October 3, 2017 << Back to Blog

Skidding on the right tires

03 Oct

October 3, 2017

Skidsteers are slowly and steadily climbing the ladder of popularity, versatility being the major reason for it. Universally known as “jack of all trades”, with its myriad attachment options it can accomplish variety of tasks. It can effortlessly ply on diverse jobsites (construction, earthmoving, municipal, waste management, agriculture, lawn and turf). This multifaceted nature of skidsteer has made it the go –to equipment among contractors and end-users. Any issue in the skidsteer drastically impacts the job schedule. Tires play a vital role in the functioning of skidtseers, they are also one of the highest costing consumable item. The basic working principle of skidsteer, the wheels counter rotating each other is the major cause of wear in the tire. The selection of right tire for your skidsteer not only increases the life of the tire but can also improve the performance of the equipment.

Nature of applications

Choosing the right tire for the right application is the thumb rule for any equipment. The same rule is applicable for skidsteers, but its versatility presents new set of challenges. They are used in diverse sectors for multiple operations. The requirements for each of the application would be diversely different. A tire used for agriculture landscaping operations will need to be gentle, whereas the one used in a scrap yard or recycling facility should be tough enough to withstand the ruthless environment. The decision becomes even more complex for contractors, as they stretch their machines to become job-agnostic. For example a skidsteer might be used more than 50% of time on asphalt and concrete and 30% of time on dirt for a particular task, or vice –versa. The traction requirement for each job would be different and the tire should be well equipped to fulfil them.

Duty cycle

With the nature of application the amount of hours the skidsteer works is also vital .A skidsteer toiling hard on a demolition site would achieve less number of hours from a standard tire than compared to the one working intermittently on a combination of dirt and road. The correct selection of tires can help in achieving maximum output without facing the hassles of replacing them. Heavy duty operations would require higher depth and larger lug-to void ratio tire .The presence of special compound in the construction of the tire, acts as an added advantage to safeguard the tire against damages and ensures maximum equipment uptime.

Construction

Construction is at the heart of the tires performance; Radial, bias and solid being the major three. Bias is the most preferred choice because of its sturdy formation. Bias tires have stronger sidewall as compared to the radial providing higher stability and protection against damages while plying on harsh terrains. Solid tires are also being accepted lately, especially for severe applications like scrap yard and recycle stations. The complete rubber construction provides protection against damages and helps achieve three times more life than a pneumatic tire.

Tread design

Initially it was assumed that one tread pattern fits the bill, but with better understanding of the applications this presumption is proven wrong. Today there are purpose –built tread patterns to cater to needs of specific situations and applications. The most popular and trusted is bar tread R-4 pattern, as it provides high traction and excellent on-road performance. To match the changing needs, there has been significant advancement in this tried –and – true design as well. Strong block L-4 and L-5 tires with extra deep tread are ideal choice for severe duty operations, more rubber provides long life and protection against damages. Tread designs with shallower blocks are suitable while plying on sensitive surfaces as they ensure minimum damage to the turf. ATG has application specific range of skidsteer tires; Galaxy Beefy Baby III with the classic bar lug design ensures excellent traction and stability. Galaxy Muddy Buddy provides superior traction in soft soil and muddy conditions, Trac Star ND has non-directional lug pattern which delivers exceptional performance for municipality operations. Hulk Severe Duty Service with chevron-and-block pattern, is the taskmaster of severe duty applications (waste handling facilities, scrap metal yards, steel mills, and rock quarries).Mighty Mow is specially designed to minimize surface disturbance and protect the underlying soil from compaction.

 

To reap long term benefits, tires should be treated as an asset rather than commodities. The right tire for your application can enhance productivity and efficiency.