Construction Equipment Tires & Types:

Tires are one of the most essential parts of every piece of equipment. The difference between good and bad tires could be the difference between finishing a job on time or missing a few days of work. Tires give construction equipment the ability to maneuver and traverse across all types of terrain.

Not all jobsites are the same. Some are all dirt, some have paved areas, hills, grass, etc. The type of surface you will be working on will determine which tires will work best for you.

Are you working in a warehouse with concrete floors? You will be better off with the non-marking tires. Will you be navigating between dirt and mud on uneven surfaces? You should check out the RT Foam filled tires. All the tire types and best applications are listed below to give you a outline on which tires will best serve your equipment!

  • Pneumatic RT: These pneumatic or air-filled tires are the standard for most aerial and construction equipment. They have deep treads which makes them perfect for rough terrain surfaces like gravel and dirt. They are the lowest cost option because they are still prone to punctures causing flat tires.
  • Foam Filled RT: These tires look and function the same as the pneumatic tires specified above, but they are more valuable because they are not susceptible to punctures from nails, sharp rocks, etc. They are manufactured by filling the air tires with liquid foam that then expands and hardens inside the tire itself to make the tire almost solid. This type of tire is middle of the road in terms of price, slightly more expensive than the pneumatic.
  • Solid rubber: The solid rubber tires are the most sought-after type when talking about rough terrain tires. They again, serve the same purpose as the pneumatic or foam filled tires with their deep treads, but instead of being filled with air or hardened foam they are one piece of solid rubber. They came take more damage and punctures than either of the other types and the tread typically lasts much longer. These are significantly more expensive than the other types because of the length of time needed between replacements.
  • High flotation: The high flotation tires are a more niche type. These are seen mostly in southern states with an abundance of sand, loose shale rock surfaces. These are air filled tires, but they lack the deep treads seen on the three types above and they are also wider in order to space out the weight of the machine on a wider to surface to ensure the tires do not sink in the sand.
  • Non-marking: The structure of these tires is like those of the solid tires in terms of the tire being one solid piece of rubber. The difference is the surface of these tires are smooth so that they will not create marks on paved surfaces like concrete. These non-marking tires are standard for most electric booms and scissor lifts for use indoors. These can be purchased as a set of 4 for a relatively low cost compared to the rough terrain tires.
  • Tire socks: These are not tires, but accessories for tires. These are used to make rough terrain tires serve the same purpose as the non-marking tires. They are a thick piece of material that covers the treads on rough terrain tires that enables you to drive indoors and not making any marks.

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Purchase Options:

  • New tires: This would clearly be the most expensive option of the five. You can purchase new tires direct from the manufacturer like JLG or you could use a third-party vendor who would have a wider variety of name brands like Some of these tires even come with factory warranties from some of the suppliers.
  • Gently used tires: These would be a step down from new in price, but with some vendors you could find “like-new tires.” These tires would still have enough tread for them to be considered similar to new tires. These are typically taken from used equipment that is now inoperable or hard down, but have only been in use for a short time.
  • Used tires: Purchasing used tires would be the cheapest option of the 3 listed so far. These would also be the lowest of the quality since they would have been taken off equipment that has received newer tires. Some rental yards offer used tires that they have swapped off of their active rental equipment.
  • Retread tires: This an option where you can use your current tires and essentially “repurpose” them without having to purchase a new set. Previously prepared tread strip is applied to tire casing with cement. This method allows more flexibility in tire sizes and it is the most commonly used method but results in a seam where the ends of the strip meet. Some casings are repaired, and some are discarded. Tires can be retreaded multiple times if the casing is in usable condition. Material cost for a retreaded tire is about 20% that of making a new tire.
  • Tire exchange program: This is a program offered to many rental yards where they can swap their old tires for a set of new tires. This allows fleet owners always have new tires when the equipment needs them, they return the tires to the company offering the exchange program so they can then refurbish (retread) them and either sell those tires or use them for another exchange.


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