Skid steer loaders are designed to handle tough jobs, but with longer use, they can be quite hard on their tires. With skid steer tires costing $200 and up, you don’t want to be replacing them before their expected lifespan is up. On the other hand, the tires are important to your operator’s safety and company’s reputation. Making tires last longer while remaining safe to operate can help you manage your operational expenses.
How Long Should My Skid Steer Tires Last?
The life of your tires depends on many factors. The surface the tires are used on can wear tires faster. How your operators drive the skid steer can also make a difference. Probably the most important factor is how you use your skid steer. The average life of a tire is around 800 to 1000 hours. If you use your skid steer for demolition, you may only get 400 to 600 hours of use. However, if you use your skid steer on softer surfaces, such as dirt and landscaping materials, you may get closer to 1,000 to 1,200 hours. If you are conscientious about cleaning and maintaining your equipment, you could get up to 1,400 hours of use.
Teach Operators to Extend Tire Life
Spinning the tires is one action that wears tires out faster. Operators should make turns prior to getting on hard surfaces when it’s possible. Putting down sand or dirt on hard surfaces can also minimize tire wear. Watch the weights of the loads you push to reduce tire spinning. Heavier and larger skid steers also wear tires out faster. If you have a larger skid steer, look at higher quality tires. Remove any counterweights when they aren’t needed, to reduce the weight on the tires.
Preventative Measures that Extend Tire Life
Tire pressure is directly related to tire health. Before you start the machine, check the tire pressure to ensure it is properly inflated. Over- and under-inflated tires wear faster and impact the performance of the equipment. Inspect tires each day. Watch for signs of wear. As the tread reduces, the less traction the machine will have. Look for cracks or bulges in the tire that could indicate a problem. Remove debris from the tires at the end of the day. During extreme temperature changes, watching the tires is even more important, as the ambient temperature impacts tire pressure.
Replace The Tires Proactively
Keep documentation about the number of hours you use your skid steer, so you can take steps to replace the tires on a regular schedule. Replacing tires as they are nearing the end of their lifespan can prevent downtime on a job when the schedule matters.
Choose High Quality Tires
All tires aren’t created equal. Rubber tires are more durable than regular tires, but they are more expensive and less comfortable. Inexpensive tires may only last 400 hours under some applications. High quality tires may be worth the investment when you do the math. STTC has tire experts who can help you get the most of your tire investments by going through the options with you, so you choose the tire that matches your job and is sized correctly for your equipment.
Call us now at 610-954-8473 or contact us online to discuss your skid steer loader tires. We can find solutions to help you get more out of your tires.