Compact articulated loaders (ATX) like the Vermeer ATX530, ATX720 and ATX850 help tree care and landscape professionals do more work with less labor, sometimes on jobsites that would have otherwise been impossible. They’re nimble, maneuverable, quick and powerful machines that can make light work of time-consuming and laborious jobs.
But you wouldn’t go to a black-tie affair in a tuxedo and work boots or tennis shoes. No outfit is complete without the right pair of shoes. And with three tire choices — tractor, skid and turf — ATX operators have a full range of options for their machines. No single tire choice is “better” than the others; the right one depends entirely on your operation of the machine.
“As a contractor, what are you looking for out of your undercarriage and tires? I look at the three tire options for compact articulated loaders in different ways,” said Vermeer Product Content Manager Brett Newendorp. “Think first about the conditions you operate in and your priorities on the jobsite. And also consider things like traction, digging ability, turf disturbance and longevity when you’re finding the right tire for you.
ATX tire options and what makes each ideal on the jobsite
This type of tire provides maximum traction, stability and digging ability with the most aggressive lug pattern available. Tractor tires are best for situations in which you’re working in a field or other soil or green surface where turf disturbance isn’t an issue — like helping install small utility lines on a new construction jobsite. They’re often also the best choice for multiple applications throughout the year. If you have a diverse array of jobs to do, tractor tires provide durability with longevity.
“They give you the most effort from the machine when it comes to digging, getting through rough terrain and mud, and they’re your best option for winter work, especially when you add chains to move snow and ice,” Newendorp said. “Tractor tires are ideal for an owner-operator who’s going to use an ATX on every job, every day. They can help a landscaping contractor dig out a patio or push rock into landscaped beds. You’ll see some turf disturbance, but tractor tires will help the design/build/landscape contractor with digging and grading.”
This type of tire is common with skid steer machines and are essentially a hybrid between tractor and turf tires. What skid tires lack in the traction and aggressive handling of tractor tires they make up for in improved turf disturbance qualities. Skid tires are gentler on grass; they’re the best choice for operators who use their machine on hard or compacted surfaces as much or more than loose soil or turf. A narrower tread pattern and more outer surface in contact with the ground during operation both contribute to long tire life.
“Skid tires are for contractors who will use this machine primarily on asphalt, concrete or other highly abrasive surfaces — where you’re not going to see the benefits of the deeper, more aggressive lugs of a tractor tire,” Newendorp said. “You won’t see as much turf disturbance either. Skid tires are ideal if you’re using your ATX for landscape materials and traveling between jobsites to unload things like pavers or plants by the pallet.”
These are usually the most popular type of compact articulated loader tires, Newendorp said. If you’re primarily a residential landscape contractor working in yards and other green spaces where reducing turf disturbance is a high priority, turf tires can help make you efficient and productive on each jobsite by minimizing the need for subsequent ground repair work. They’re also good for tree care jobs in moving fallen trees with minimal disturbance of the surroundings, especially compared to doing that job by hand.
“If you spend a lot of your time running across highly manicured properties, and you want to have the smallest possible footprint and impact on the surroundings, turf tires are right for you,” Newendorp said. “The No. 1 concern for contractors looking at turf tires is typically how to get in and out of a backyard, move across a property without anybody knowing and inflict as little damage possible. Fixing that damage eats into your productivity.”
Vermeer has all of your compact articulated loader tire needs covered. Start here if you’re interested in finding out more about your tire options on Vermeer ATX. If you’re ready to make a change for your machine, talk to your Vermeer dealer to start the process.
MultiOne SRL Corporation reserves the right to make changes in engineering, design and specifications; add improvements; or discontinue manufacturing at any time without notice or obligation. Equipment shown is for illustrative purposes only and may display optional accessories or components specific to their global region. Please contact your local Vermeer dealer for more information on machine specifications. Vermeer and the Vermeer logo are trademarks of Vermeer Manufacturing Company in the U.S. and/or other countries. © 2021 Vermeer Corporation. All Rights Reserved.