The John Deere Z740R ZTrak zero-flip mower has a whole lot going for it: a mowing deck up to 60 inches, a 10 mph leading velocity and a 23.5-horsepower V-twin motor. That terrible boy’s bought a four-year, thousand-hour guarantee that would be bumper-to-bumper, if it had bumpers.
What it does not have is air in the tires. Nor does it need to have any, because the Z740R rolls on the sickest of reduced-execs: Michelin Tweels, which incorporate a “shear beam” (consider: the skinniest of sidewalls) with versatile poly-resin spokes linked to a hub. It’s a tire and wheel in one particular, therefore the identify.
Now, when presented with an airless tire, you could possibly consider the first factor you would do is attempt working more than a nail. Erroneous: you attempt managing above two handfuls of nails, in the driveway of a friend’s farm. This experienced no impact in anyway, so I lined up a trio of nails in my own mini spike strip to see what would occur. The Z740R rolled in excess of the nails, which lodged harmlessly in the tread and impeded the mower not at all.
Experience cocky, I put a brick in the driveway and drove in excess of that, the Tweel deforming all-around the masonry and then springing instantly back again into shape. It truly is concurrently like a zero-profile effectiveness tire, a operate-flat, and an off-highway balloon tire aired down to 10 psi.
Content with my Tweel experiments, I roared off to mow about 50 % a football subject in 5 minutes, which is feasible when you might be hacking a 5-foot swath at 10 mph.
Just one Tweel downside is that on high-and-restricted lawns and zero-degree turns, the rather sharp edge of the sidewall can leave marks on the grass. That wasn’t an concern in my gnarly examination bramble, which is ordinarily mowed by a tractor the dimension of a Victorian manor.
On the Z740R ZTrak, Tweels are a $580 solution. That is a fantastic deal, given that this sizing Tweel fees $599 every single from Michelin. (And yes, they are going to fit some other mowers, if you want to retrofit.)
Michelin is now also creating off-highway Tweels for UTVs, small turf-welcoming designs for golfing carts, and even skid-steer Tweels. Whilst the up-entrance selling price is definitely additional than you would fork out for a pneumatic tire, Michelin suggests that the tread on a Tweel should final two to 3 situations lengthier than a traditional tire—and it can be retreaded.
Ok, so where’s my automotive Tweel? I want my car or truck to glimpse like a Mars rover as quickly as attainable. Ideal now the max pace score for a Tweel is 50 mph, but I maintain out hope for auto-sized Tweels.
Since I’m not guaranteed I identified all those nails I dropped in the driveway.