Step by Step Backhoe Tire and Skip Loader Tire Installation

Step-by-Step Backhoe Tire and Skip Loader Tire Installation and Replacement Guide

Having downtime on the job site is never a good thing.

Getting your equipment up and rolling again is crucial to getting the job done right. A blown tire or worn tires can have a very negative impact on job site performance.

Getting your tires replaced and upgraded on a regular basis can improve performance and limit downtime.

In today's guide, we are going to show you step-by-step exactly how to replace and install a set of backhoe tires. This specific machine is a skip loader but the same applies to skip loaders and backhoes along with most other loader backhoe models. Whatever loader backhoe or skippy (skip loader) you are running, this installation guide will be applicable to you.

If you are looking for a set of backhoe tires or skip loader tires, we sell full sets and then we also sell tires by size. We carry all major brands, so if you don't see your preferred brand listed on any of our product pages, then please call our sales line and one of our sales representatives can help you find your tire.

We do not offer on-site tire installations; this overview is simply a guide if you would like to install your tires yourself. If you have any questions about the installation of your backhoe tires, you can give your sales rep a call or refer to this page.

As safety is always our first priority, we will be going over a few standard safety precautions before we begin the backhoe tire installation.

Safety Tips for Tire Removal & Installation

Safety Tips for Installation

Here are a few safety precautions to follow before starting your installation:

  • Ensure you have enough working room
  • Ensure you have a safe working area
  • Double-check all required tools for install
  • Check tires for cuts, scrapes, and abrasions
  • Check for rim/wheel for cracks, bends and dents
  • Wear eye protection when needed
  • Wear hand protection when needed
  • Wear foot protection when needed

Tools & Materials for Installation

Tools & Materials for Installation

Here are all of the tools and materials you will need to install your front and rear backhoe tires:

  • U-Bar Breaker Bars (24")
  • Extra-Large Ratchet Strap
  • Large Vice Grips
  • Shop Towels
  • 1" Air Gun with Attachments
  • Murphy's 5-Gallon Liquid Tire & Tube Mounting Compound
  • Liquid Soap in Squirt Bottle
  • Slide Hammer Tire Bead Breaker
  • Hydraulic Tire Bead Breaker (portable Bead Breaker)
  • Safety Glasses
  • Safety Gloves
  • Tough Boots

Step 1. Lift Front Tires off the Ground + Remove Valve Core

Lift the front tires off the ground & remove the valve core

Lift the backhoe or skip loader using the front box in order to get the front ground front tire off the ground. Remove the valve core to release air pressure from the front tires.

Step 2. Remove Wheel From Hub Assembly

Remove the wheel from the hub assembly

Depending on the tools you have you may need to use an air gun for this job.

This job can be done with a large breaker bar but if the Lug Nuts are too tight, you can use an air gun. Pictured here we are using a 1-inch air gun. If you don’t have an air gun or compressed air on-site, a large breaker bar is going to be your best bet.

After the front wheel has been removed from the hub assembly continue to remove the rear wheel and tire.

Step 3. Remove Lug Nuts + Washers

Remove lug nuts and washers

Once the Lugnuts have been loosened with the air gun, proceed to remove the actual Lug Nuts and the washers.

Step 4. Remove Tire From Wheel/Rim

Remove the wheel from the hub assembly

There are many ways to remove a tire from a wheel but we are going to show you one of the most common ways in the industry. If you do not have a commercial or industrial tire changer (tire removal machine) on-site, you are going to have to remove your tire the old fashioned way. Don't worry, people do it every day. Both in commercial and off-road applications, removing a tire is fairly simple.

Depending on how tight the bead is set on the flange (side rings - the outside edge of the rim) of the wheel will depend on the first method you use.

Step 5. Step On Tire Edge To Break Bead

Step on tire edge to break the bead

You can either step on the tire to demount the tire from the bead or use a slide hammer (tire bead breaker) to remove the tire from the wheel/rim.

For the front tires, we can simply step on the tire and it will fall off the wheel. Depending on how tight your bead is set, you may need to apply some extra force here.

Step 6. Soap Inside Edge Of Tire

Soap the inside edge of the tire

Once the bead has been broken from the wheel on both sides you can apply soap on the inside diameter of the tire.

Any soap around the yard will do. Grab some soap and add it to a large bottle. Mix it with some water and shake it up. This will work as a squirt bottle moving forward for your tire replacement.

Step 7. Pull Inner Edge Of Tire Up Around Flanges/Side Rings

Pull the inside edge of the tire up around the flanges/side rings Remove the wheel from the hub assembly

Step 8. Start w/ Smaller Lip Of Rim Base

Start with the smaller lip of the rim base

Here’s a look at the inside of the wheel.

You want to remove one edge of the tire on the smaller lip of the wheel as this is going to be easier.

The smaller side is easier because it allows more room for a tire bar to get inside the wheel to pry up the tire.

If you are using a tire bar on the larger portion of the inside wheel then you will have to put more force into pulling the tire up in over the wheel.

Step 9. Continue w/ 24" – 36" Standard Tire Bars

Continue with 24" - 36" standard tire bars

It’s important to note that you should be demounting the side of the tire that is closest to the valve core stem as this is the small lip of the rim base and will again, allow for more grip.

Step 10. Finish Removing Tire From Wheel/Rim

Finish removing the tire from the wheel/rim

Once you have the first lip up and over the wheel you can proceed to remove the rest of the tire from the wheel in a similar fashion with tire bars.

