I had a 3010 trans mule that wasn't top heavy one bit. handled just fine with no bump steer and was extremely reliable. The only reason for the 2" lift would be to put the Essex tires on, since they don't come in a 23" tire. 25 is the smallest they go. We put a set of those tires on my dads Kubota rtv900 over 9 years ago, and they are still going strong and have been through hell and back a few times. Back when I picked up my 3010, it needed tires something fierce along with one new wheel since it was bent to crap. It was a no brainer with the Essex tires. Mine was a work machine as well and did everything I asked of it.
Ask anyone else on here about the Essex tires, and they'll say the exact same as I did.
Essex tires are some of the best and if they made a tire in correct size for my application this would be a moot conversation.
I don't want or need the bigger tires which then require a lift kit to install - I just want a tire that fits.
I am searching but at the same time don't want to change the geometry and exceed the excursion angles on the CVs and universal joints just to run bigger tires that I don't want in the first place.
The CVs on front will handle more deflection while the universal joints in the rear half shafts are much more limited and due to inherent limitations of the design and will start to bind then wear quickly.
Unfortunately, most ATV/UTV tires are rated at 400 pounds at 7 PSI.
The wet weight of the 3010 is very close to 1400 pounds and the total weight limit is 1600 for those tires - when I climb in, it's right at the limit with nothing else in it!
People tend to overload and the tires sag so they air them up to hold the load - the problem is the tire carcass stretches from over-inflation and with a little age, starts to pull apart at the edges of the knobs.
I am leaning towards a 6 ply mini-truck type tire that is rated for 1000 pounds at 20 PSI and comes in the right size.
While I generally run close to empty I could air down to 10 PSI and not crown and wear the center section of the tire and air them up when carrying a heavy load.
You did your lift/tires right and the results show.
The lift is offset by the stiffer sidewalls of the essex tires so it is stable and not going wide helps combat bump steer.
Lift kits on tall wide squishy 7PSI stock type tires is a whole other conversation though but unfortunately where lots of folks go!