Skid steers are some of the most accommodating and reliable pieces of equipment that exist. Everything about their design—from their powerful lifting mechanisms to their engine and cabin controls—contributes to optimal performance. As such, it’s only natural that their tire tread would also play a significant role. There are several kinds of tread patterns to suit varying terrains and operational needs. Understanding the different types of skid steer tire treads and which one you need for each specific job is the key to your success.
First on the docket is dirt-terrain tire treads, also known as soft surface treads. When you’re driving over very soft ground, such as mud, dirt, or sand, maximum traction is vital to maintaining momentum. Otherwise, you’re likely to get yourself stuck while trying to work, putting your equipment in the position to sustain damage. These treads have deep, wide tread segments that interlock together. They offer a better grip on softer earth, making it easier for the machine to propel itself forward.
Smooth Surface Treads
Smooth surface tire treads are unique in that they don’t have a tread at all. Designed for level surfaces and harsher terrain, these treads have an entirely smooth face to maximize the amount of rubber in contact with the ground at any given time. This helps to keep wear even along all your skid steer’s tires and extends their overall lifespan. Smooth surface treads are often the most useful when working at demolition sites, scrap yards, and recycling centers.
Hard Surface Treads
Hard surface treads are often best for handling outdoor abrasive terrains, such as pavement, asphalt, and gravel. Utilizing large rubber lugs and select areas of void space, these treads grip rougher materials more effectively while minimizing damage over time. Hard surface tires are also incredibly thick to prevent punctures and extend their useability.
Sensitive Surface Treads
Sensitive surface treads have their uses as well. Skid steers are useful for more than just rigorous construction sites. In fact, one of their primary tasks is commercial and residential landscaping projects. For these tasks, it’s vital to use a tread that won’t harm the existing grass as you drive over it. As such, these treads have narrower lugs and a wider footprint.
The most important type of skid steer tire tread to know about, though, is the all-terrain model. Sometimes, your job requires you to operate a skid steer over several different kinds of terrain and in less-than-ideal conditions. Because of this, all-terrain treads are often best for their accommodating design. They feature long rubber sections to grip any type of road while maintaining stability and maneuverability. So if you’re in the market for new skid steer tires, these models are a great all-around option for any application.