Skid Steer Tires - Solid vs. Pneumatic: Which One Is Right For Your Business?

Today’s post is to discuss some of the differences between pneumatic and solid skid steer tires. Both have their respective advantages and disadvantages – as well as applications that they are best suited for.

Pneumatic Tires

Pneumatic tires are a very popular choice for things like construction road work and agricultural applications. They are the lowest up-front cost option for equipping your machine and also provide the operator with the most ride comfort.

An obvious downside to pneumatic tires is that you will inevitably get a flat – and predicting when and where that flat is going to happen is next to impossible. Getting a flat while working on a job not only sets you back the replacement tire & labor installation costs – you have to factor your machine downtime into the equation!

That being said – there are many applications where a good quality set of pneumatic tires is perfectly suitable for your business needs. You also incur the lowest up-front costs by choosing this option.

Solid Skid Steer Tires

Solid skid steers are more expensive than pneumatic tires in terms of up-front cost. However, they yield some significant advantages:

-No flats! Equipping your skid steer with solid tires means that you do not have to worry about getting a flat like you would with pneumatic tires.

-Solid skid steer tires wear much longer than pneumatic tires. You can get up to 3-4 times the wear out of a good set of solid tires than you could with a set of pneumatics. This is especially true in heavy-duty service applications.

-Save on labor & installation costs: solid skid steer tires come mounted on their own wheel rim. Installing them on your own machine is so simple; your grandma could do it (But don’t make her! Do it yourself!)

Solid tires unfortunately do not provide the same level of ride comfort as pneumatic tires do. However, in abusive conditions such as a scrap yard or another heavy-duty service application it just is not efficient or cost-effective to risk constantly dealing with unexpected flats and rapid deterioration of pneumatic tire tread.

(If this is your jobsite, pneumatic tires probably are not going to cut it for you...)

One of the drawbacks of solid skid steer tires & the most common reason that machine owners don’t equip them: the higher up-front cost. You already have to replace the tires on your machine because they are worn out or you got an unexpected flat – the last thing you need is a huge bill for a new set of tires! However, the investment in solid tires almost always pays for itself and then some - in the long run. You don’t have to worry about unpredictable machine downtime from flats, nor do you have to keep incurring labor costs for installation of replacement pneumatics. Over the life of a set of solid tires – you will most likely find that they work out to saving you quite a bit of money and definitely a few headaches!

Deciding what tire is best for your business really depends on several factors: What type of application? How much overall abuse the tires are facing? What type of terrain? What is your budget? It’s up to you to decide what will work for you and your business needs.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

The National 1 Track & Parts Team

National 1 Track & Parts stocks high quality skid steer tires: both solid and pneumatic are available at prices much lower than OEM. Give us a call at 1-888-608-6188 for a free no-obligation quote; you can also visit us online at national1tracks.com – we offer online shopping on our site, you can shop from home on your own time.