Skid Steer Tire Options – General information on the choices you have available
All of the Tire Options you have available for your Skid Steer
When it comes to choosing a tire for your skid steer operations, there are a variety of skid steer tire options and sizes to choose from. The three main types of skid steer tires are pneumatic or air-filled, foam-filled and solid skid steer tires. They each have their specific pros and cons.
Air-Filled (Pneumatic) Skid Steer Tires
Pneumatic or air-filled tires offer the lowest price point. They also provide a smooth, comfortable ride for the skid steer operator. Compared to foam-filled tires and solid tires, they provide a much softer ride. However, air-filled tires are prone to punctures and flats. This leads to machine downtime which adversely affects job productivity and raises operational costs per hour.
- PROS: Low Cost, Comfortable Ride
- CONS: Puncture Prone
Foam-Filled Skid Steer Tires
With foam-filled tires, flats are not an issue. These skid steer tires are filled with polyurethane and offer better puncture resistance than air-filled tires. Depending on the hardness of the polyurethane filling, which varies from one foam-filled tire to the next, the quality of the ride differs.
A skid steer tire with a high durometer reading (i.e. level of hardness) will offer a rougher ride than one with a low durometer reading.
There are some cons associated with using foam-filled tires on your skid steer loader. A critical disadvantage is that the foam adds extra weight to the tires which put extra stress on the equipment’s drivetrain. This means the drivetrain has to work harder to power the skid steer’s wheels, which translates to increased fuel consumption.
Another drawback is the reduction in traction caused by the foam filling which stiffens the tires. The urethane filled tires also makes rides rougher and less comfortable for the skid steer operator.
- PROS: Puncture Resistant
- CONS: Rough Ride, Stiff Heavy Tire
Solid Skid Steer Tires
Solid tires, also known as airless skid steer tires are rubber all the way through and are airless skid steer tires. These tires are made from extremely tough rubber compounds. Solid tires are 100% flat-proof and extremely puncture-resistant. This makes them well-suited for severe-duty applications like waste recycling stations and demolition sites. They are highly durable and are not easily damaged by cuts.
Although solid tires provide the least comfortable ride, tire manufacturers usually include multiple apertures or holes in the sidewalls of the tires to maximize shock absorption. This cushions rides and optimizes operator comfort.
Solid tires are the most expensive to purchase. However, Solid tires are flat proof skid steer tires and they more than make up for this high upfront cost over time. They last much longer than air-filled and foam-filled tires, and they also guarantee minimal machine downtime.
This means you save on repair, replacement and maintenance costs.
- PROS: Puncture Proof
- CONS: Expensive
Skid Steer Tire Tread Patterns
Besides choosing the right type of tire to use on your skid steer loader, it is important to also consider the type of tire tread pattern that works best with the application you’ll be working on. This maximizes tire performance and extends tire life.
There are myriads of tread patterns to choose from.
Dirt-Terrain Tires (DT)
For soft ground conditions like mud and sand, you need a tread pattern that offers maximum traction. Dirt-Terrain skid steer tires feature deep, wide tread lugs that allow them to grip soil, mud and other soft terrains.
All-Terrain Tires (AT)
All-Terrain skid steer tires are designed to work on a broad range of surfaces, for both on-road and off-road applications. They feature tread lugs that offer great traction for muddy terrains but provide more tire rubber to ground contact area than dirt-terrain tires, which allows them to operate on improved, hard surfaces.
Smooth (Hard Surface) Tires
Smooth tires are lug-less, which means maximum rubber-to-ground contact area. These tires are designed to perform optimally on hard surfaces like concrete and asphalt.
They do not wear out quickly on these hard, abrasive surfaces (unlike DT tires) which makes them especially suited for hard surface applications like waste transfer stations.
Turf tires are designed for high-performance on sensitive surfaces like turf. They feature a wider footprint which minimizes ground pressure, reduces ground disturbance and maximize flotation over these surfaces.
With turf tires, you do not have to worry about sensitive surfaces getting damaged during skid steer operations like landscaping.
Skid Steer Tire Brands
Average Skid Steer Tires By Size
It is essential to always match the terrain with its corresponding appropriate tread pattern. Not doing so can drastically reduce tire life, decrease tire performance and slow productivity. If you need help in selecting the right type of skid steer tire, skid steer tire size, or skid steer tread pattern for your skid steer, contact Monster Tires.