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Thread: ZTR Traction

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    rtgt's Avatar
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    ZTR Traction

    I have a lot of slopes on my property and at times have difficulty maintaining good traction with both wheels.

    Here is an old thread that addressed something similar:

    https://www.greentractortalk.com/for...teep-hill.html

    To start I changed my rear tires to Carlisle HD Field Trax. I tried bar treads on my previous Z and they were ok until the ground was dry and then they were worse than the turf's.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    They are an improvement over the stock turf tires however you have to be a bit more careful turning. Dieselshadow's School of Z Driving taught me how to make smooth 3 point turn and this helps.

    In many places I am on a slope making the turn or steering around an obstacle and sometimes I don't have enough traction to pull off a good turn and a wheel spins.

    I have found that the left wheel has better traction than the right due to the location of the fuel tank. I wish the tank had dual cells over both tires.

    Today I filled the rear tires with windshield washer fluid. Five and a half gallons per tire. I think I can get another half gallon in each tire but I only purchased eleven gallons. If this works, I'll get another gallon and top off each tire. I have intended to do this since last year but never got around to it. My last time mowing I lost traction on a turn and slid into the propane tank. That prompted me to get off my lazy butt and fill the tires.

    I also have several pieces of 3" x 1/4" bar stock that I cut to length for a rear weight bumper. Yes that has been cut and on the work bench since last year as well... I have several pieces of steel from other projects and just can't see spending the on the factory rear weight so I am going to make my own. The advantage is I can add or subtract pieces till I get it right. As Gizmo posted in the other thread, some weight will have to be added up front to prevent wheelies.

    My next step is to get it drilled and mounted. It will take a trip to Fastenal or a similar supply house to get some metric all thread an the appropriate nuts.

    In the meantime I may do a test mow to see how the fluid filled tires perform. I am also curious if this improves the ride as well.
    Taking the easy way is what makes rivers and men crooked.

    3039R, H160 FEL, 375A Backhoe, Artillian Grapple & Forks
    Z915E
    XUV560

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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    I think I'd need Z Driving School if I had that tread on my zero turn. I'd definitely tear up some grass, especially when it's wet. Good luck with the ballast.
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    When I did the washer fluid filled tires on my X585 I pulled them off, broke the bead on the side with the valve stem. I then poured in as many gallons as would fit and used the air compressor to seat the bead again. I will say the ride quality went down a bit. With a little less fluid you would have more room for air and that should help. I was going for max weight for FEL work though.

    I guess the only other comment I have on washer fluid is I used the winter blend stuff. We do have some buildings that are not heated and this way I don't have to worry about what would happen. Granted I won't use the ZTrak in the winter but I am not sure if it would break a valve stem or cause other damage if it freezes. The winter blend stuff is harder to find this time of year.
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    I had the fluid (antifreeze) idea couple years ago, and made a trip to the auto store to buy 10 gallons and got cold feet. Couple week later I made a stop at my JD dealer and ask the parts dept. person about the idea of putting antifreeze in my Ztrak rear tires. He sorta made a grim and snarl remark...'do you have the money to replace the transmissions'
    So, I have ask this question to others Zero Turn guys, and they also tell me...think about what the cost is on replacing/repairing the transmission.

    I have decided to remain the two tires with just plain old air.
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    I had a Ariens Zoom 54" XL that would slip and slide all over the place - so I put lug tires on it and it helped tremendously (which I think you said you already tried). But, to my point, I recently sold the old Ariens and bought a new Gravely ZT HD 60". The Gravely has much larger tires - 22x12x12 - versus 20x10x8 on the Ariens. The Gravely, with stock turf tires, does not slip at all like the Ariens did with turf tires. Also, the Gravely has a centered fuel tank. So if your ZTM is slipping, maybe you can upgrade to a different mower with better traction.
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    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rtgt View Post
    I have a lot of slopes on my property and at times have difficulty maintaining good traction with both wheels.

