Choosing Backhoe Tires
Running proper tires on your backhoe is the key to productivity. When shopping for tires, there are three main things to keep in mind.
Choose a Tire Based on Your Terrain
Backhoes generally operate on hard terrain like rock and asphalt or on soft terrain like snow and mud. Ultimately, you want a tread that is suitable to the type of terrain that you frequent. The void ratio is the difference between the highest and deepest parts of the tread design. A small ratio puts more rubber in contact with the surface, so you have less traction but a smoother ride for hard surfaces. Conversely, a high ratio leaves less rubber against the ground and provides better traction on soft terrain like sand or mud. However, high-ratio tread wears quickly when driven on hard surfaces.
If your equipment runs on all types of terrain, you need to decide which elements are more important. Fortunately, some of the newer designs are incorporating hybrid tread styles to give you a more multi-functional tire.
Match Your Load Capacity
Make sure you match your backhoe’s load capacity. In general, tires with a higher ply rating can handle more weight. Always choose a load rating that is higher than the weight of your backhoe plus the weight it carries.
Don’t neglect the speed index. This number follows the load rating on the sidewall of each tire and indicates the maximum speed that the tire can handle.
Find the Right Size
Finally, you need to make sure your tires fit the rim you’re mounting them to. You can find the dimensions for width and diameter on the sidewall of each tire. An “x” before the diameter indicates a bias tire, while an “R” means that it is radial. Keep in mind that low-cost bias tires do wear more quickly. Depending on your terrain, you might actually discover better traction and fuel efficiency when running on radial tires. Be sure to contact Pete's Tire Barns if you have any further questions.