The wheel gets a ton of credit for being one of the top inventions of all time. Lawn mower wheels are vital to mowing too. What lawn mower wheels do in regards of mower life, quality of cut, and saving down time is of huge importance. Without the invention of the wheel, there is no lawn mower. Actually there is no society as we know it! So there is that.
Push Mower Wheels
Lawn mowers have a few different types of wheels to get you rolling. No pun intended. Your average push mower may have simple plastic wheels or metal ones on commercial grade machines. The metal wheels may have rubber on the outsides to act as mini tires. While the plastic wheels will most likely be plastic all around, simply having a “tire like” look on the outside of the wheel. The better the push mower, the better the wheel set up generally. You don’t put high dollar wheels on a Ford Pinto. You save those for a slick Ford Mustang. The same holds true for lawn mowers.
On Larger Mowers
Lawn mower wheels on bigger mowers are a different animal. What lawn mower wheels do on a push mower is quite different than the role they play on a riding mower. On a small mower the wheels are important indeed. On a big mower, they are even more vital to the operation. Wheels and tires on a walk behind commercial lawn mower are much bigger than on a small push type machine. These wheels are metal with rubber tires around the wheels for heavier duty work. Some tires may be solid rubber to prevent flats, while most are air filled for smoother use.
On riding mowers the wheels and tires get even larger. On home owner lawn tractors the wheels are made of metal and almost always equipped with air filed tires. Of course there are “no flat” tires that you can purchase for replacement. These replacements take away the irritation of flat tires, but make the ride rougher on the operator. It is a trade off and you have to consider the terrain you normally mow in order to make that choice. Front tires are more likely to go flat than the back ones typically. They hit nails and receive the most abuse since they are ahead of the back tires. So I wouldn’t recommend getting sold tires on the back of a lawn tractor, only the front ones. If you want to learn how to repair a flat tire, check here (instruction video is included!)
On a zero turn lawn mower the wheels and tires are of even greater importance. There is a lot of quick turning involved with these mowers and they are generally heavier than other machines. You want to have a good base of operation for these type mowers. The wheels and tires are that base. The front wheels do a lot of spinning with the zero radius turns. So they need to be properly greased. Not when you get the free time either buddy! They need grease on a regular schedule or you will be replacing some wheel bearings. That is a messy, greasy, and unpleasant job. So do yourself a huge favor and keep those wheel bearings greased up for maximum use. The back wheels don’t need any grease on these mowers as they do not pivot like the front ones. But air pressure is vital to getting a nice even cut on your turf. The same lawn tractor guidelines on “no flat” tires goes for ZTRs as well. The back tires are always air filled, but the front tires can be solid rubber if you make that trade off in ride comfort.
Wheels and tires are what move the mowers along. There are other important parts of a lawn mower. But without the lawn mower wheels doing their job, you would have a heck of a time mowing the lawn….unless your yard is the size of a pillow!
As Always, Happy Mowing!