Types of Skid steer tires, their terrain applications and what you should know


Skid steer loaders are versatile, high-performing machines, well-suited for a wide range of operations including landscaping, construction, mining, and excavation. A skid steer loader’s performance is directly impacted by the type of skid steer tires used. The type of tires used on a skid steer depends on job site requirements and the type of terrain the skid steer loader will be operated on.

There are two main types of skid steer tires: pneumatic skid steer tires and solid skid steer tires.

Pneumatic Skid Steer Tires

Pneumatic tires are either air-filled or foam-filled. In comparison with solid skid steer tires, they offer lower upfront costs and provide a more comfortable ride for the operator. Pneumatic tires are used in a wide range of applications from construction to agriculture.

There are some downsides to equipping your skid steer with pneumatic tires. Air-filled pneumatic tires are prone to flats, leading to machine downtime. This also translates to high operating costs as tires need to be replaced and repaired more frequently than solid tires. Polyurethane tires are more expensive as they are flat-proof, but they are not as durable as solid skid steer tires. They are also heavier than air-filled tires, which puts more strain on the skid steer’s drive train.

Types of Pneumatic Skid Steer Tires

Generally, there are four main types of pneumatic skid steer tires, each designed to handle specific job site requirements.

  1. Standard Pneumatic Tires

Manufactured for light to medium duty applications, standard pneumatic tires are suitable for a range of applications including landscaping, material handling, stockpiling, road maintenance and agriculture. They are an economical option for skid steer operations. Standard pneumatic tires are made from durable rubber compounds and come in a variety of tread patterns.

  1. Heavy-Duty Pneumatic Tires

For heavy-duty applications that require tires that can withstand demanding ground conditions, heavy-duty pneumatic tires are the way to go. They are basically a beefed-up version of standard pneumatic tires. They feature extra thick sidewalls and a rim guard to protect the tires from damage. Heavy-duty pneumatic tires are great from snow removal, rentals, construction, and agricultural applications.

  1. Severe-Duty Pneumatic Tires

These highly-durable tires are made from the toughest rubber compounds that make them puncture-averse and wear-resistant. Severe-duty pneumatic tires are made for extreme applications like scrapyards, demolition, mining, excavation, and industrial work. Featuring extra deep tread lugs, these tires are self-cleaning, guaranteeing that mud and other debris do not lodge in the tires.

  1. Hard Surface Pneumatic Tires

As the name implies, these pneumatic tires are specially designed for hard, abrasive surfaces like concrete and asphalt. They are durable and offer long wear.


Solid skid steer tires do not feature inner tubes but are solid all the way. They cost more than their pneumatic counterparts. However, due to their durability, toughness and resistance to wear, they offer lower operating costs per hour. They are completely flat-proof and are the go-to tires for heavy-duty, industrial applications. Solid tires can be used on a range of applications including abrasive surfaces, scrapyards, recycling centers, mining, quarries, cold planing, steel mills and stockpiling.

Types of Solid Skid Steer Tires

  1. Smooth Solid Skid Steer Tires

Smooth solid tires are designed for extreme-duty skid steer operations. They are popularly used in warehouses, waste management sites and steel and aluminum plants. The rubber used in their production is extremely resilient and tough, giving the tires wear- and puncture-resistance. These tires are built to last.

  1. Smooth Flex Solid Skid Steer Tires

Smooth flex solid tires are a combination of solid and pneumatic tires, offering the toughness and reliability of the former and the smooth, cushioned ride of the latter. They feature elliptical apertures which maximize shock absorption. They are also great on hard, dry, compact surfaces.

  1. Twin Flex Solid Skid Steer Tires

Twin flex solid tires are specially manufactured for optimal shock absorption. They are capable of supporting heavy loads without cracking under pressure. Twin flex tires guarantee a smooth, comfortable ride for the skid steer operator. Besides maximizing operator comfort, they also feature deep tread lugs that enhance traction and allow the tires to self-clean.

  1. All Terrain Traction Tires

These come in two options - narrow base and wide base. The narrow base all-terrain tires have a higher point loading which minimizes tire spinning, while the wide base option offers better machine stability and enhances flotation. All-Terrain tires boast exceptional traction in off-road applications. They also perform well on hard, dry surfaces.