Skid steering vehicles rely heavily on tires. Without the best skid steer tires, the effectiveness of the operation can never reach high.
Skid steer tires undergo medium to heavy duty operation in hard and soft surfaces. That’s the reason the work requires specialized tires.
Depending on the tread depth, tread pattern and quality, the price of skid steer tires can vary.
Too cheap, the tires get worn out fast. But if you spend a little more on quality tires, you can save a lot more in the long run from higher usage.
We got you covered. Let’s check it out!
Best skid steer tires review
1. Carlisle Trac Chief Industrial Tire- 23/8.50-12
The Carlisle Trac Chief Industrial tires are one of the best skid steer tires for soft surfaces. The tires are directional, which means you are going to get more traction in muddy and soft surfaces.
It has a ply rating of 6, which means it can withstand load pressure up to 50 psi. This is good for operating on a rocky surface.
However, this tire has the least tread depth in this list of skid steer tires. If you are planning to use them on an agricultural surface that has grass on it, these tires will provide improved traction and cause less damage to the turf.
You can use the tires without any tubes. But if you are going to use them on slopes, it’s better to get some tubes for extra stiffness.
These are intended to use for a rim size of 12 inches.
- No tubes required
- Works great on grass and soft soil surfaces
- Durable and suitable for light to medium duty operations
- Medium load bearing capacity
- Low tread depth
These Carlisle tires are cost-effective solutions to light and medium type operations. Due to the low tread depth, we don’t recommend them using on surfaces with lots of sharp and heavy objects. You can expect them to last at least a couple of years.
2. Carlisle Trac Chief Bias Tire – 27×8.50-15
These Carlisle tires are perfect for off-road use on slow speed. It has a Ply rating of 6 which makes it capable of handling pressure up to 50 psi.
If you have a JD skid steer, this is the tire you should be buying. Works great on smaller bobcats as well.
The tread pattern is aggressive and directional, which makes the tires suitable for muddy surfaces and at the same undergoes minimal damage on every operation.
The best part is you can expect better performance from these tires as compared to those that are recommended by the factory.
The tread depth is above average with 17mm, which gives more traction, and the flotation is also optimal.
The tires are made for 15-inch rims.
- Above average tread depth
- Aggressive tread pattern
- Good traction and flotation
- Not suitable for on-road operation
These tires are suitable for medium-duty operation and will give you additional comfort and stability. If you operate mostly on soft surfaces, these tires are perfect for you.
3. Carlisle Trac Chief Lawn & Garden Tire – 26×12-12
The Carlisle Law and Garden tire is a super tire to have for a skid steer vehicle. It has a higher aspect ratio of 12, which means you will be getting better sidewall protection.
The tread pattern is very aggressive and directional. It’s intended for agricultural use, which means you can use these tires on muddy surfaces without any issues.
The only issue I can find is the ply rating of 4 on the lower side of the spectrum. This means it can handle pressure up to 35 psi. But on a soft surface, it’s just enough. Lower ply rating also helps to save fuel costs.
It has a speed rating of B, which means it’s not good for on-road operation and only safe at about 30mph.
The upside is it has a high tread depth of 21mm. So, on wet conditions, it can provide more traction and grip without issues.
The tire is intended for a 12-inch rim.
- Very aggressive and directional pattern
- Good sidewall protection
- Performs better on wet and soft surfaces
- High tread depth
- Not suitable for on-road operation
The combination of lower ply rating and higher tread depth makes the tires comfortable to use. Keep in mind, with a lower load pressure, you cannot maneuver in rocky surfaces that well.
4. Carlisle Trac Chief Bias Tire – 25×8.50-14
This skeed steer tire needs no tube to be operated. The tread pattern is directional and aggressive. However, some users have complained that the tires are more like car tires.
The quality of the tires is what stands out. But one of the major flaws we found was that the rubber is a bit on the softer side. So, it’s not punctured proof. Try to keep away from surfaces that have sharp objects and thorns.
The tread depth is 17mm, which is optimal for medium-duty operations. It has a ply rating of 6, so it can handle a moderate amount of pressure.
The tire is intended for rims of 14-inch diameter.
- Don’t require tubes
- Typical soft surface tire
- Moderate load-bearing capability
- Directional tread pattern
- The rubber material is a bit soft
You can buy these tires for operation in soft surfaces. But due to soft rubber material, this tire loses versatility.
5. ZEEMAX Heavy Duty Skid Steer Tire 10-16.5/10PR
The ZEEMAX tires are the best skid steer tires we have in our list. With a ply rating of 10, it is intended for heavy-duty operation and capable of handling pressure up to 80 psi.
The tread depth is 18mm, which is on the higher side. So, it can resist cutting and gouging to a considerable level. It comes with a Rim Guard that will protect the wheels further.
The tire is versatile and operates quite well on dirt and snow. But it performs best on smooth concrete surfaces. The downside is the rubber cuts easily on a rocky surface.
