Tread patterns for skid steer tires used to be a one-pattern-fits-all type of situation but not anymore! Today, there are a plethora of patterns developed to address specific situations and applications.
What's driving this trend? Businesses, whether they’re warehouses or construction operations or farms, are being managed more carefully every day.
Every penny that’s invested in the business has to show a return; every penny has to improve efficiency and profit. I think there’s a growing recognition that tires are an important part of outfitting equipment and keeping it productive.
If you look at where skid steers operate, many of them are well-served by a classic bar tread as featured on the venerable Galaxy Beefy Baby. But not every skid steer is working in the same environment. To help that machine be as productive as possible in the conditions it’s in, specialized tread designs have become a valuable tool.
And as more owners recognize the impact of operator fatigue on their bottom line, I think we’ll see even more interest in features that improve ride, stability and performance to keep those operators comfortable and productive.
Even the Beefy Baby, which has set the standard in skid steer tires for almot a quarter century, has undergone significant improvements. We developed the Beefy Baby III tread (pictured to the left) to improve stability and performance, which is good for the operator and for the bottom line. Our engineers beefed up the familiar Beefy Baby bar tread by deepening the tread and fine-tuning the lug design to deliver even greater stability, longer life and better traction.
With the Galaxy Muddy Buddy (pictured to the right), we reconfigured the angles of the lugs and increased tread depth by more than 55% to deliver better traction in mud and manure, where a lot of skid steers spend much of their time. It’s a very sophisticated design to perform in a very demanding environment, and customers have been really excited about it.
We have a new tire called the Galaxy Trac Star ND (pictured below), which is great for municipalities that run their skid steers down the road. The Trac Star ND has a non-directional tread pattern that was designed for hard-surface use, and a 42/32” tread that is just as deep as the deepest, most severe-duty tires we make. The large lugs and large lug-to-void ratio provides excellent wearability on hard surfaces—perfect for municipal fleets and utilities.
“Not all tread lugs are created equal, and that really shows up in the details on some of our skid steer tire designs. Mud breakers help keep the Galaxy Marathoner tread clean and improve traction, while sharp shoulders add grip in the Muddy Buddy. And of course, deeper tread adds service life on many of our tires.
My advice is to provide details to your tire dealer on the conditions your skid steers operate in, such as the types of surfaces and specific tasks. Your dealer can then advise you on the best tire for your operation.
Also, please read my earlier article on examining skid steer tire wear patterns to determine if your skid steer tires are performing at an optimum level.
And don't forget to enter our drawing below for a set of Beefy Baby skid steer tires; there's a reason the Beefy Baby has been the dominant skid steer tire for almost a quarter century now!