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Skid Steer Maintenance Series 1

When it comes to maintaining your skid steer, where do you start? It’s the old question; “Which comes first? The chicken or the egg? We’re going to cover this in a series. A priest once told me that “the mind can absorb what the seat can endure”

I would suggest we start with where we meet the road: Skid Steer Tires and wheels. Why? Even if your machine runs great you’re not going anywhere on a flat tire or broken track. So let’s start from the bottom up.

I’m not going to suggest that skid steer owners are tight, but after interviewing a few, here is the general response; “On skid steer air filled tires and foam filled pneumatic tires most won’t change until they see the cords where the treads used to be. On solid rubber skid steer tires most won’t change until they meet the “Friction” stage which is under the tread stock. Solid skid steer tires are made up of two parts: rubber or cap stock, and friction or fillers.

You can’t prevent wear unless you keep your equipment parked and on blocks. Here’s what you can do to protect your investment.

Check for obvious damage, including the “Rim Guard” The rim guard is the sacrificial part of the tire designed to protect the sidewall and the rim.

Check for proper air pressure; different pneumatic tire requirements differ from 29 PSI to 100 PSI, and will affect the wear and your safety. Check with your tire supplier for specifications

Watch for uneven wear

Look for checking on the sidewalls

Always match your tires to your application

Consider a set of skid steer snow tires if you plow in the off season, and save your tires for your regular duty work

Watch for rim or wheel damage especially the bead

Check your lug nuts

Keep them clean you can’t fix what you can’t see

If you can identify any of the above take corrective action to repair, or get a set of tires ready to go to minimize expensive downtime. We’ll cover tracks next week as we continue our series.