Last Updated on January 26, 2022 by Grow with Bovees
Knowing the best tire pressure for a zero turn mower is just as important for the front tires as well as the rear tires. This will help to ensure it performs effectively, and is safe to use.
It’s very easy though, to overlook checking the pressure of the standard equipment tires as part of the routine maintenance on your mower and this is something you need to rectify.
After all, a lawn mower tire essentially has the same considerations and needs as those on a car or a truck!
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Performance and Tire Rotation
Much of a tire’s performance depends on inflating it to the right pressure. Normally we recommend checking this every time you use it to ensure they haven’t deflated during storage.
Often the rear lawn tractor tires are larger than the front tires on a ZT lawn mower to improve traction and drive power. This causes the front tires to turn up to around 5 times faster than the rear ones so they need to be correctly inflated to run with maximum efficiency.
You should also check tread wear regularly and swap the tires on each axle if they’re showing signs of uneven wear to get the most life out of them.
Reading Air Pressure
There are various gauges you can use to read tire pressures on your mower including a stick or pencil gauge, a digital device or a dial that’s normally built into the pump.
Check the owner’s manual of your particular model for the recommended maximum tire pressure to inflate both front and rear tires before starting, or look on the side wall of the tire instead as the optimum pressure is usually noted there.
The recommended tire pressure will usually be quoted in PSI, or pounds per square inch.
Using an accurate tire gauge check each individual tire PSI, go round all four wheels and inflating tires one tire at a time if needed.
We recommend that both lawn tractor tires on each axle have the same tire pressure to reduce uneven wear across the tires and to keep the mower alignment straight when in use, avoiding an uneven cut and poor steering.
Distribution of Tire Pressure
Ensuring proper distribution of pressure across all 4 tires is essential for maintaining good traction when using your ZTM.
Manufacturers like Scotts lawn indicate in their operator’s manual that load distribution should be split across the front and back axles with 40 percent on the front and 60 percent on the back.
Doing a loading search to work out what this equates to in PSI, we find that residential riding mower tires generally have factory settings of 14 PSI for 20-inch rear tires and 10 PSI for 15-inch front tires.
Storage Tire Pressures
Cold air temperatures will reduce the air pressure in lawn mower tires and, over time, this loss of pressure causes stress on the rubber. The weight of the riding mower bearing down on a flat tire can cause severe damage to the side walls of the tires during months of winter storage.
The recommended solution is to slightly over-inflate the tires above the maximum tire pressure when winterizing your mower and checking them regularly during the colder months, or lifting the mower, and removing each wheel completely and storing lawn tractors on axle stands.
Conclusion Of Riding Mower Tire Pressures
The best tire pressure for a zero turn mower is 14 PSI for the rear tires, and 10 PSI for the front tires.