Matching the right tires to the right piece of construction equipment not only improves machine performance, it also increases its efficiency and therefore improves your company’s overall profit. Tire selection is not a simple process. It involves understanding what works best with your specific machinery as well as what will be most appropriate for the job site.
Tire Categories and Classifications
The best place to begin the process is understanding the various descriptors you’ll come across when browsing construction equipment tires. Each tire’s label corresponds to their machine’s function:
- “E” tires are designed to be off-road for earthmovers
- “L” tires are for loaders and dozers
- “G” tires are for graders
For each classification, there’s a corresponding variety of tread patterns/depth—E1, E2, E3, E4, etc. As the numbers increase, tread depth increases as well. For example, E2 tires provide a good balance between tread and void, which means they work well in sand and soft soil. Then a tire like E3 will have more traction than void. This promotes resistance to rock damage while maintaining good traction.
Each category tire also comes with its own restrictions:
- “E” tires are designed to travel only 2.5 miles one way at a max speed of 30 mph
- “L” tires are designed to travel 250 feet at 5 mph
- “G” tires are designed to travel unlimited working distances at a max speed of 25 mph
Types of Tires
If you know your equipment needs to travel further or faster than the established restrictions, maybe consider getting a radial tire instead as they can be more forgiving of the heat buildup created in these conditions. Radial tires provide better drive comfort and last twice as long as the standard bias tires.
However, when it comes to skid steer tires, bias construction is the best choice as they have straighter sidewalls which tend to be more resistant to side-impact damage than the bulging sidewalls of radial tires.
Before visiting a tire dealer, be sure you also know the weight your construction equipment will be carrying. All tires have a specific load rating and you need to be sure that the tires you select are capable of handling the weight of the machine in addition to a loaded bucket. If you deal with heavy material, it might be a good idea to carefully weigh the weight of a full bucket before going to purchase a tire.
In the end, remember to consult and get the advice of your tire dealer as well. Take advantage of their knowledge and experience to ask any remaining questions you have and gain the information you need to make a purchase. Along with consulting your tire dealer, you can ask any of our experts for advice on anything related to heavy equipment. Just contact us today!