It has an aspect ratio of 10, so the sidewalls are quite sturdy.
These tires are intended for rims with 16.5-inch diameter.
- Versatile and good traction on all surfaces
- Comes with rim guard
- Deep tread minimizes damage
- Provides higher stability
- Cut easily on rocks near the sidewall
If you don’t want to keep a second set of tires to handle hard and soft surfaces, then these ZEEMAX tires are perfect for you. They operate quite well in hard and soft surfaces. The comfort and stability are unmatched.
Skid steer tires buying guide
Tread depth directly affects the life shell of the skid tire. The tires that have less tread rubber and less tread depth often cost less but will give you fewer kilometers.
A good skid tire has more tread depth and also more tread compound. This increases the overall life shell of the tire. The downside is it will cost more.
The more it lasts, the more you will save in the long run, even if the initial investment is high.
Quality of rubber
Premium skid tires have a higher percentage of natural rubber. Natural rubber is resistant to cut, chunk and heat. So, when you buy a skid tire look for the one that has the most natural rubber in its compound.
The better the quality of the rubber, the better the grip and the longer the tire life.
Many people confuse ply rating with the thickness of a tire. But in technical terms, that is not the case. Ply rating basically means the load carrying capacity of a tire.
A tire with a higher ply rating means you can inflate it more so that it can withstand pressure in adverse conditions.
The tread pattern of a tire depends on the surface you will be using it. Tread pattern helps to gain a grip on different surfaces like concrete, sand, mud, etc.
These are the type of tread pattern that you can choose from:
- Directional or nondirectional
- Smooth or traction
- Wide lug or deep lug
Types of skid steer tire
Pneumatic tires are the most common forms of skid tires. These tires are cost-effective and are suitable for light to medium duty works. Pneumatic tires provide more comfort and also weighs less than other tires. This helps in saving on fuel bills.
You can choose between standard pneumatic tires and premium pneumatic tires. The difference is premium pneumatic tires have wear resistant materials that increase the durability.
Solid tires are gaining popularity quickly. These tires are made from highly engineered materials which make them more durable and wear resistant. One significant advantage of solid tires is the elimination of punctures
The downside is these tires add up a lot of weight to the machine. So, fuel consumption might increase as well.
Solid tires don’t provide as much comfort as like pneumatic ones. But due to their high durability, they can withstand heavy-duty applications and cut costs in the long run.
Non-pneumatic flexible tire
Non-pneumatic flexible tires are like solid tires with multiple apertures. This helps in providing more stability and comfort for the operator.
Foam filled tire
Foam-filled tires are made for abrasive conditions where puncture happens quite a lot. This is a cost-effective alternative to solid tires.
Surface of operation
Depending on the surface of operation, the quality of tires you buy should vary. It’s best to have a second set of tires when you operate on different types of surfaces in a short span of time. A quick assembling will save you more money in the long run.
We can divide surfaces into three types:
If you are going to operate in mostly hard surfaces like concrete, then it’s best to choose a skid tire with non-directional tread pattern. This gives more rubber on the tread pattern that increases the life shell of the tire.
You can choose between solid and pneumatic tire. But solid tire should be the first priority.
For soft surfaces, off-road tread should be chosen for better traction.
In the case of sandy surface, tires that have a non-aggressive tread pattern that apply the lowest pressure on the ground is preferable. This helps in flotation and swift movement.
For muddy surface, go for an aggressive and auto-cleaning pattern.
For mixed service operation in both muddy and hard surface, you can find tires that have properties in between hard and soft surfaces.
Skid steer tires FAQ
What is tread depth?
Tread depth is a very crucial element of tires. It is measured from the top of the tread rubber right down to the bottom of the deepest groove. Deeper tread means the tire will be capable of clearing out dirt and water better.
How to measure your tire’s tread depth?
You need to check the tread depth of your tire to see if it’s fit to operate or not. So, you can use a penny or a quarter coin to test the tread depth.
For the penny test, if you insert a penny coin in one of the grooves, Lincoln’s head should be covered for the tire to be safe for operation.
In the quarter test, if the tread touches Washington’s head, it’s still safe to use.
What is an aspect ratio of a skid steer tire?
Aspect ratio is the ratio of the tire’s cross-sectional height to its width. The aspect ratio is an indicator of the size of the tire’s sidewall. So, if the tire has a higher aspect ratio, it will have a bigger sidewall.
For skid steer tires, having a higher aspect ratio means it can withstand more friction and take sharper turns with minimal rubber damage.
What is a ply rating?
The ply rating on modern tires doesn’t actually mean how many piles it has. The ply rating is instead an indication of the load-bearing capacity of the tire measured in psi. Usually, the ply rating ranges from 12 to 12 in 5 divisions.
Here is the list of ply rating with maximum load pressure.
Maximum Load Pressure