Feature Article: Tyres v Tracks

Let’s start the week by tackling one of the compact construction equipment industry’s biggest questions:


For many years, compact loader owners and operators have been making the tough decision between tyre-based skid steer machines (SSLs) and track-based loaders (CTLs).

Are you still not sure which is better for you, or are you considering switching from one to the other but not quite certain enough to take the leap? Here’s a handy overview to help settle the debate:

Benefits of track-based loaders:

  • low ground pressure, resulting in less disturbance and damage to drive area components such as turf, soil, gravel etc.
  • smooth and stable ride means less bumps, discomfort and fatigue for the operator.
  • high ground clearance plus track ‘flotation’ properties allows you to work in a wider range of conditions, such as mud and shallow water.
  • enhanced traction for added grip on slippery slopes and terrain.
  • no tyres means never having a flat, and the unique ASV Posi-Track undercarriage technology means it’s almost impossible to drive out of your tracks.
  • a combination of the above ultimately results in high, fast and versatile production capability.

Benefits of tyre wheel-based loaders:

  • low acquisition costs, as tyre loaders are generally cheaper to buy than track loaders (although the price gap is narrowing).
  • lower operational costs, as there are less undercarriage / wheel elements to be serviced and replaced.

Overall, as you can see from the points above, track loaders tend to be more versatile and better performing across a wide range of applications, however wheel loaders can provide a cheaper alternative to buy and run in some circumstances.

Still not sure which option suits you best? Call us on 1300 837 391 to speak to one of our equipment experts and find out more.