Posts Tagged ‘penny method’

How to Measure Lawn Tire Tread Depth

April 29th, 2013

While operating commercial lawn vehicles, tires can be worn to a thread over a period of time. Knowing when your mower tires need replacing is crucial, as tread depth is important both for maintaining the reputation of your business and keeping your ride smooth and efficient. The performance of any tires, and the vehicles they propel, emanates from their tread; this is why periodically measuring your tire tread is advised. It will vary by manufacturer, but a tread depth under 4/32″ often means that your tire is no longer under warranty, so it is important to replace your tires before they reach this point.

Measuring Tread Depth on Lawn Tires with a Tire Gauge

tire gauge, by Rich Moffitt, FlickrIt’s uncommon to measure the tread depth of your lawn mower tire with a ruler, but you have two other options. The first of these is to measure with a tire tread depth gauge. eHow offers a step-by-step tutorial on how to measure tread depth. YouTube also has many instructional videos.

You can purchase your tire gauge at an auto parts store. Be mindful of which you purchase; as some tire gauges measure in millimeters, while others measure up to 32nds of an inch.

Measure Tread Depth Using a Coin

tread depth using a pennyThe second option is to measure with a coin; preferably a penny, but a quarter can work, too. The coin option is when your turf tires have practically reached the end of their life. Place the coin (upside down, with the presidents’ head at the bottom of the coin) into various tread grooves on the tire. If Lincoln’s head is completely visible on the penny, the tire is worn to roughly 2/32″ or less. If using a quarter and Washington’s head is not covered by any tread, then you have worn your tread depth to 4/32″ or less.

If your presidents’ heads are covered in rubber, you’re good to go for awhile longer. If you can see their hairlines, it’s time to replace those mower tires.

Why shouldn’t you ride around on bald tires?

It’s all about performance and professionalism. If the tread drops below 4/32″, the performance of the tire decreases. Traction is significantly reduced and you may begin to damage turf (which is a big no-no on a commercial job).

For best lawn mower tire performance and to be covered by manufacturer warranty, it’s best to use a quarter to measure tread depth, instead of a penny.