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Agricultural machines must have tyres that are in good condition in order to function at their best. However, the choice of tyre is not always easy due to the wide variety available on the market. In which case, how can you choose agricultural tyres that are both efficient and durable without breaking the bank? See our practical advice in this guide.
The condition of a tractor's tyres is closely linked to its performance. Replacing your agricultural tyres at the right time is a guarantee of safety and productivity. To do this, you need to be able to determine the rate of wear. Unlike car tyres, agricultural tyres do not have wear indicators. The only indicators that should be used to assess their condition are lugs and bars.
In general, manufacturers recommend changing the tyre after 70% wear. For example, if your rubber lugs were 60 mm high at the start, you should consider replacing them as soon as the tread drops below 20 mm.
The choice of a new agricultural tyre is very important. Here are some technical criteria that you must take into account to make the right choice.
The size of the tyres on a farm tractor or similar vehicle has a significant impact on traction, grip and capacity. For example, if you choose wider wheels than the original ones, the surface that is in contact with the ground will be greater. This will reduce the depth of ruts left in the fields.
The dimensions of an agricultural tyre are shown on the sidewall in this format: 680/60 R30.5
The number 680 represents the width of the tyre, also called cross section. It is expressed in millimetres. However, it is possible to find wheels whose width is expressed in inches. To find out the width in millimetres of such wheels, remember that 1 inch = 25.4 mm.
The number 60 is a percentage ratio between the height of the tyre and its width.
The letter R corresponds to the type of carcass.
Finally, the 30.5 corresponds to the rim diameter. This is expressed in inches.
The load index of your agricultural tyre is important. It represents the maximum load that the equipment can support. The load capacity varies from 100 to 200. For example, a wheel with load index 102 can support up to 850 kg.
The speed rating is the forward capacity of your tractor in relation to its maximum load index. It is expressed with a letter and a number (A2, A3, A4...) or only with a letter (B, D).
Just like motorcycle tyres, tyres for agricultural tractors and other farm machinery may have a "Tubetype" or "Tubeless" structure. This information is visible on the sidewalls of the original tyres. A Tubetype (TT) tyre works with an inner tube as opposed to tubeless (TL) tyres. The choice of the structure type depends on your rim. Check before you buy.
All agricultural tyres on the market have characteristics and functions. Each type of activity has its own well-defined agricultural tyre.
If your agricultural machine is used for harvesting or sowing, you should use narrow wheels. Since they are not very wide, these tyres allow you to drive through the rows of crops without damaging the soil.
The soil you normally drive on must be taken into account when choosing a new agricultural tyre. If you operate your machine on muddy ground, you will need to choose self-cleaning, heavy-duty wheels. On the other hand, if you have to change between country terrain and asphalt, you should use multi-purpose tyres.
The number of plies is also important when choosing tyres. The number of plies defines the level of rigidity of the tyres. The more the tyre has, the stronger it is.
Various references can be found on the data sheet for agricultural tyres. The most common are:
When an agricultural tyre is marked NRO (Narrow Rim Option), it means that it can be mounted on an optional rim size.
The CFO stands for Cyclical Field Operation and means that your farm tyre can withstand an overload of up to +55%.
VF (Very High Flexion) refers to a low pressure agricultural tyre that offers a wider contact surface with the ground. Its maximum load can be increased by 40%.
Just like VF tyres, IF (Increased Flexion) models can withstand light deformation. Their maximum load can be increased by 20 %.
Depending on the arrangement of the ply layers of an agricultural tyre, there are two types of carcass (radial and diagonal). Radial tyres are very common, but diagonal tyres are also available on the market.
Leading tyre brands such as Michelin, Bridgestone, Goodyear and Continental are benchmarks in the sector. These are at the cutting edge of technology.
In recent years, there have also been mid-range manufacturers who stand out in the market for the good quality and longevity of their products. These include: BKT, Kleber, Nokian, CST, Firestone, Kings Tire...
Agricultural tyres need to be maintained on a daily basis, and one of the first things to check regularly is the air pressure in your equipment. The correct pressure in tyres ensures their longevity.
It is advisable to wash the tyres after each use. Prolonged contact with volatile products, oil or petrol or treatment products should be avoided.
Now you have everything you need to make the right choice of new agricultural tyres that will give you the best performance. To find the right model for your farming operation, browse through the wide range of affordable products offered by GRIP500.