When your livelihood depends on the performance of your equipment, you can’t take risks or cut corners. Professional landscapers and lawn care companies demand a lot from their trailers and equipment. Typically, the trailer tires and garden equipment tire used by commercial operations are larger, and the equipment is heavier than what the average homeowner uses to maintain a private residence or acreage. Also, the equipment is more specialized, which means the construction and tread design of the garden equipment tire is for a more exact purpose. For this reason, it is very important for commercial operators to be sure that they replace a damaged or worn garden equipment tire, mower tire, trailer tire or other tires with the correct size, tread design and tire construction. The right new tire on old equipment or trailer can make the job easier and improve operating efficiency. The following information about the tire found on the equipment of the typical landscape, or lawn care company should help you pick and buy the right tire, without the higher cost of replacing the equipment or paying high tire prices at a tire specialist or equipment dealership.
A. Trailer Tires
The trailers used by landscaping and lawn care companies are typically multi-purpose and heavy-duty. They are used to transport equipment between job sites, and to haul sod, clippings and yard waste. The trailers are usually larger than a standard utility trailer and therefore take full-size tires to carry and support the load. 15-inch wheel sizes are most common on these types of trailers. For commercial work, you always want to install dedicated trailer or “ST” tires if the option exists in your size. These tires are designed with extra reinforcements exactly where needed for optimal performance on a free rolling axle. “ST tires” will last longer, and are more durable, and often cost less than a comparable car or LT tire. The most common tire sizes found on larger utility and equipment trailers for commercial operations are ST225/75R15 and ST205/75R15. Velocity Tires has several models of radial trailer tires and less expensive bias-ply trailer tires.
B. Tires for Wheelbarrows and Hand-carts
Solid tires are common on small carts, pressure washers and implements, but wheelbarrows and larger carts used commercially have air filled tires (pneumatic). Pneumatic tires roll much easier than solid tires, make the equipment more stable, easier to handle, and cause less compaction and damage to turf. Since most wheelbarrows have only one tire, the condition of the tire and wheel assembly is very important to proper operation. In fact, if you maintain your wheelbarrow, it can last for many decades and the only thing that you need to replace or repair occasionally will be the tire. The same is true for hand-carts and other lawn and garden equipment tires. Just remember to tighten the bolts holding the axles, and check the tire frequently for proper inflation. The maximum inflation for any tire is molded on the side of the tire.
Most wheelbarrow and hand-cart tires are bias-ply tires with a tube inside to hold the air. If your tire has a slow leak and is frequently going flat, you may only need to repair or replace the tube. There are some tricks to make the job easier but the basic steps are to take the tire from the wheel and remove the tube. This is usually easily done by wedging two or more flat head screw drivers between the tire and the rim. Once the garden equipment tire has been removed, check for a puncture by holding the semi inflated tire under water in a bucket. If you find the leak, consider repairing the tube with a bicycle tire patch kit. It is easy to do, and very often this repair is all that is needed to make your wheelbarrow or hand-cart operational again. Before you reinstall the tube in the tire, check the inner liner of the tire for thorns, nails or other sharp objects that are still embedded in the rubber and causing the puncture.
Most people find that it is harder to put the tube and tire back on the rim, then it was to remove the tire in the first place! If you are having trouble mounting the repaired tube and garden equipment tire, consider taking it to your nearest tire dealer or garden shop. Most will perform this service for free or for a nominal fee.
C. Ride-on Mower Tires and Tractor Tires
Most lawn care operations have several types of mowers and put many hours on their equipment everyday. When the tires on tractors and mowers wear-out, you want to pick a replacement tire that provides just enough traction for the typical lawn you work on most frequently. For example, If you are in a hilly area, and work on undulating lawns that are slick with rain, you need a tire with enough traction to grip, but not so much pulling and tearing that it would damage the turf. If you live in a flat area, with a dry climate, it is unlikely you such a deep, block-style tread for grip. A smooth more ribbed tread, like the Carlisle Turf CTR Tire, is enough to get the job done and leave the turf in pristine condition.
If you frequently remove the blade deck, and use your tractor for general use, pulling a tiller, or for hauling waste, you want a long-lasting garden equipment tire like the Gladiator Turf tire. It is a better option than a ribbed tread pattern because the densely packed blocks give it some grip in all-terrains. The profile of this tire, and the balance of traction and durability make it an excellent choice for zero radius mowers.
For extra traction on wet turf, or general tractor use in wet climates, the WDT P512 tire is a popular choice. It will give you more traction on wet grass and in muddy terrain. The drawback is this type of tread will wear-out faster if used on hard surfaces. Happily, there are plenty of garden equipment tire styles to pick from on Tires-easy.com according to how much traction you need, the type of terrain and how you use your tractor!
D. Tiller Tires
A roto-tiller is another piece of equipment commonly called into service by landscape and lawn care professionals. They are a practical piece of equipment, however the nature of the work often leads to damaged tires. As the prongs pull the tiller through the soil, the tires are occasionally punctured or cut by severed roots or sharp rocks. Many commercial operations opt to replace the tires with a tire that has a heavier ply rating than the tire that was originally on the tiller. The most common size of tire on tillers is 13X5-6. A popular style in this size tire is the Power King D407 Lug tire. As you can see by the photo on the left, it has big traction bars like a farm tractor tire. Under the tread, it also has extra plies needed to protect the tire from damage.
E. Tires for Snow Blowers
In northern climates, many landscapers and lawn care professionals use their tractors for snow removal, or have dedicated snow removal equipment. In addition to carrying the load, the primary service of the tire on snow removal equipment it to provide traction. The same size of tire and style of tread that is on tillers, are often found on snow blowers. The characteristics of a herring bone style tread that make a tiller tire work in mud, are equally effective on pulling a snow blower through deep snow. While tiller tires can pull double duty, there are a few tires that are designed specifically for snow blowers. The treads on dedicated snowblower tires have more biting edges for traction and the tread rubber is especially formulated for cold weather. A good snow blower tire, available in the most common sizes is the Carlisle Snow Hog Tire shown on the right.
Where to Buy a Garden Equipment Tire?
Tires-easy.com has all the tires needed for the equipment in the typical landscaping or lawn care operation. Simply visit tires-easy.com and enter your tire size in the red tire selector on the left of the screen. The site has easy navigation to allow you to also browse through the different brands and tire style options by equipment type. A photo and a general description of all the available tires will be listed under each category. You can filter on a brand or style, or sort by price to find the tire that best fits your budget and needs to keep your equipment in peak operating condition.