5 Common Farm Tractor Tire Myths

Farm tractor tire technologies are progressing at an impressive rate to keep up with the tractors and other wheeled farm equipment that keep getting larger and more sophisticated.

Farmers are also increasingly aware of the insidious effects of soil compaction on their farm’s yield per acre. Tire manufacturers such as CEAT are devoting considerable resources to developing farm tractor and implement tires that minimize soil compaction while delivering dependable traction. IF and VF tire technology is a relatively recent (and underutilized) technological advance that can help farmers increase productivity and efficiency, while reducing soil compaction, lowering fuel consumption, and providing a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than standard radial tires.

For example, the CEAT Spraymax VF, which is specially designed for self-propelled sprayers, is engineered to carry 40 percent more load than a standard radial. Alternately, it carries the same load as a standard radial at 40 percent lesser pressure. This allows the sprayer to effectively work the field while minimizing soil compaction.

Good roadability (smooth ride, less squirm) is also a key farm tractor tire attribute these days as farmers spend more time on the road working tracts spread out over a greater square mile area.  CEAT FARMAX farm tractor tires are getting rave reviews from farmers across North America, such as Georgia peanut farmer Justin Studstill, for their smooth and steady ride on the road.

Peanut farmer Justin Studstill

With all the new technologies and information coming out about farm tractor tires, there are, however, some common myths still circulating out there. Here are five of the more prevalent ones:

  1. The farm tractor tire’s inflation is okay as long as it does not have a big bulge. This is a myth from the bias tire days when any kind of sidewall bulge meant the bias tire was low on air. Radial tires must have a certain bulge in order for the tire to deliver optimum traction and the overall performance intended by the tire manufacturer. You cannot confirm a radial tire’s proper air inflation through a visual check. Consult with your tractor/tire dealer and check the tire manufacturer’s databook and load range table. The radial’s superior performance is realized only with proper inflation.
  2. The dealer (tractor or tire dealer) sets the tires to the proper inflation when the tractor or new tires are delivered to the farmer. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. New farm tractor tires are normally inflated to 30 psi when shipped from the factory to minimize bouncing on the trailer. Dealers may overlook reducing the tire pressures or may not reduce the pressure to the proper level for the load on the axle. Also, tire changers often inflate the farm tractor tire to 35 psi to set the tire beads on the rim. The farmer must take the initiative to ensure that the pressure matches the load on the axle by double checking with the dealer and consulting the tire databook and load range tables.
  3. Under-inflated farm tractor tires can cause premature wear, less than optimal performance and even outright failure, but over-inflated tires are not that big of an issue. Over -nflated farm tractor tires are a problem as well. Over inflation can cause loss of tire traction, excessive soil compaction, fast wear both in field and on road, higher fuel consumption, harsh ride and impact breaks.
  4. You get what you pay for in farm tractor tires. When you buy the most expensive farm tractor tire available at your dealer, you will undoubtedly get a good quality tire. But you must compare the acquisition price with the tread wear and overall performance achieved to ascertain the true total cost of ownership (TC0) of that tire. This is the only meaningful metric on tire value. For instance, if a particular brand tire costs half the price of the most expensive brand but delivers 80% of the operating hours and comparable performance, then the less expensive tire is delivering a better TCO by 30%. CEAT farm tractor tires, such as the FARMAX R80, are gaining rapid acceptance from North American farmers because they deliver a superior TCO. CEAT farm tractor tires deliver the latest tire technologies at a more affordable price.
  5. Farm tractor tires can be stored any way possible without any harm. Today’s farm tractor tires are indeed very tough and durable, but how you store them during the winter or when not in use can have a major influence on how long they ultimately last. The first step is to clean them before storage. Once your tires are clean and dry, store them in an airtight bag if possible. Store tractor tires in an upright position, not lying down flat or stacked if possible. Make sure to keep them in a cool, dry place away from the sun.Click here for more farm tractor tire maintenance advice.

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