but I would also recommend that they are 4 ply and not the thin 2 ply, just more support.

GT
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I use Carlisle AG or bar tires, but you sound like your wanting to keep the Carlisle Turf Master and I like those too, I have a set with approximately 2 hrs, My old Ariens ran the Carlisle Turf Masters, but I would also recommend that they are 4 ply and not the thin 2 ply, just more support.

GT
I'm interested now - having read the above posts in response to my questions - in the Turf Masters. The oem tires were Turf Savers, and have lasted 20 years of the lightweight work I do - mowing and hauling either my small cart around the yard or my 5x8 Tractor Supply trailer down from the back yard (where I store it) to our driveway. I've hauled a lot of wood, not only cut up trunks of trees up to about 14" in diam at the base, but a lot of brush down from our back yard to the driveway.

The TM's won't last me any longer, but look like they will give a bit more traction, and that would be welcome. I've never been one to cut corners on quality and for a tire that will last until either I quit doing yard work or the tractor dies, the diff in cost will be worth it.
 

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As a matter of fact, I just put some Turf Masters on the front of my JD 455 this evening. They have a more rounded tread than I felt the ones I removed. I inflated them to the recommended 22 psi.

CCMoe
 

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I definitely second the idea of buying the higher-ply version of any given tire if you have that option. If you can't find a ply rating in the listing, the max inflation pressure correlates VERY strongly. A 2 ply turf tire might recommend 15 psi max, a 4 ply might be 22-30+.
 

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As a matter of fact, I just put some Turf Masters on the front of my JD 455 this evening. They have a more rounded tread than I felt the ones I removed. I inflated them to the recommended 22 psi.

CCMoe
That's not the recommended pressure, that is the max. Put them down to 15 PSI and they will flatten out
 

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It's true that Carlisle is excellent. However, I bot a brand called Kenda and so far, after nearly 10 years, they have held up well at half the prices of Carlisle. Got them from Greater Cleveland Tire, who, by the way, is an excellent dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It's true that Carlisle is excellent. However, I bot a brand called Kenda and so far, after nearly 10 years, they have held up well at half the prices of Carlisle. Got them from Greater Cleveland Tire, who, by the way, is an excellent dealer.
Interesting. And they are maybe half an hour to 40 min from where I live. Question, though. The Kenda Super Turf have a "ply rating" of 6 plys. Does this mean they have 6 plys - 6 layers of rubber or is this mfr's mumbo jumbo for, the tires really have fewer than 6 layers but they are very strong and are equivalent to a 6 ply tire.
 

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Ply means something, but 'ply rating' is basically BS. It's a vague equivalency to how tough you would 'expect' a tire with that many actual layers to be.

I looked up the Kenda Super Turf and it looks like the actual ply count is probably half what the Ply Rating says it is (2ply rating actually have one ply, 4 rating have 2 etc). Im basing that off the max inflation pressure since those two things are almost directly tied together. Additional plies are what makes tires able to hold more air pressure.

If they were car tires they'd actually have fine print written on the sidewall saying how many ply layers and what they were made out of. Cant easily get away with giving something a 'ply rating' when you also have to actually state what the layers are right there on the tire! They still do it on trailer tires, though. Some of those say they have 14PR! Just say it's invincible so we can move on from the grandstanding.. but i digress..

If you have the choice of two ply ratings in the same size of tire, i would certainly go for the higher rating. Additional plies do make the tire more difficult to puncture, less likely to sustain damage from being rolled on while underinflated, and less likely to have a catastrophic failure or 'come apart'.

In fact, I have some golf cart tires on the front of a little Case garden tractor (they were there when i bought it). These tires have an unusually high weight and pressure rating for such a small tire (~750 lbs at SEVENTY psi max). What is the practical effect of it? That I cant tell when they're flat! I actually stopped putting air in them and didn't even try to figure out where it was going because they are stiff enough that on the front end of that light tractor they don't even need air to hold it up and stay on the beads. Obviously for rear tires there would be a big ride quality downside, and if i put actual weight on them they'd need air to keep from debeading in turns, but that's just an extreme example of how much more resilient a thicker tire is. If they were the typical 1ply tire like you find on the front of most riding mowers theyd have folded up and then started to separate and shred themselves within a few hundred feet of being run flat.
 

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I started to wonder if I was making a fool of myself, so i looked it up and found a more specific explanation of ply rating:
The historical term ply rating goes back to the days when bias ply tires were actually constructed of layer upon layer of cotton fabric — yes, cotton. Ply rating referred to how many layers, or plies, of cotton had been used in the tire's construction, and the number of plies determined the strength of the tire.
In today's modern world, tire plies are no longer made out of cotton. Now, tires are constructed using fewer, yet much stronger, plies so the term ply rating doesn't refer to the actual number of plies anymore. Instead, the ply rating indicates an equivalent strength compared to early cotton-constructed bias ply tires.
Source Article
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I started to wonder if I was making a fool of myself, so i looked it up and found a more specific explanation of ply rating:

Source Article
That article does not differentiate between a ply rating, and Cleveland Tires spec. section for the tires they sell. IIRC, one entry was plys - suggesting that this is not a 'ply rating' but was an actual number of plys. And today, they still use 'plys' or layers of reinforcing material, be they aramid, steel belts, or whatever they use. For all we know, everything might be a 'ply rating' and they no longer refer to the actual layers of fabric/rubber or whatever.
 

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All tires have plies. A ply is just a layer of cord/thread/wire mesh encased in rubber, and all tires have them because without them tires would be just like balloons and if you wanted your tire to get bigger you would just put more air in it! Materials have changed over time but most car tires have polyester as their 'main' body layer, and extra steel layers only under the tread. Even the chintziest car tire has 3 layers or plies under the tread
(usually 2 steel 1 poly). Most lawn tractor tires are bias plies of only one or two layers with no extra layers in the tread area, and the ply material is usually nylon.

You are right that you have to do some reading between the lines unless the actual ply count and material is written on the tire. Like I said earlier, plies are what make a tire able to hold pressure and separate tires from inner tubes or regular old balloons, so usually looking at the max inflation pressure will tell you something close to the truth about how many layers are in the tire. (y)
 
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