In many ways, tractor wheels (and even some riding lawn mower wheels) are universal in that their bolt patterns are the same, requiring as many lug nuts as all the others. However, the reality is a little more complicated than that.
Kubota rims will go on a John Deere if the wheels are the same diameter, but that might not always be the case. Both companies make enough tractors and lawnmowers that there are bound to be some “tweeners” or those that sit in the middle, not interchangeable with a comparable tractor.
Most tractor companies don’t make their own wheels either, which is helpful when it comes to interchangeability. That’s because if each company made their own wheels and tires, they would attempt to make them proprietary, so only wheels from their company will fit.
Are Lawn Mower and Tractor Wheels Truly Universal?
No, they aren’t truly universal, even though you will undoubtedly be able to find some Kubota rims that will fit your John Deere tractor or lawnmower in most cases. When it comes to riding lawn mowers, for instance, the front wheels are often easily interchangeable, while the back wheels might be entirely different.
In certain scenarios, like the above example of riding lawn mowers, you may find a Kubota lawnmower or tractor with the rims you are looking for in your John Deere. However, that wheel size on the Kubota may not be in the same class as the John Deere.
Much of this interchangeability boils down to measuring the dimensions of your wheel and the hub. Once you measure it out and write down the information, it’s easy to jump online and find comparable rims from Kubota that will fit your John Deere.
It will also work for just about any tractor or lawnmower since John Deere and Kubota are far from the only competing agricultural machinery manufacturers worldwide.
For all you know, you may find the right size rim on a Cub Cadet. But, it’s just a matter of looking and finding the right size.
Lawnmowers and tractors aren’t quite like cars, SUVs, trucks, and crossovers. When it comes to vehicles, there are so many wheel sizes out there it will boggle your mind trying to grasp how in the world we’ve managed to make something that should be close to universal than this massive overflow of wheel sizes and tires.
Tractors and riding lawnmowers are a little closer to the mark when it comes to interchangeability, and it makes your life a whole lot easier if you need a Kubota rim for your John Deere.
How to Properly Measure Your Wheels/Rims
Wheel sizes have numbers and letters to denote what is what, much like they do in cars and trucks. However, they look a little more complicated with tractors. For instance, you may see a wheel size that says something like 520/85/R/42/158/A8/R1.
It seems like a little bit of overkill. Well, sure it does. But it is necessary because each number preceding each slash indicates a critical aspect of the wheel size.
Also, this long string of numbers and letters is a metric system measurement that you will sometimes have to deal with when it comes to tractors manufactured overseas.
- The first number is three digits and represents the width of the tire
- The second number is two digits and represents the radial measurement of the tire
- The letter “R” in the above tractor tire number is irrelevant
- The two-digit number after the letter “R” is the rim measurement
- A fourth number is a three-digit number that represents the load index
- The Fifth number is a two-digit alphanumeric number that represents the speed index of the tractor
- The last number is also alphanumeric and represents the tread style of the tractor
Then there is the standard measurement that is a little more common in tractors in America, and it is less complex than the metric system number. The first number indicates the tire’s width in inches, and the second number indicates the rim size in inches.
Measure the Rim Diameter
To accurately represent the rim width of your tractor tires, you have to measure the inside of the rim from one bead lip to the bead lip on the opposite side. That means inside of the bead lip. If you measure the tire’s diameter from where the rubber meets the rim to the opposite side, you will get an inaccurate measurement.
Often, the measurement’s diameter is stamped on the inside of the rim. Unfortunately, that measurement stamp may get worn off with use, necessitating your own measurement.
Measuring the Wheel Bolt Pattern
Measuring your bolt patterns is probably one of the more bizarre things you will ever do, at least in terms of measuring things. In most scenarios, you will measure from one bolt hole to another bolthole by running your measure from the center of each hole.
- Four-Lug Bolt Patterns: Measure from the center of one bolt hole to the center of the opposite bolt hole
- Five-Lug Bolt Patterns: This is a strange one. Imagine a five-point star. Measure from the center of the bolt hole that represents the bottom, right of the star to the farthest end of the bolt hole that represents the top point of the star
- Six-Lug Bolt Patterns: Choose any bolt hole and measure from the center of the bolt hole you chose to the center of the bolt hole that is opposite
- Eight-Lug Bolt Patterns: Measure the eight-lug bolt pattern precisely as you would the six-lug bolt patterns
Afterward, measuring the distances between bolt holes, you will also need to measure the diameter of an individual bolt hole.
Measure the Wheel Offset
To get this measurement, you will need the wheel without the tire, and your measurement will be vertical, with the wheel facing you so that it rolls to or away from you.
Where on the wheel you make, your vertical measurement depends on where the mounting surface is located within the wheel.
For a positive offset mounting surface, you will measure where the arms of the offset meet the wheel. The other two offsets are the zero offset and the negative offset, both of which require a directly centered and vertical measurement.
Now that you have measured your John Deere wheel the right way and recorded all of the numbers, you will easily be able to look up and locate a rim from Kubota, or anywhere else for that matter, to fit your John Deere.
If you have the measurement stamped inside the wheel rim, you won’t have to worry about anything. However, without that stamp, you now know how to correctly and accurately measure your wheel and find the right size rim.
All Things Considered
Semi-universal is probably a more apt description of wheels/rims on John Deere and Kubota tractors or lawnmowers, including other manufacturers.
The most critical aspect of choosing the correct rim for your John Deere or Kubota is knowing how to correctly measure the rim diameter, lug bolts, and wheel offset.
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