What to do about landscape equipment tire problems?

There are a lot of different things that can go wrong with your equipment during the work day. Getting a flat tire is one of them that can be real frustrating and time consuming to deal with. There are alternatives to the standard tubeless tire but are those alternatives worthwhile? That is what one landscaper wanted to know on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.

One lawn care business owner wrote “after 12 days of heavy rain storms I got back to work today. First job was a fertilization spray job. I noticed I had a flat tire on my sprayer after about 30 minutes. Went and got a new tube and had it fixed. Shortly after I started again the other tire went flat!

These are 2 of the 4 flats I have had this season. I was looking at solid rubber tires for replacements. A local lawn mower shop carries them in just about every size. While there I bought a refurbished 25 gallon sprayer and it had the solid rubber tires on it.

Has anyone else switched and is there any advantage having the pneumatic tires over the solid rubber tires? To be specific I am taking about the tow behind equipment sprayer tires. These have been tubeless tires that I could not break the bead seals on to insert the tubes in a reasonable time frame. Cost wise, it has been cheaper to take them for repair (about $7.00 per tire). The solid rubber tires, new, are about $15.00 each.

After dealing with the frustration of messing with these flats, I bought 6 solid tires for my old sprayer, my dump trailer, and my seeder. Four worked. The tires for the dump trailer have a different size axle (maybe 1/16th inch larger). I’ll change them tomorrow.

Jeeze, there seems to be a lot of people getting out of the lawn care business judging by the amount or used equipment I saw at the lawn mower shop. They had nothing there 2 weeks ago. I got paid for 4 jobs today and might go ’shopping’ tomorrow.”

A second lawn care business owner responded “I haven’t had a flat on any of the equipment….yet.

Most of my tow behind sprayers come, at least I think, with tubeless tires. I carry tubes for every size we operate in the event of a flat. If given the choice and I had a flat on a tow behind I would go solid. If it is something I am riding or driving, I put a tube in and a can of that no more flat stuff. I have had one flat on a tractor. It was pulling my bigger sprayer and the employee went on some shale, it spun a bit and poked a hole.

It doesn’t matter how rough the ride is for the sprayers it will not have any impact on you on the tractor, so solid tires may be easiest. I had thought at one time of putting a tire brake down device in the trailer but there is a store nearby my service area that fixes these small tires for ten bucks. The shops is so convenient, I never bothered.

I have found in most tire places, if you inform them you are a contractor, they will take you right away as they want your business and I get a price cut pretty much every time.”

A third added “I was going to try a couple of solid rubber flat-free tires for the front of my walk behind until my buddy had me use his wheelbarrow with a solid rubber tire.

It’s ’squishy’ and is quite hard to push after loading it with anything other than very dry mulch. Stone? Forget it. Pneumatic tires are harder and much easier to push in this case. I’d be afraid that my mower tires would be squishy to and that I would notice an increase in gas consumption.”

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