Five Ways Your Lawnmower Tire Can Affect Your Lawn

If you’re dedicated enough to the lawn mowing craft, you’ve probably checked your blades for sufficient sharpness, and adjusted the cutting deck height just so. But your prep work shouldn’t stop there – don’t overlook the influence of your mower’s tires on your lawn.

Here are five ways mower tires can have an impact on your lawn:

1. Incorrect or uneven tire PSI

Check to make sure all your mower’s tires are inflated to specification. Incorrect or uneven tire PSI can put your mower off-kilter enough that you’ll notice in your lawn.

According to, low tire pressure “can affect steering, make the mower wobble, and cause the cutting deck to sit unevenly – resulting in grass clumping and an uneven cut.”

On the flip side, above maximum recommended PSI can decrease the tire contact patch and cause ruts in the lawn.

2. Worn or damaged tire tread

You’re not going to get good traction with low, worn tire tread while off-roading in your 4x4. And the same can be said of your riding mower. If the functional tread is below adequate depth, mower tires can spin and slide when accelerating, slowing, and turning.

Nothing will put a damper on your mowing job like gouging areas of your yard due to spinning or sliding mower tires. If the yard is wet, traction will be even harder to come by, and the lawn more easily damaged too.

Under normal use and care conditions, mower tires last for many years but give them a look at the start of every mowing season to verify sufficient tread depth and good condition. Tires suffering from dry rot, for example, will struggle for traction and be more prone to punctures and damage during mowing. They may also lose air pressure.

3. Square and round tire shoulders

The characteristics of the shoulder area of mower tires (the outer edge) produce a different visual outcome when mowing.

If your tires are squared off, you can usually expect to see clear tracks in your yard due to those sharper shoulders. On the other hand, round tire shoulders leave little to no trace. (Rounded shoulders are used on golf course fairways and greens, for example.)

Imagine what these square shoulders will do to your lawn
Imagine what these square shoulders will do to your lawn

For more insights, see Square shouldered vs. round shouldered lawnmower tires.

4. Aggressiveness of the lawn tire tread

As the tire shoulder can have an effect on lawn, so too can the meat of the tire tread. If an aggressive tire tread is required to manage the undulations and challenges of your yard, then tracks of that tread pattern may be visible after a mow.

The post-mow visual difference between mowers using a Carlisle HD Field Trax tire vs. a Carlisle Straight Rib can be significant.

Tread variety
Click for larger image.

As a general rule of thumb, you want to select a tire that provides sufficient traction for your yard, but not a more aggressive tread than you need.

5. Check for improper tire specification

The Carlisle Turf Saver, one of our most popular riding lawnmower tires, is available in 26 sizes ranging from 4" to 12". Lawnmower tires are not one-size-fits-all by any means.

It’s critical that the proper tire specification is fit to your mower. Tires that are too narrow, for example, will be more likely to sink and dig into the yard. When it’s time to replace your tires, you can deviate from the make and model of your mower’s original tires, but size variation is not recommended.

Check out our full selection of lawnmower tires today.

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