The Best Way to Foam Fill Skid Steer Tires

Filling Foam Fill Skid Steer Tires is considered a safe option since it gives the tires more durability, traction, and strength.  You can either fill the tires yourself or have a mechanic do it for you. 

A mechanic is a better option. You can also do it yourself if you pay attention to the tire and closely observe it until foam begins to leak from the valve stem.

Steps of Foam Fill Tires on a Skid Steer

  • 1st Step: The first step is to remove the skid steer’s tires and set them aside. It is possible to remove two tires at a time or, if you have the appropriate support system, all four tires at once. We will be able to accomplish more quickly as a result. 
  • 2nd Step: Place the tire on the floor and cover it with a large piece of wood or cloth. Wood or cloth are used to clean up the mess created by the foam filling. 
  • 3rd Step: The third step is to drill three holes in the tire sidewall and to remove the stem valve. It is important that the holes match the diameter of the foam filling straw. 
  • 4th Step: Inject foam into the tire through one of the sidewall holes. Foam should weigh at least 520 pounds. 
  • 5th Step: Fill the other two holes and the valve stem with foam until it starts to come out. After completing the process, set the tire aside for 24 hours. 
  • 6th Step: The next day, clean up the mess around the tires and the floor. Put the tire back on the skid steer and you’re ready to go.

How Do Foam Filled Skid-Steer Tires Work?

Foam-filled pneumatic tires replaced air-filled tires as a type of pneumatic tire. In contrast to air-filled tires, foam-filled tires do not go flat for a wide range of reasons.

Additionally, they provide the same benefits as air tires in terms of traction, performance, and mileage without the possibility of punctures. 

In addition, foam fill tires won’t lose air pressure. We use foam filled tires on skid steers because they perform well even in harsh conditions. Most skid steers will run on rough roads filled with pebbles, rocks, and dirt. 

Therefore, we use foam fill tires to prevent damage to the tires caused by such terrains. Besides these benefits, foam-filled tires are more maneuverable, and they bring efficiency to operations, especially for skid steers. 

Skid steers with foam-filled tires are more stable, which is a good thing. However, some might argue that they also add weight, which can affect mileage.

In rough terrains, additional vehicle stability provides better control, which is difficult to achieve with air-filled tires. Therefore, foam-filled tires provide better traction. 

As a result of the extra weight on the tires, their lifespan is reduced compared to air-filled skid steer tires. Additionally, if the vehicle works continuously in rough terrains for an extended period of time with foam fill tires, the tires lose their grooves and tread faster. 

Overall, foam fill tires provide more stability, which increases driver safety, but reduces tire lifespan. 

How do you fill tires with foam?

The foam inside tires is made of polyurethane. Thus, the tire would be more puncture-resistant as well as more stable and lighter. Polyurethane is used to make foam fill, which is also called polyfill. 

What is the weight of foam filled tires?

The weight of foam-filled tires depends on the volume of foam added to the tire, which in turn depends on the size of the tire. These are two of the most common dimensions of skid steer tires;

  • 12×16.5
  • 10×16.5

These dimensions indicate that a foam-filled 10×16.5 tire will weigh 130 pounds. The total weight of four tires added to the skid steer is 520 pounds.

It will take 205 lbs of foam to fill a 12×16.5 tire, and 820 lbs of foam to fill four tires. The extra stability of the vehicle makes it a better choice for rough terrains. 

Is it a good idea to foam fill tires myself?

In a nutshell, no. A skid steer tire is not like a car tire. It’s the big boys we’re talking about, and handling them isn’t easy. Taking the skid steer to the mechanic is also a task, but it is safer to take it there. 

What are the effects of foam on tires?

It is not necessarily bad for tires to have foam in them. The tires will be heavier, and they won’t bulge or bend under pressure. Driving can be difficult in some situations due to gripping issues. 

The only downside to filling tires with foam is that once they wear out, they are practically useless. They cannot be used anywhere else, at least not easily. In addition, the tires will be heavier than other bald tires that may be used elsewhere. 

In terms of performance, foam is not bad for tires. The tire will last longer since there won’t be any punctures.

Reference and Resources:

Video guide to Foam Fill Skid Steer Tires 


Is it safe to fill tires with foam myself?

The process is safe. If you follow the proper process, everything will go smoothly. We have heard cases where tires went flat right after bringing the vehicle down after replacing a tire on the vehicle. 

What is the cost of foam fill?

It depends on the tire, the container’s cost, and its capacity. For one 10×16.5 tire, 130 pounds of foam are needed; for one 12×16.5 tire, 205 pounds. Calculate the cost based on the volume required (approximately 24.5 gallons for one 12×16.5 tire). 

Are tires filled with foam legal?

In accordance with Section 393.75 of the FMCSA regulations, the tire can be filled with materials other than air, such as silicone and polyurethane.

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