Maintenance for Skid Steer Tires
A few simple maintenance routines can extend the life of your skid steer tires dramatically.
Clean your Tires
Hose down your tires routinely so they are easy to inspect. Look for bubbles, bumps, cracks, and anything that might be lodged in the rubber.
Check the Tread
A quick visual inspection will also reveal any uneven wear. On skid steers, one set of tires may wear faster (the front or rear), depending on how they are operated. Rotate the tires as soon as you notice any uneven wear, which will extend the life of all four tires.
Operate with All Four Tires Engaged
There is less wear on the tires and the machine when the skid steer is operated with all four tires engaged on the ground. When the bucket is too far beneath a load, the front tires may lift slightly off the ground, placing stress on the back tires.
Keep the Tires on the Ground
Skid steer tires are designed for operation on ground, not on road surfaces. Consequently, the tires will wear out faster when they are driven on roads rather than on the ground.
Watch for Debris
Skid steers are operating in areas that are often full of debris. Drive carefully and avoid litter. Pneumatic tires can go flat, and foam-filled tires can leak if punctured.
Protect the Rims
Avoid popping off retaining rims, which can occur by catching the rim on an object. It's inexpensive to replace a rim, but the downtime associated with unnecessary maintenance can be quite expensive. Look for tires with rim protectors built into the design.
Monitor the Pressure
With pneumatic tires, if the tire pressure is too low, you will waste fuel, and if it's too high, you increase the chance of flats. In either case, uneven wear can result. Keep a reliable tire gauge handy and check the pressure every day or once a week, depending on how often you are operating the skid steer. Check your owner's manual for the acceptable tire pressure range.
Constant exposure to sunlight can cause tires to expand and crack. Store tires in a cool, dry place.
Buy Consistent Brands
Avoid installing different brands or models of tires on the same machine. Each brand has its own distinct design and combining brands can cause uneven wear on both your tires and your skid steer.