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Tires vs tracks question

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by tallrick, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. tallrick

    tallrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    A friend of mine who lives upstate just bought a Bobcat 763 cheap. It was a machine used in demolition and while beat up, runs OK and cost less than 4,000.00 due to a relatively simple problem. He wants the Bobcat for use at home, on the 5 acres around his home. Trouble is the machine has solid tires worn down to almost nothing, so we have to get tires. There's a debate here, he was thinking of regular sized tires with rubber tracks and I was thinking 16 inch wide flotation tires or something close. My experience has been that sand gets between tracks and tires and wears things out faster than normal, especially metal tracks. There is no mud there so to me tracks seem unnecessary. This machine will not be used on pavement so the tires seem like the way to go. When we got the machine there he drove it off the trailer, turned toward the garage and got stuck. Any suggestions here?
  2. BIGBEN2004

    BIGBEN2004 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 823

    The cheapest way is to put a new set of tires on it and try it. Get those foam filled tires off of their and put a set of air filled, they are lighter and get more traction than those heavy old foam filled will. If he is still getting stuck put a set of tracks over the tires and that would take care of the getting stuck issue with out spending a fortune on it. Also you said it will not be used on pavement much so that is the reason you think the tires would be the way to go. Well any machine used on pavement the first recommendation is tires and not tracks but when used in soft sandy or muddy and steep conditions then tracks are highly recommended.
  3. KTM

    KTM LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 492

    I would also think that wide float tires would dog a 763 down to much, Buy a good set of standard tires with air and see if that makes a difference, like said above if you are never going to be on pavement over the tire steel track Will be the way to go, if you can stand the power loss.
  4. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    He needs a set of Galaxy Beefy Baby II's, best general purpose skid steer tire available IMO. Tough sidwall, good flotation, they're pretty lightweight, and they aren't terribly expensive. My dad just replaced his on his Cat 216, the tread was about half worn with 700 hours on them but he had fixed too many flats on 2 out of 4 tires so he replaced the whole set. I talked him out of foam filling the new set, that would have been a huge mistake.
  5. mrsops

    mrsops LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,875

    i like the galaxy hulk tires as well i have them on a few of my machines.. i would never foam fill my tires again unless i was working on a demo job for a month where there are nails and all type of debri everywhere. foam filled tires are horrible in the dirt even when grading. they dont give like an air tire either when you spin and turn the machine they wear down alot faster
  6. BIGBEN2004

    BIGBEN2004 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 823

    You can get those Beefy Baby II with a gell type material on the inside that will seal up holes up to 1/4" size like rebar and any amount of nails.
  7. tallrick

    tallrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    In Florida the extra-wide tires are pretty common. Here's an example:


    I have seen many 763's with them on and they really do well in dry sand and black much. In wet marl (marine clay) the flotation tires are pretty much worthless. The power lost to wider tires does not seem to be an issue unless you're on pavement. Considering the owner of the Bobcat is mechanically inept, I tend to shy away from tracks that could be another item to fail. Even I have thought about getting a set of the fat tires for my 843. I would probably get tracks instead.
  8. Mini man

    Mini man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 241

    Does this mean my brand new Mclarren over the tire tracks are going to wear out this summer when I am in sand doing septic installs?
  9. jefftb

    jefftb LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 563

    I'm seriously leaning toward purchasing a tire based SS and using tracks over wheel option instead of dedicated track machine.

    Adding the track effectively changes the gearing due to increased height of track/tire combo. However, could you use a smaller wheel diameter with the track option and return some of the lost torque that way?

    Comments on the upside/downside to this concept?
  10. Sunscaper

    Sunscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 306

    I don't know alot about the 763. I have an S205 with 13.5" wide super floats. It does everything a track machine can do here with the exception of heavy mud. I'm guessing my 205 has more power though. I'd stay away from tracks unless you really feel you need them. I almost bought them when i moved here and am happy I didn't. Unnecessary expense.

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