    Here is an old thread that addressed something similar:

    https://www.greentractortalk.com/for...teep-hill.html

    To start I changed my rear tires to Carlisle HD Field Trax. I tried bar treads on my previous Z and they were ok until the ground was dry and then they were worse than the turf's.

    They are an improvement over the stock turf tires however you have to be a bit more careful turning. Dieselshadow's School of Z Driving taught me how to make smooth 3 point turn and this helps.

    In many places I am on a slope making the turn or steering around an obstacle and sometimes I don't have enough traction to pull off a good turn and a wheel spins.

    I have found that the left wheel has better traction than the right due to the location of the fuel tank. I wish the tank had dual cells over both tires.

    Today I filled the rear tires with windshield washer fluid. Five and a half gallons per tire. I think I can get another half gallon in each tire but I only purchased eleven gallons. If this works, I'll get another gallon and top off each tire. I have intended to do this since last year but never got around to it. My last time mowing I lost traction on a turn and slid into the propane tank. That prompted me to get off my lazy butt and fill the tires.

    I also have several pieces of 3" x 1/4" bar stock that I cut to length for a rear weight bumper. Yes that has been cut and on the work bench since last year as well... I have several pieces of steel from other projects and just can't see spending the on the factory rear weight so I am going to make my own. The advantage is I can add or subtract pieces till I get it right. As Gizmo posted in the other thread, some weight will have to be added up front to prevent wheelies.

    My next step is to get it drilled and mounted. It will take a trip to Fastenal or a similar supply house to get some metric all thread an the appropriate nuts.

    In the meantime I may do a test mow to see how the fluid filled tires perform. I am also curious if this improves the ride as well.
    I ran those tires on my Toro Z-Master, good tire.
    John Deere's rear bumper is hollow on one side, solid on the other...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    Fluid filled tires shouldn’t hurt the transmissions at all. They aren’t suspending the weight, but they will feel the extra weight. But there isn’t that much extra weight to be worried about. You can hang extra weights and even a bagger on these machines with no warnings about burning transmissions. I call that theory bunk right off the bat.
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    110 round fender in the shop for crustoration
    Ferris IS3200Zzero turn mower

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmo2 View Post
    Dieselshadow is my Hero.


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    rtgt's Avatar
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    I decided to brave the heat and humidity this afternoon for the sake of science.

    All I have to say is WHY DIDN'T I DO THIS LAST YEAR WHEN I BOUGHT THE FLUID!

    Very noticeable difference in traction, particularly on the right side (opposite the fuel tank).

    I had some concern that I would have more problems making clean turns but it turns out I turn easier with more traction.

    It isn't 100%. I still had some slip in some spots but I was pushing it to see what it would do. If I go back to a better approach angle/direction that will solve the problem.

    Even pushing it to test how effective the filled tires were I have less overall damage, skid marks & spin outs than I had before the fluid and was trying to use the best / least damaging approach.

    Now I have the ability to mow the way I want to instead of the same direction every time because I had to just for the sake of traction.

    I even got into some still wet areas and noticed an improvement as well. It still slid a little, but was easier to control. Normally I wouldn't have gone there but I wanted to try it. One spot I didn't realize was wet till I was there. Going uphill on with a side slope. Never slipped and going back past all I had was neat little knobby tracks.

    If I can figure out how to put wheel weights on this thing it will be a tank......

    I put 5.5 gallons in each tire and I am not up to the valve stem yet. I will likely get some more fluid and top off each tire.

    I did use fluid rated to -20 degrees fahrenheit.

    I also noticed an improvement in the ride. I still feel the bumps from the front wheels, but not nearly as much from the rears.

    I still have some more to mow tomorrow so I'll see what I can get it to do on some slopes down by the pond.

    In a nut shell this is the single best thing I've tried to improve the traction on the Z. I am sure the tires helped, but the additional weight lets them get the traction they were designed for.

    I score it
    Taking the easy way is what makes rivers and men crooked.

    3039R, H160 FEL, 375A Backhoe, Artillian Grapple & Forks
    Z915E
    XUV560

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