Other than many people think they look cool, rib tires provide more traction on hillsides or soft soil. A turf type tread relies on friction from the bottom of the tire. A rib type tire has friction on the side of each rib.In soft soil, or a hillside, your rear wheels can actually "steer" your tractor will turfs. Ribs tend to steer the tractor with the side of the ribs, rather than relying on friction to the ground.
Ribbed tires are primarily for steering. For a cart, I'd stay with turfs. Turfs have more rubber on the ground which means less wear & longer life when hauling weight. Even if on a hillside and the cart starts to slide with turfs, it's still attached to the tractor and it'll just tow a little funny! Bob
Dry rot unless extreme, is not necessarily the end of the tire. I've used TireJect on a yard cart's original 1968 tires and they've held air for 2.5 years so far. Not to say that overloading wouldn't blow them out, but for firewood, mulch and dirt, they still serve well. This is just my experience with it.
ribs for looks and turfs or ribs will work, also a tube will keep that tire going for a while unless the tread separates and lets the tube stick out and my current cart is still going like this, tube hanging out and all. lol i know i know i am getting to it.
A quick comment on tubes: Depending on how many "miles" you put on your cart...or tractor... tubes may give you another 10 - 30 years of life to your tires.
Tire shops usually break one side loose, slip tube in, add air and done. This is fine IF the rim is in good shape and has no debris inside. "Stuff" inside rim can puncture your new tube and you're back to square 1, a leaky tire! That happened to me about 15 years ago. After a little thought, I bought a mini tire changer from Harbor Freight, about $50 now. I dismount the tire completely and inspect tire for things sticking through to the inside. I then wire brush the rim and carefully rub my hand over all internal surfaces of the rim. Any sharp edges, bumps, lumps, etc., are ground off and rim re-inspected. Clean, wash w/solvent and 2 coats of Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer. I like that because it tends to go on thicker. Then 2, maybe 3, coats of yellow and a few days of drying time. NOW my rims are ready for new tubes! A little lube...I use about a 50/50 mixture of Dawn & water... and slip tire & tube in place. It does take me 4 or 5 days to change a tire/add a tube, but I've never had another leak due to a bad rim... or a nail STILL in the old tire! Bob
I use the heck out of a 15S cart. The cart still has the OEM "rib" style tires, though the ribs are minimal, not at all like the ribbed tires people use on the front of their tractors. I believe, without empirical evidence they roll easier than a lugged style tire (note their use on wheel barrels and georgia buggies) where rolling effort is much more noticeable.)
I crush this cart under tremendous loads of firewood and rocks. I've never had a tire issue. I avoid pulling heavy loads across a significant slope; first because I have pre-established trails that wouldn't do that, and second, it just doesn't seem wise to me.
I find one significant advantage of the ribbed tires is they don't collect mud, which means at the end of my work day when I roll this cart back into my shed, it is not carrying two tires full of mud, or snow that I'd eventually end up sweeping out later. If/when I decide I need to replace the tires on my cart, I'll look for the same tire.