What Kind of Tires Can I Put on My Riding Lawn Mower?

Like any other vehicle, your riding lawnmower requires appropriate tires to function optimally. Understanding the right type of tire for your mower can significantly impact the mower’s maneuverability, speed, and overall effectiveness. Mower tires are classified primarily by their size, tread pattern, ply rating, and type of terrain they are designed for.

Tire Size

The first step in selecting the best tires for your mower is to choose the appropriate size. There are two common sizing systems, and your model is likely one or the other:

  • Two number sizing system- Here the first number is the tire width in inches. The second number is the rim diameter in inches.
  • Three number sizing system – In this system, the first number is the tire’s diameter in inches. Note that it refers to the diameter when inflated, but not under load. The middle number is the tire’s width in inches, and the third number is the rim’s width in inches.

Ply Rating

Ply rating indicates the strength and durability of the tires. Tires for riding lawn mowers typically come in 2-ply, 4-ply, and 6-ply varieties. Higher ply ratings mean the tires are more robust and more resistant to punctures, but they’re also heavier and potentially less comfortable for the rider.

Tread Pattern

The tread pattern is another crucial factor. Tread patterns can vary from turf-style treads, which are the most common type of riding mower tires, to ribbed or saw-tooth treads. Turf-style treads provide excellent traction without damaging the lawn, making them ideal for most mowing needs. On the other hand, ribbed treads are excellent for reducing rolling resistance, providing a smoother ride on hard surfaces. Finally, saw-tooth treads are best for traction on uneven or soft terrain.

How to Choose

An important consideration in choosing tires for your riding mower is the type of terrain the mower will be operating on. For relatively flat lawns, standard turf tires will suffice. However, if the lawn has slopes or rough terrain one might want to consider lug tires. These tires have deep, aggressive treads that provide excellent traction on sloping or slippery terrains.

Front or Rear?

If you need to replace the front tires, and it’s not a drive axle, a good choice is a ribbed tire, also known as multi-rib. This type of tire has circumferential grooves around the tire and will not damage the grass. Another option for the front tires are flat free tires. These tires are lightweight and don’t add the extra weight foam filled tires do to your mower. Because of the hollow air cavity in the center, they can withstand any debris in the way without leaving you stranded, saving time and money.

When it comes to back tires for riding lawn mowers, they usually have a larger profile and carry most of the mower’s weight. They typically have a wider tread pattern for better traction, especially when mowing uphill. If you need traction, tread life, and durability, opt for commercial grade, more aggressive tires with lugs or knots. These tires are especially good on steep slopes, and most commonly used by landscapers because they tend to last longer. The specific type needed will depend on the mower model and the terrain, but they should always be sturdy enough to support the weight and power of the machine.


Choosing the right tires for a riding mower depends on various factors, including the type of lawn, the mower’s model, and the user’s specific needs. Whether you’re replacing the front or back tires on your mower, make sure that they’re compatible with your mower’s specifications to achieve the best performance.

Remember, it’s not just about finding tires that fit; it’s about finding the right tires that offer the best mix of traction, durability, and performance for your specific mowing needs. A well-chosen tire will not only make your mowing tasks easier, but will also enhance the longevity and efficiency of your mower, proving to be a worthy investment in the long run.

Where to Go for More Information

If you’re at all uncertain as to which tires are best for your mower, speak to the experts here at Mission Valley Kubota. We are authorized distributors for Kubota, Land Pride, Gearmore, Towmaster Trailers, Paladin, and Echo Outdoor Power Equipment, making us one of the area’s best resources for rugged farming and construction equipment. We’re committed to putting our customers first, which allows us to provide our clients with tough and durable equipment for a variety of uses. In addition to offering new and used equipment, we have a staff of highly trained and experienced technicians that can complete any repairs or preventive maintenance you may need.

We’re conveniently located in San Jose on Brokaw Road, making us easily accessible from both Interstate 880 and Highway 101. If you would like more information about the products and services we offer, give us a call at 888-284-7471, or stop by and see us.

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