Proper Tread Selection for Riding Mowers

Choose the best tread for your riding lawn mower Choose the right mower tire tread

Tread patterns for riding lawnmowers are generally offered in two designs: rib and traction tread.

Rib tread is also sometimes referred to as a Straight Rib Tread. This tread has circumferential grooves around the tread. It is normally used on a front or steering application. A rib tread is designed to leave less of a footprint on grass, as well as less grass and soil compaction.

Another tread pattern is a Traction Tread. It is normally used on drive wheels or all-wheel-drive mowers. A traction tread comes in two variations: one has a “square shoulder” and may have a deeper tread. It is used when leaving a slight footprint in the grass is not important, as is the case at many parks, football fields, cemeteries, or golf courses that see a lot of public play.

For applications where leaving a footprint is not an option, the “round shoulder” traction pattern is the best option. Usually, this tire has a tread pattern that is less aggressive than the square shoulder pattern. The depth of the tread is also less than its square counterpart. In a side-by-side operation, the round shoulder tire will wear out before a square shoulder tire but the round shoulder will leave less of a footprint in the grass.

In addition to these treads, there are also some special applications for mower tires, such as a smooth tread for putting greens.

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