Heavy Equipment Tires for Bobcat

What to Consider When Purchasing Tires for a Bobcat

A Bobcat, or skid steer, is a versatile and powerful machine used in a wide variety of construction applications. Skid steer tires are an important part of keeping the work flowing. For safety and economic reasons, skid steer tires must provide superior traction, deliver the smoothest ride possible, and be durable enough to extend tire life.

Choosing tires for a Bobcat

It may be easy to find Bobcat tires for sale, but choosing the best tires for your application should take several factors into consideration. For instance, consider what type of work the Bobcat will be doing and the terrain youll encounter. A variety of tires are available for heavy equipment like a Bobcat and each option has its pros and cons. Tire options include the following:

  • Air-filled: These are lightweight and provide a cushioned, smooth ride.
  • Foam-filled: These are heavier in weight for ballast and added durability.
  • Solid tires: These are mid-weight, durable, and will never go flat.
Skid steer tire characteristics

There are important characteristics to understand and consider before choosing Bobcat tires. These include tread depth, tread pattern, and ply rating.

  • Tread depth: This is obviously the depth of the grooves in the tire. Standard depth is 3/4 inches, but rocky and uneven terrain will benefit from a deeper tread.
  • Tread pattern: This refers to the design of the tires grooves. Four patterns are typically used for construction: diamond for hard terrain, swept for dirt surfaces, button lugs for grassy turf, and smooth tires for certain flat, hard surfaces.
  • Ply rating: This is an estimation of the load that the tire is designed to carry.
Bobcat skid steer tire measurements

Bobcat skid steer tires are not measured in the same way as a car or truck tire. For instance, 12 x 16 5 skid steer tires have a tire diameter of 12 inches and a tire width of 16 1/2 inches. Ergo, 10 x 16 5 skid steer tires has a smaller diameter of 10 inches with the same width of 16 1/2 inches. The term skid steer tires can be interchangeable with Bobcat tires. Bobcat tires that are 12 x 16 1/2 or 10 x 16 1/2 are exactly the same as a skid steer description. An added measurement to take into consideration is your rim diameter, although rims can be replaced for larger or smaller tires.

Bobcat tire size options

The size of your Bobcat tires can significantly enhance your machines performance. Tires with taller and wider lugs will improve traction and increase the life span of the tire. The wider stance relieves stress on the lugs to reduce the chance of cracks and chunking.

Which size tire should you choose?

The question on size for skid steer tires basically comes down to 10 x 16 1/2 skid steer tires vs. 12 x 16 1/2 skid steer tires. The final decision will depend on personal application.

  • 10-inch tires will provide more traction. The wider stance will provide a smoother ride.
  • 12-inch tires are less likely to slip or spin. The tall sidewall will provide more space between the rim and the terrain.
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