Bobcat tires are one of the most vulnerable parts of a skid steer loader. Frequent flat tires can become a costly issue. On busy work sites, it is difficult for drivers to see and avoid small debris that could cause a bobcat tire puncture.
If your Bobcat is used on a typical work site, it will likely be exposed to numerous situations and objects that could injure the tires. However, there are some things you can do to help avoid these problems. Here, we will discuss some methods of avoiding punctures and how to deal with a flat when it does occur.
Perhaps pneumatic bobcat tires are not the best choice for your circumstance. If you find yourself continuously experiencing tire problems, consider upgrading to help avoid common issues. Below are the two types of tires that are most useful in eliminating flats.
#1. Solid Bobcat Tires
These tires are a bit more expensive than pneumatic bobcat tires. However, by avoiding flats, you will save more in the long run. Beyond just the cost of the tire, you save additional money by eliminating equipment downtime. Solid bobcat tires are by far the best way to avoid flats.
#2. Foam Filling
Some people choose to fill their bobcat tires with foam. This does reduce the damage caused by punctures, but creates other problems. For example, foam filled bobcat tires are much heavier than air or solid bobcat tires, which induces unnecessary stress on the drive train. Furthermore, they are more difficult to service and replace than other tires.
Air filled Bobcat Tire Tips
If you insist on keeping pneumatic bobcat tires, these tips can help decrease the number of flats you experience.
Check the Air Pressure Regularly
Under-inflated tires are one of the primary causes of blowouts. Bobcat tires with low air pressure create more friction, which causes excessive heating that may lead to a blowout. It is also dangerous to operate a skid steer without sufficient air pressure. Furthermore, you get more economical fuel usage when bobcat tires are properly filled.
Check your Treads
It is important to consistently check the tread quality on your bobcat tires. When your tread wears thin, you are much more likely to acquire a puncture or blowout. Uneven wear patterns can cause your skid steer to have handling problems, so look out for excessive wear at the center and sides of the tire.
Don't Overload your skid steer
Pay attention to the amount of weight you put on your skid steer, and essentially your bobcat tires. Overloaded bobcat tires undergo more heat and friction, which can create significant problems.
There are numerous products on the market that you place in the interior of a bobcat tire to help protect against punctures. These include various liquids and liners.
We understand you have deadlines and time is a valuable commodity. However, by simply slowing your speed and paying more attention to your surroundings, you can avoid debris that could cause issues.
Fixing a Flat
- Plug - You can use a plug in a pneumatic bobcat tire. This is a temporary fix, but can buy you some time until you can replace the tire.
- Liquid sealant - This only works for very small holes. For larger punctures, it is recommended to use a liquid sealant inside the carcass of the bobcat tire before adding a plug.
- Heat - Some people actually use fire to seal a puncture. This definitely falls into the "DIY" category, and we don't recommend this method.
Flats, punctures, and blowouts are inevitable on work sites when you are using pneumatic bobcat tires. Getting a flat in the middle of, a project is not only inconvenient, it can become quite expensive.
However, upgrading to higher-quality bobcat tires will decrease, and possibly eliminate, the need for constant tire maintenance. This saves both time and money. Use the tips above to help avoid problems in with your bobcat tires.
To learn more about bobcat tires visit the EWRS-AT Series from Evolution Wheel.