Skid-steer tires have a big effect on productivity and safety, whether you’re doing landscaping, excavation, roadwork, general dirt work, mining, or other skid-steer loader applications. If you’re not using the right type of tire for the job, performance suffers.
Along with choosing the appropriate tire type for the work, it’s also important to closely inspect tires regularly for damage. Proactive maintenance prevents tires and rims from becoming unserviceable, which obviously necessitates more costly replacement. Check for wear, punctures, rim damage, and other problems to avoid unsafe, inefficient operations and the potential to ruin parts.
Here are seven types of skid-steer tires and what they’re typically used for:
- Standard pneumatic tires are for light to moderate general dirt applications, roadwork, landscaping, excavation, material handling, stockpiling, and agriculture work. They’re made from durable natural rubber, and they come with lots of tread options and in radial or bias-ply variations.
- Premium pneumatic tires are similar to standard pneumatic tires and are generally used for the same applications. However, they’re augmented for extra durability and protection with features like an extra layer of sidewall rubber, wear-resistant compounds, or extra material that overlaps the edge of the rim.
- Flotation tires have a bigger footprint and tighter tread, making them well-suited to general dirt work, agriculture work, landscaping, excavating, and ship trimming performed in soft, wet, muddy, or sandy ground conditions. Different available tread patterns accommodate different applications requiring high flotation.
- Severe duty tires are for heavy work in mud or on hard surfaces. They feature especially deep tread and are highly wear- and puncture-resistant. These tires are commonly used for skid-steer applications on abrasive surfaces or underground, in scrapyards, for roadwork, excavation, material handling, stockpiling, breakers, soft-soil mining, and industrial work.
- Super severe tires, otherwise known as mining tires, are similar to severe duty tires but are manufactured with additional features for durability and protection. These include solid center rims and bead-to-bead wire reinforcement. They handle many of the same applications as severe duty tires, as well as concrete work, cold planing, mining, quarry jobs, demolition, forestry work, steel mill jobs, and recycling operations.
- Non-pneumatic tires are made from highly engineered rubber compounds to provide superior damage resistance. They are solid, meaning they can’t go flat. They’re also heavy, so they can increase stability and operating capacity—but also fuel consumption. These suit most of the same work as super severe tires.
- Non-pneumatic flexible tires are much like the above, but they’re designed to provide more cushioning and a more comfortable ride than standard non-pneumatic tires (which are not knows for providing comfortable operations). Use these for all the same applications and a smoother, more comfortable ride.