10 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Skid Steer Tires

We put a lot of demands on our skid steers—and their tires—from moving materials on building sites to pushing manure on farms to working with rubbish in recycling centres. Tires are one of the most expensive running expenses for skid steers, second only to gasoline, therefore prudent owners and operators look for ways to extend tyre life in order to save money and increase profitability.

Keep Your Tires Clean: When the tyres of your skid steers are caked in concrete dust or covered in mud or manure, it’s easy to ignore possible tyre concerns. Keeping your tyres clean makes it easier to identify bumps, bulges, and cracks, as well as blow-out-threatening material that may become lodged in the tread or bead region.

Inspect Tires Frequently: In addition to examining for abnormalities in your skid steer tyres, inspect the tread for uneven wear on a regular basis. It’s usual for a skid steer to wear one pair of tires—front or rear—faster than the other, or even one side quicker than the other. Keeping constant track of tread wear helps you to rotate the tyres and increase the service life of all four tyres.

Appropriate Operation: One of the leading causes of skid steer wear is aggressive operation. Effective instruction and reinforcement of fundamental concepts of right skid steer operation, such as preventing tyre spinning by utilising the proper amount of power and maintaining all four tyres on the ground, will go a long way toward extending skid steer tyre life.

Diligent Driving: You should be careful not just in how you drive your skid steer, but also in where you drive it. Many skid steers are used in difficult areas with numerous tire-threatening objects. Preventing punctures, reducing downtime, and lowering skid steer tyre expenses is as simple as being aware of and avoiding these threats

Think about your application: Skid steer operators now have more tyre options than ever before. A robust tyre can deliver the puncture-proof performance you want in harsh environments, such as scrapyards or demolition sites. A solid tyre might overheat on a skid steer that travels more than a mile in a shift or operates at more than 16 mph, so you’d be better off with a radial with flexible sidewalls, an even footprint, and heat-dissipating belts to withstand that much movement. A large block tread and wear-resistant compound will give extended service life on extremely abrasive pavement, but the slippery, wet conditions around most dairy farms would be ideal for a deep bar tread.

Pay Attention to Tire Pressure: The air within the tyre is responsible for carrying the weight in pneumatic tyres. Underinflation causes a tyre to flex more than it is supposed to, raising stress on the rubber, lowering fuel economy, accumulating heat, and hastening damage. Overinflated tyres, on the other hand, will wear unevenly and are more prone to puncture or blow out. Check your tyre pressure on a regular basis and make sure your tyres are filled to their appropriate air pressure to keep your skid steer functioning at its best and save money on tyre expenditures.           

Cut Out Counterweights: Bolt-on counterweights are essential for boosting a skid steer’s rollover capability while handling big loads. However, leaving counterweights on a skid steer when they are no longer needed results in more force being placed on your tyres, which contributes to accelerated wear.

Replace When Necessary: We appreciate your desire to get every ounce of life out of your skid steer tyres, but if your tyres are exhibiting symptoms of wear, it’s time to replace them. Missing pieces, ripped-off tread, and cracking are all signs of a looming failure. The downtime created by attempting to stretch worn skid steer tyres for extra few hours, days, or weeks may cost more than just changing them when you can arrange a convenient and safe time for the move.

Keep Tires Consistent: Mixing and matching skid steer tyres is a recipe for disaster—it not only causes excessive tyre wear, but it also stresses the chain drive system and wears out the machine itself. When it comes to skid steer tyre replacement, consistency is key: radials should be coupled with radials, bias with bias, solid with solid, L-5 with L-5, directional with directional, and so on.

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