Operating heavy equipment on demanding work sites can put a lot of stress on the tires. When it comes to the type of tires you use on your Bobcat machine, you have three main options – air-filled, foam-filled and solid tires.
The type of tire you choose depends on job site requirements. Proper tire selection minimizes machine downtime and reduces operating costs.
In this article, we take a look at some tire-related issues that may arise when operating your Bobcat equipment and how to resolve them.
1. Tire Wear
The type of surface a tire is used on greatly impacts tire wear. Typically, hard abrasive surfaces – such as asphalt and concrete – will accelerate tire wear, adversely affecting the performance of the tire and reducing its service life. This problem is mitigated by equipping your machine with the appropriate tires for hard surfaces. Hard surface or all-terrain tires are specially designed to operate on these types of surfaces. To get the most out of your tires, it is always best to match your skid steer tire with the right application. For instance, using a tire specifically designed for on-road applications on off-road application leads to premature wear and damage.
More and more contractors invest in solid tires for their operations because they are extremely resilient and reliable. They are also able to handle a range of applications without wearing out fast.
Debris-filled work sites pose a problem for Bobcat tires because sharp-edged debris can easily puncture the tires during operations. The good news is, this is only a problem with air-filled (pneumatic) tires. Such tires are easily punctured but this is not the case with solid tires.
Solid tires are 100% flat-proof and puncture-resistant and at the end of the day will reduce your operating costs. They are made from layers of tough, resilient rubber all the way through (i.e. they do not feature an inner tube filled with air like pneumatic tires).
Although solid tires cost more upfront than their air-filled pneumatic counterparts, they actually incur lower operating expenses over the life of the tires. They also outlast pneumatic tires, boasting longer wear and durability.
Another option to prevent flats is to invest in foam-filled tires. The one downside to foam-filled tires is that they are quite heavy and put extra strain on the machine’s drive train.
Air-filled tires – while they usually provide a comfortable ride for operators – tend to bounce, especially if the tires are over-inflated. To solve this problem, pair your machine with solid tires, preferably those solid tires that feature multiple rows of shock-absorbing apertures on their sidewalls. Bouncing is greatly reduced when you equip your Bobcat machine with solid tires and the holes on the sidewalls ensures a smooth ride for the operator.