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How can good tractor tyre management help improve tractor fuel economy?

Wed, 18 Jan 2023 | PRODUCTS


There are many areas to which you should give close attention if you are seeking to minimise your tractor’s fuel use and maximise efficiency, but with a new set of tractor tyres likely to be the biggest investment you make in your tractor over its lifetime on your farm, it makes sense to focus here in the first instance. Follow the points below to ensure that, when looking through tractor tyres price lists and scouring the internet for ‘tractor tyres for sale’ and ‘tractor tyres near me’, you then get the best from your tractor and tractor tyres once they are matched together.

Correct tractor tyre pressures

This point comes up in many different tractor management posts, because of its relevance to everything from tractor tyre wear to tractor tyre safety. Unsurprisingly, it is also relevant to tractor fuel economy. If your tractor’s tyres are operating below the pressures for which they are designed, their footprint will be longer and wider than it is intended to be. This will increase their rolling resistance, and hence make the tractor harder to move for a given amount of fuel, in turn increasing the tractor’s fuel consumption as either the operator or the machine itself makes alterations to increase engine speed in order to compensate.

Tractor tyre pressures that are higher than those recommended by the manufacturer – perhaps because the tyres have been inflated incorrectly, or have been inflated excessively in the mistaken notion that this will provide a tractive benefit – will also detrimentally affect the tractor’s fuel consumption. This is primarily because the tractor tyre footprint will be reduced, and hence its ability to grip the ground will also be lessened.

Regular tractor tyre checks

Aside from the tractor tyre pressure checks inferred above, good management to maximise tractor fuel economy should include regular examination of each tractor tyre carcase. By monitoring the depth of tread available on the tractor’s tyres, particularly towards the end of their life, tractor fuel economy can be maximised by adjusting wheelslip management accordingly. Your tractor’s wheelslip levels will increase and its fuel economy will fall correspondingly if it is expected to perform high draft tasks with tractor tyres that have less than 10% tread remaining on them. As your tractor’s tyres become older, try to make checks more regularly to ensure that they are still capable of transferring your tractor’s power to the ground efficiently, for the best possible fuel economy.

Correct wheelslip monitor management

Many modern 4wd tractors are equipped with wheelslip management systems designed to ensure tractor wheelslip does not exceed a set amount without the tractor automatically taking corrective action such as engaging the diff lock. For the ideal blend of traction, fuel economy and good transmission management, a wheeled tractor’s wheelslip level should be around 10-15%, allowing the tractor tyres to move sufficiently against the ground to bite in to the soil and provide the pull required by the implement behind. If performing such tasks, set you tractor’s wheelslip monitor for this bracket and you will maximise its fuel economy. For lighter tasks working shallowly or above the ground, a lower wheelslip threshold can be set.

Removing weights when not needed

Ensuring that ballast weights on the front end of the tractor, or on its wheels, are removed when not required will not only reduce tractor tyre wear, but also maximise fuel economy, as the tractor will not be carrying excess weight. If performing on-road tasks where ballast is not required, take time to remove front weights beforehand.

Each of these points of good tractor tyre management can play a part in helping improve tractor fuel economy. With a new set of tractor tyres representing the significant investment in your tractor, focus on them to ensure your tractor tyres play their part in maximising fuel economy of your tractor. That way, the time invested in researching tractor tyres price lists and searching the web for ‘tractor tyres for sale’ and ‘tractor tyres near me’ will be well spent.