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Posted: 05/29/2018

What Skid-Steer Loader Tire is Right for the Job?

An S650 skid-steer loader with twin-flex solid tires uses a breaker to break up rock.

Rock, asphalt, concrete, sand. Loaders can muscle through jobs on nearly any surface condition – if they’re outfitted with the right tire for the task. The type of tire you choose has the potential to not only boost your machine’s performance but also increase uptime and enhance profitability. Before selecting a tire, determine the primary surface you’ll be working on as well as your main application.

Pneumatic Tires

Pneumatic tires, which are made of rubber and inflated with air, are generally the best fit for construction, agriculture, rental and landscaping work. Although vulnerable to punctures and flats, pneumatic tires provide better shock absorption and ride comfort than solid tires, especially when carrying heavy loads. There are five types of pneumatic loader tires:

1. Standard-Duty Tires

  • Standard-duty tires are made of natural and synthetic rubber with thick sidewalls that pack maximum traction and grip.
  • These tires are designed for long wear during normal machine-hour applications.

2. Heavy-Duty Tires

  • Heavy-duty tires feature superior quality rubber, self-cleaning tread designs and a higher ply rating, allowing the tires to support heavier loads.
  • Some tires also come with extra bead guarding to protect rims and reduce sidewall damage.
  • Compared to standard-duty tires, heavy-duty tires generally last longer and are less likely to get flats, making them a great option for tough surface applications and high-hour jobs.

3. Severe-Duty Tires

  • Aggressive, long-lasting and designed to withstand abuse, severe-duty tires are the right choice for your toughest jobs.
  • Strong sidewalls defend against cuts and punctures while deep treads and a large surface area extend the life of your tire, increasing uptime.
  • Self-cleaning characteristics help shed mud and debris.

4. Turf and Super-Float Tires

  • Turf tires help you maintain the quality of your clients’ established lawns and finished surfaces by providing superior flotation characteristics to minimize damage.
  • Despite being ground-conscious, these tires’ shallow treads still offer excellent traction.

5. Super-Float Tires

  • If you’re navigating wet or soft ground conditions, super-float tires have a footprint that’s 85 percent larger than conventional tires for extra flotation.


Solid Tires

The tire of choice in demolition applications, solid tires are completely constructed from extra-tough rubber – no inflation required. Although they can still sustain damage in rough applications, solid tires won’t go flat and are unlikely to be ruined by a single incident, lasting three times longer than pneumatic tires. The trade-off: You’ll experience a bumpier ride, and solid tires are heavier than pneumatic tires. Bobcat offers one style of solid tire.

1. Solid Flex Tires

  • Severe-duty solid tires have an aggressive, off-road tread pattern for unmatched traction and self-cleaning action.
  • Their conical aperture design offers low vibration for greater rider comfort.
  • Massive tread depth ensures great performance in severe applications.

Equipping your machine with the right tire for the job gives you superior traction, flotation, wear and overall performance when you need it most. Check out Bobcat Company’s lineup of available tires, then talk with your dealer  to find the best tires for you and get a set of your own.

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