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Zero Turn and Bar Tires

2056 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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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.
I mow across slopes on occasion.
IMO the AT 101 bar tires are much better for traction in every way vs the crappy turf tires.
I bought a second zero turn a couple years ago. Within the first 2 hours of running it for the first time I was online ordering a set at 101 bar tires for that machine too.
I had forgotten just how bad the stock turfs are and couldn't take them any longer.
Thanks for the update. Sure sound like the way to go. Agree 100% on the "crappy turf tires". Unfortunately, the ZT manufacturers seem a bit too concerned about tearing up turf as they seem to want all of their machines running on nice, level, ground. Before I left suburbia, my neighbor had a ZT and constantly left ruts. Complaining about it out at the mail boxes, I asked him why he made such abrupt turns on his lawn, pivoting and sometimes reversing one wheel while accelerating on the other? I suggested maybe that was causing his turf problem? He looked at me strangely and said "that's the great thing about a ZT, you can spin it on a dime".

My first year with the ZT I had to learn NOT to spin it like that and to make wider turns or 3 point turns. Now, there are no tear ups, except of course for the slope skids that started this whole tire thread.

Thanks again for the comments on those 101s.
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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.
Was rereading this post and thought you might have better luck adding weight front and back to maintain balance rather than adding all the weight to the rear (Maybe 2/3 rear, 1/3 front). Last thing you want is to have the front come up.
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Another thought now that I’m awake. 😳 FWIW
You could add fluid to the rear tires. Any tire installer should be able to fill them. That keeps the weight closer to the ground and doesn’t load the weight to the axles.
I was also thinking of more burgers and fries in my diet, might be good for another 50 pounds.
from that page, that part is discontinued, and has a ridiculous price (at least, it does for me)...
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