Whether it’s sharp turns, harsh conditions, or spinning wheels, skid steers are tough on tires. While it can be tempting to try to get every last hour out of your skid steer’s tires, the fact is that being proactive with replacement can save time, money, and aggravation caused by downtime and inefficiency. With that in mind, here are a few tips for knowing when it’s time to replace the tires on your skid steer.
The simplest way to tell if your skid steer’s tires are nearing replacement is by visually inspecting them. If a tire shows signs of cracking, is missing chunks, or the tread is damaged, it’s likely time for new tires. While you’re looking over your tires, also keep an eye out for cuts and gouges along the sidewall or objects embedded in the tread, both of which may also be an indication that it’s new tire time.
One of the surest ways to tell if it’s time to start thinking about new tires is by monitoring tread depth. Once the tire has worn through 80% to 85% of its original tread, the risk for flats increases while traction and efficiency decrease. Another benefit of regularly monitoring your skid steer tire tread depth is that the need for new tires won’t sneak up on you, allowing you time to shop around for a tire that meets your needs—and your budget.
Upon visually inspecting your skid steer’s tires and measuring their tread depth, you may discover that your tires are wearing unevenly; for example, the front tires are wearing faster than the rear. This is not uncommon, as skid steers often wear one set of tires faster. If you catch this in time, you can simply rotate the tires. However, if one set is too worn to rotate, remember that operating a skid steer with mismatched tires will not only worsen the uneven wear and tear on the tires, but will also lead to uneven wear on the machine itself. In this case, do yourself, and your machine, a favor by replacing all four tires.
Pneumatic tires are durable and can deliver a great ride. But some conditions—especially paved, rocky, or debris-strewn surfaces—can accelerate wear so quickly that solid tires could be a better choice. Alliance Tire has expanded the Galaxy SDS (Severe Duty Solid) line to include the Beefy Baby, Hulk, and Muddy Buddy designs in popular skid steer sizes to ensure that skid steer owners have solid choices in solid tires for the job site, farm, or wherever they need the toughest tires on the market.
Ask Your Dealer
If you’ve followed the tips listed above and still aren’t sure if your tires have any life left in them, consult your dealer. This is their specialty and they’ll be able to tell you if your tires are ready to get back to work or if it’s time for retirement.
Alliance Tire Group’s Galaxy brand was one of the first manufacturers to build tires specifically designed for use on skid steers. In fact, that first dedicated skid steer tire—the Galaxy Beefy Baby—is not only still available today, but is still a market leader in durability, versatility, and total cost per hour. Our Galaxy line is always expanding to meet the needs of our customers, so whether you’re looking for a classic, like our Beefy Baby, or something new from our ever-expanding line of solid skid steer tires, contact your ATG dealer today!