Tires for ZTR

fix_itMay 3, 2007

I have an Ariens EZR1742 mower like this one.

The original back tires do not have enough traction to adaquately control the machine. In turns they spin easy and pull up the grass. Steering at any speed is nearly impossible due to the the inside wheel slipping causing the mower to go straight instead of turn. I need tires with better traction, but I don't want to dammage the lawn. The originals are 18x8.50-8 and the selection of tires in this size are very slim. Basically Turf Saver and a slightly knobby tire with very close tread (this is the original, but I can't remember what it's called). This is a picture of a tire that is similar to the original.

There are also smooth and rib tires, but those obviously won't help. I think I can go to 18x9.50-8 no problem. Then I can get many more tires.

My first thought was SuperLugs like this:

But I'm not sure if they will tear up the yard. I would think this would give the best traction.

Then I thought about knobby tires like this:

Turf Trac




Carlisle Turftamer ATV tires

or even

Carlisle Badlands ATV tires

What would you recommend? All the tires are $30 to $50 each. I would hate to spend $100 to get a pair of tires that are not satisfactory. Any ideas?

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mowerdan(10a Clovis, CA)

fit_it, I had the same problem as you did, but it was mainly a control problem on my part. I had to learn the proper technique of steering in order to control the spinning in a tight turn, once I learned to slow down a little, while making a tight turn and using the right individual lever action per wheel, pushing and pulling the levers, without over steering, I managed to eliminate all spinning action of the wheels. My suggestion would be to stick with the original tread, unless you are mowing in wet gress all the time or are having to climb high hills, then you might want to consider a more agressive tread. I think once you learn to control the spinning action of a ZTR, you will be fine with the tires you now have, based on my own experience with my ZTR, JMHO.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 3:28PM
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My son bought a Gravely 1740 about two years ago to replace
an ancient Grasshopper. His back yard is one long hill and he
had equiped the Grasshopper with Carlisle Superlugs to improve
its traction. He transferred the Superlugs to the Gravely and
they fit well and do a fine job. His Gravely is identical to
your Ariens.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 3:36PM
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Please tell me, do the superlugs leave marks in the yard? That is my main worry with them. Also, what size are they, if you could find out? The spec calls for 18x8.50-8, but the super lugs only come in 18x9.50-8 as far as I can tell. I think the 9.50s would work fine though.

As far as control technique, that is a large factor. But my problem is severe. I can be going across a flat, even, dry area of lawn at half speed. I then pull one stick or the other back ever so slightly to turn and the inside tire loses traction and begins to slide. In fact, the only practical way to turn is come to a complete stop and then turn as you accelerate in the new direction. In other words, speed up the outside wheel, not slow the inside wheel. Even then you will spin.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 7:27PM
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Maybe a dumb sounding reponse here, but I have the same basic mower (1540). I found that if the tire pressure is unequal, too high, or too low you will have problems with digging up or spinning down the grass. This is from my real-time experience with my mower. I have gotten better at watching my tire pressure and making sure they are equal. I also agree with the earlier poster in that if you slow down and make sure the inside tire does not stand still when you pivot you will probably won't do any turf damage. Good luck!!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 12:30AM
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mowerdan(10a Clovis, CA)

fix_it, it sounds like you may have an adjustment problem with the wheel motors or the individual hydro servo valve motor controls. I would call the dealer service dept and explain the problem you are having, it could be just a minor adjustment to solve your problem, worth a try any way.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 12:39AM
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mowerdan(10a Clovis, CA)

Good idea, I forgot about the tire pressure, I did the same thing, lowering the pressure a bit and making sure that both wheels have the same pressure, does help, also makes for a softer ride and better cut.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 12:52AM
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If you let the inside wheel stop during a turn it will tear the grass, the more agressive the tread the more tearing. Have your talked to the dealer, if it is a machine problem or tire problem they should know. They have probably sold more than just your unit in the area you are located. How long have you owned the Ariens? If the tires are the problem they can probably recommend what tread works best.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 5:30AM
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In addition to the good advice above, U might try adding
a bit of weight over those driving wheels too, that will
often help with problems like Ur experiencing..
Paul R...

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 7:48AM
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This is the second one we have had. The first one we got about 5 to 8 years ago, can't really remember. This one we got used last year. The old one is in need of some deck parts and a set of tires to get it going again. Anyway, they have both had this problem, and the dealer we got the first one from went belly-up. He wasn't much help anyway. I am aware of not letting the inside wheel stop on a zero radius turn. That is not the problem. The problem is the tire can't hang on to the ground. It has gotten worse as the tires have worn. They are not worn out, but about half tread. Yesterday, I drove a friends White and had no problems at all. He has Turf Savers on his.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 7:52AM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

lowering tire pressure so tire face have more surface and adding weight to tires and filling with fluid all three help with traction a wider tire will have less ground pressure per square inch and will slip easyier on grass but on soil wider have more traction because more cleats grap soil. liquid calicum weight is 16 lbs. per gallon almost twice weight water. Bar selection like in your photo's would be best buy from photo's for light ztr mower but best tire come with continest bar like on dixie chopper ztr mower it have less damage to grass

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 8:34AM
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I have a Woods MZ ZTR mower, which has the same traction problem as most others. I had emailed the factory regarding better tires for the MZ, rather than the Turf Masters. They suggested the Carlisle Turf Tamers. My preference was running toward the Chevron lug, ag type tires.
My thinking was to compare the ZTR to my farm tractor, neither of which would back up a hill, nearly as well as going forward up the hill. While I thought the Carlisle Stryker would be better than the turf tires, I thought I could turn it around if it wasn't satisfactory mounted as intended, since the problem seemed to be going backwards.
I was able to find a pair of the Carlisle Strykers in 23x10-12, 4 ply (this size has been discontinued). This seemed to be a combination of the lugs and the knobs. I put these on the ZTR and tested it in the particular areas, where I had problems. (Descending an incline and then trying to turn before going over the wall or in the pond.) While they were better, they were still marginal. I then turned them around backwards from the intended direction of travel and tried them once again. This made all of the difference in the world. Now the upper wheel will not only hold, it will also back up. Forward traction didn't seem to suffer.
After I got cooken' on the front lawn, I noticed I didn't have wide tire marks left by the "rolling down" of the Turf Masters.
As far as turf damage, I feel it is also favorable. I turned more aggressively than I normally would, but saw no ill effects from the new tires.
Bottom line: I'm pretty well pleased with them. I do worry the "Tire Police" might get me for running them against the arrow (direction of rotation ----->).


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 6:43PM
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A better picture.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 7:00PM
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fix it--did you ever get any tires to work and does anyone know a similar tire to the Carlisle Stryker in the size of 18x9.5x8?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 9:53PM
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