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Zero Turn and Bar Tires

1978 Views 27 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  forkz
Does anyone have any recent experience using bar tires on a zero turn?

I have 4 acres of hilly, lake front lawn to mow with my CC "Ultima" ZT2 60" mower with the OEM turf tires. I've reduced air pressure to the bare minimum but still experience a fair amount of skidding where you'd think it shouldn't. This is on dry, good cutting days, not just damp or muddy turf. Once a turf tire starts to skid, there is almost no chance of recovery until stopped. And, if they clog with dirt, it really stays in the treads making things even worse.

I was thinking of adding some rear weight, maybe 80lbs or so to see if that improves anything. It seems that it is just barely slipping into skids, and I wonder if the extra weight might hold it down just a bit.

Haven't given up on the turfs yet, but just wondering if anyone has switched to bar type tires and whether they found them better than turfs and if they do more damage in normal cutting.
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I would probably opt for HDAP's before doing Ag style tires, Ag tires will damage a lawn when turning.
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I would probably opt for HDAP's before doing Ag style tires, Ag tires will damage a lawn when turning.
Good thought, my X500 on HDAPs just doesn't tear things up, and seem to do a great job on traction.
I looked at the specs for your ZTR and found it quite a bit lighter than my Deere 757 60” by about 500 lbs and have never felt mine ever try to slide, even with turf tires. So I think your thought of adding weight should help. It’s hard to compare when you didn’t give any specifics other than “hilly”. My tires are also significantly bigger & wider 26 x 12-12 which likely improves my traction. Others have had great luck with the steering wheel version Cub Cadet ZTR on “hilly” terrain so I know there is a solution. They may be more expensive models, but nothing trumps safety. Mine is an older version commercial model. You may find a commercial version may be a solution, but at a cost.

Do a search on MTF and you should find something.
Forkz, thanks for that video. That type of slope is what I have to deal with except I have a lot of them.

RT3360, Yes, I agree with you. I think that adding some weight may be the interim solution for the moment, but a more aggressive tread as shown in Forkz's video might be the biggest benefit.
Welcome from east central Illinois,
Walt Conner
Turf tyres are made for flat level dry lawns, any other condition, they just do not perform well. This video on the tube has the tyres you are thinking of and with hills.

Really dry grass on a slope is also more slippy than "medium" grass (and then goes slippery again when it's wet). When I was using a ZT, I learned to use the downhill wheel to do most of the work when turning around, going across a slope (and also doing it a bit slower). I would use turn so the front goes uphill, then backwards turning so the other wheel is downhill and you are just below the previous pass, and then off to do the next pass.
Flaken, I agree those are the bar tires I was looking at as a possible. My concern with bars is that they might not hold as well on a sideways pass along a hillside. The bars would be almost parallel with the sideways force. I could be wrong.

Dave_r, Dry grass is the worst especially if long. I use the same techniques you describe on the most severe slopes I have. I have a couple of trees growing out of my steepest grass covered slope, so generally I use the line trimmer to cut a swath around the tree, especially on the up hill side so I don't have to risk a skid into the tree. Then make a down hill turn with the ZT from both sides. Then I make an upside down "U" from the bottom side to finish the cut around the trees.

The reason I'm going to try some added weight is that my ZT can skid on a couple of my long, but not so steep, slopes. I can lean way back in the seat just at the point of activating the seat safety switch, and that seems to mitigate it a bit. So I figure I can add weight to the rear and maybe remedy 50% of the skids I now have.

Still, skids and all, I don't know what I'd do without my ZT for bulk mowing.
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Here’s a real world application of a Cub Cadet on steep slopes.
Ah yes, CC Pro Z is a great slope machine. However, the pocket book says find another way to improve what I already have... 😕

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Just from how that youtube video was produced, I would be surprised if whoever made it had physically possessed any of those tires, or probably doesn't even have a zero turn...

Here's a video about bar tires from someone who actually tried it:
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The stock turf on my zero turns SUCKED on hills. (Just awful)
Replaced the crap turfs with Carlise AT 101 bar tires.
Massive difference. I can mow those same hills that gave me problems with no issue now.

AT101 Chevron Tire (
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Do you ever mow across a slope with these bar tires, and if so, do they hold OK, or how much better than the turfs did against sideways movement?

Thanks for the posting, they sound like a definite possibility if I go with replacements after my added weight test.
Axe's video is a convincer. Carlise's muted bar tread for ZT is the way to go on replacements.
I wonder if they sell them pre mounted on wheels?
My dad and I share his zero turn. My hills are worse than his. It slips all over, even on mild slopes. It’s a homeowner grade Cub 50” with light duty hydros. I really want to upgrade the tires, but I also don’t want to kill the hydros by making it grip rather than slip. I might just have to roll the dice and get the Toro Grandstand I really want if it does die…
Toro Grandstand might be a great machine, but is a little off the target for me. Older, I really want a seat to ride on for a 4 hour cutting session.
The foot print looks a little narrower than I'd like for hillsides, and of course there is the tire question posed on my initial posting.

My Cub ZT is plenty wide with a fairly low CG and I've not gotten into a situation on slopes where roll over might be a possibility. It always skids, then turns downhill. With the ZT2800 HydroGear transmission, I'm hoping to get some life out of this machine. I run about 100 hours per season (97.4 last season start to finish) on it which is probably at the far edge of its design but that is what I could afford and find when I bought it at the start of the season last year. Each season brings new fluids and filters so hoping that keeps it in decent operating shape for a few years or more.
my z force has been a machine machine running graet since new in 2006 kohler command still doing a great job
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