The more tire bars you have the easier the job typically is.

Step 11. Separate Wheel/Rim From Tire

Separate the wheel/rim from the tire

After the rim has been removed from the tire, you can set the rim to the side and dispose of the tire properly.

If you are unsure of what to do with your unused tire, you may be able to sell them on craigslist to a local gym or just dispose of them at your local waste facility.

Step 12. Mount New Tire On Wheel/Rim + Remove Water Inside Tire

Mounting the new tire on the wheel/rim - Water inside the tire?

If you have water inside the tire, then you should remove it.

Even though some guys run water in their tire for more flotation and to have a heavier tire (more stability), we are not doing that today.

There are obviously many ways to remove water from the inside of a tire. We simply threw a handful of shop towels inside the tire, soaked up the water and rung the rags out. Repeat this process until the inside of the tire is dry.

Step 13. Install New Tires On Wheel/Rim

Installing the new tires on the wheel/rim

In order to install the wheel to the tire, you need to attach your vice grips on the inside of one wheel flange. This will act as a guide when installing the tires with your standard tire bars. Using your tire bars, and U-bars, install the tire on the rim.

Start with the U-bar, you will get the most leverage when getting the first edge of the tire over the wheel flange.

NOTE: Very important to add thick soap or tire compound on the edge of the tire along with bead. This will allow the tire to slide onto the rim/wheel much easier.

Step 14. Install U-Bars + Tire Bars

U bars and tire bars

Using your U-Bars and tire bars start to position the edge of the tire around the flanges/side rings of the wheel.

Repeat this process until one whole tire lip of the tire is around the wheel.

Once you have one lip of the tire around the wheel, then repeat this step on the outer lip of the tire. You should now have the new tire on the inside of the wheel.

Step 15. Continue To Pull Tire Over Flanges/Side Rings

Continue pulling tire over flanges/side rings

Repeat this process on the other flange/side ring until the tire is fully on the wheel/rim.

Step 16. Ratchet Strap Tire To Wheel/Rim

Ratchet Strap the tire to wheel/rim

Ratchet strap the tire until the bead seats onto the flanges or side rings.

When your tire arrives from the tire may be compressed due to shipping. If this is the case you may need to compress the tire outward to the point where the bead can seat on the flange along with the rim base.

You will notice a gap between the rim base, the flanges and the inside of the tire. We want to close this gap up by compressing the tire. We want to close this gap up by compressing the tire.

Step 17. Apply Tire Compound

Apply Tire Compound

Start by adding solid soap or very thick liquid soap to the outer edge of the tire.

Not just any thick soap will do, though. In our case, we are using Murphy's liquid tire and tube mounting compound. This is some really high-quality stuff, comes in a 5-gallon bucket, and you can reuse the paste for multiple tire installations.

Rub your tire compound all the way around the edge of the bead until the gap between the bead and the flange has been covered, preventing any air from escaping.

Step 18. Put Air In Tire

Put air in the tire

Once you have covered the edge of the flange and edge of the tire, you should have a sealed gap.

Once this is air-tight, you can go ahead and fill up your tire with air. Read the recommended psi on the edge of your tire and do not exceed this rating.

Proceed to put air in your tire to the recommended psi and finally reinstall the valve core. If you need to bleed air out of your tire pull the valve core until the recommended psi has been reached.

Reinstall your valve stem and core and you should be wrapped up with the installation of your backhoe or skip loader tire.

Step 19. Reinstall Wheel Onto Hub Assembly + Install Valve Core

Reinstall wheel onto hub assembly & Install Valve Core

Once your tire has been correctly mounted to the wheel and rim you can reinstall the wheel.

Make sure the direction of the tread pattern is facing forward (you should see markings on the tire).

Once your tire has been mounted back onto the hub assembly you can put your Lugnuts back in place and using your airgun torque the lugnuts down to factory spec.

Rear Tire Installation

For the installation of the rear tire, it's basically the same exact process.

The only major difference on the rear tire is the tightness of the bead on the flange. If your bead is extremely tight on the back tire, you can use a slide hammer tire bead breaker or a hydraulic tire bead breaker (Portable Bead Breaker).

Step 20. Use Slide Hammer To Install Rear Tires

Using a slide Hammer bead breaker

This is a great method for breaking a bead.

Going around the edge of the tire and breaking the bead with a slide hammer will do a great job of loosening the tire. You can pick these up at Harbor Freight.

Step 21. Hydraulic Tire Bead Breaker (Portable Bead Breaker)

Hydraulic tire bead breaker (Portable Bead Breaker)

The next best option for breaking a bead is a hydraulic tire bead breaker (Portable Bead Breaker).

If your slide hammer is not working, then the portable bead breaker will be your next best option.

Step 22. Demount Bead w/ Tire Bars

Demounting the bead with tire bars

Once you have broken the bead, you can apply soap to the bead and then grab your tire bars.

Pry up the outer edge of the bead all the way around the tire until one edge of the tire is up and over the flange.

Step 23. Rear Wheel/Rim On Backhoe

Rear Wheel/Rim on Backhoe

There is no difference in size on the inside rim lip. You can remove the wheel from either side of the tire when removing rear tires.

If you have any questions, please leave your questions and or comments below.

Questions or Comments? Leave them below!