It makes sense to take the necessary steps to keep tires for skin steer applications in good condition, so you can save money and avoid interruptions during the most critical jobs. Here are some pro tips to help you maintain your skid steer tires:
- Make sure your operator is proficient in skid steer equipment – The application, operator habits, and the environment are among the crucial factors that can impact wear and tear. By aligning the type of tire with the application and job site environment, and with sufficient operator training, you could minimize accelerated wear and tear.
- The operator is likely to have the most effect on the lifespan of skid steer tires. Trained operators counter-rotate only when essential. A softer touch combined with wider turns during operation on hard surfaces should help prolong the tires’ service life.
- Determine the working conditions and surface – Tires come in different rubber to void ratios, tread patterns, and tread depths. Rubber to void ratio is a percentage of tread in the rubber compound versus the void space or air in the tread pattern. A higher ratio means there’s more rubber compound being in contact with the ground. That said, premium tires with more tread depth tend to have a longer lifespan.
- Your choice in tread depth and the rubber to void ratio will depend on surface conditions (i.e. mixed-use, off-road, or improved surfaces or on-road).
- Conduct routine evaluation – Check for problems on skid steer tires before your day starts and before leaving the job site. It’s recommended that you fix any issue you find immediately, no matter how small or big they are, before they impact the skid steer’s performance or cause any damage or accidents.
- During routine checks, be sure to evaluate tire air pressure and wear. Match tire depths according to the skid steer manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Evaluate tire wear – Check the sidewall and the tread for chunking, debris penetration, cutting, or rubber tearing, and try to identify the cause to minimize further damage down the line.
- Keep them adequately inflated – Pneumatic skin steer tires must be inflated to the proper pressure to function as intended. Over-inflated tires will prevent the sidewalls from flexing, and the footprint will be lesser, resulting in poor impact resistance and traction, and irregular wear. Under-inflated could reduce stability and cause heat buildup.