tracks or wider tires

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by MP350, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. MP350

    MP350 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 185

    About 4 months ago I bought a bobcat 553, so far it has been a real time saver, some of my jobs have been done in 1/3 the time. The last job I did I got stuck in the sand. I was wondering if wider tires or a set of bolt on tracks would help prevent this and which is the preferred way.
  2. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,168

    I have run other 95XT skid steers with the wide tire option (mine has the 12X16.5 tires). I was impressed with the amount of floatation that they provide. It gave the machine more tractive effort with less impact on the ground. The only downside to the wide tires is your bucket may be too small for the increase in width and in the case 15.5 X16.5 tires they are considerably more expensive. One other plus is they are still asphalt/concrete friendly, which is not the case with steel tracks. Your situation maybe different with the small skid steer. I don't know if tracks are an option as I have never seen a 500 series Bobcat with tracks (certainly doesn't mean it isn't possible). As far as tire options go you may need to either add spacers or flip the rims around to increase the offset (making room for increase in tire size between tire and frame) depending on the make of rim. Your Bobcat dealer would be your best source of information. Unless your spending a great deal of time in sand or heavy mud I would opt for the increase in tire size.
  3. MP350

    MP350 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 185

    Thanks I'll look into wider tires. I use the bobcat for tree work so width of the bucket won't matter.
  4. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    If you are only occasionally in sand, airing the tires down to a low pressure will help in the flotation. Around 5-10 psi is what you need to look at. However, doing that will decrease the amount of payload you can carry, so this may or may not be an option for you.

    If you are in the sand a lot, you might consider getting a set of slick tires. If they don't dig in, they won't get you stuck. I know that's what the tour trucks at the dunes run....

    I don't think you want steel tracks though, they would just dig in and get you stuck even faster.


  5. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    I run the steel tracks on my Cat and we've never been stuck (too badly) :blush: But we deal with a lot more heavy clay and rocky soil here. In mud, the tracks are a must. Not much sand here on the N. Shore.
    The drawback for you is traveling from off road, then to pavement, etc while doing tree work. Go with the flotation tires.
  6. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    you must not run in the sand much...

    all the rental yards here have steel tracks for thier s185's
    they are awesome for sand. we used to not be able to use a skid steer on our jobs. here at the coast it's pure sugar sand. the tracks are a must here.

    the problem i forsee is that the 553 may not have the jice to turn them. I have a friend with one and it is already marginal on power. (it has less hp than my dingo)

    the tracks in the s185, the 773 and the 783 i have used really rob power, especially when turning.

    as far as the bigger tires go, the 553 has super small tires to begin with. they almost touch eachother. i don't know if you can go any bigger in diameter.
  7. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    Nope, I don't.:)

    Our native soil is clay. Occasionally we'll run into sandy soils around the river bottoms, but for the most part we're on solid stuff!

  8. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Messages: 1,892

    The new 553s (since 2002 or 2003) have 25 horsepower... I'm afraid that, yes, the older ones are less.

    Btw, by 783, I assume you mean New Holland L783...
  9. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    nope my fingers were ahead of my brain. i meand 763

    and the 553 STILL has less hp that my dingo ....LOL

    my friend has a 756 (or 753, whichever it is) and a 553.
    he's trying to sell me the 553 for $2500.00, but it is a piece.
    rusted out (his nursery is anout 300 feet off the ocean), blownout tires (if you can call those little doughnut thingd tires :) ) hydro leaks, and dead battery........
    i have used it before, and it's ok, but i'll yake my dingo over it any day

    wish we had something even similar to clay here. pure sand..... makes it nice for digging though.

    also we can fudge on retaining wall heights, as we have no significant water load, and there is really no shearing issue with sand.

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