Tires Tackling Compaction

December 13, 2016 09:44 AM
 
Tires Tackling Compaction

New innovations in tire formation save farmers money in the field

Bigger equipment weighs more, pressuring soil structure and it’s ability to hold water, nutrients and air. A recent Goldman Sachs research study shows long-term compaction and yield loss can result from farmers’ use of machines weighing less than 10 tons—but current machinery can tip the scales at more than 20 tons. 

Tire manufacturers are focused on lessening the impact of soil compaction, while providing the traction and mobility farmers need. Here are three recent innovations in farm tires:

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Traction is still key for field work. Michelin’s VF520/85R42 CFO 177A8 CerexBib tires for large combines and grain carts flex under heavy loads to improve weight distribution. Farmers will appreciate the tire for its agility during on-road travel, as well as its larger footprint of 486 sq. in. that improves traction in all field conditions. The tires operate at up to 40% lower air pressure than standard radial tires, which reduces ruts and compaction. Reinforced sidewalls extend service life and handle a maximum load capacity of 21,960 lb. 

Floatation tires really can walk on water. Mitas’ demo of high horsepower tires helped a 4-ton Claas Axos 320 tractor “walk” on water in the Netherlands. Equipped with Mitas 1250/50 R 32 SFT on the rear axle and Mitas 750/55 R 30 SFT on the front, the tractor floated around the port and returned to dry land. 

“Flotation tires can not only make a yacht out of farmers’ tractors, but they can also bring them higher yields thanks to lower soil compaction,” says Pavel Kott, product manager, Mitas. 

Mitas 1250/50 R 32 SFT is designed for grain carts, combines and other large machinery. It has a diameter of 79.5" and is capable of carrying loads of up to 30,864 lb. at 6.2 mph. 

Farmers are putting tire promises to the test. Farmer and owner of Delta New Holland dealership Mark Stallings, Charleston, Mo., worked with his agronomists to evaluate benefits of Goodyear’s Low Sidewall (LSW) Technology by Titan Tires.

In corn and soybean plots, two matching tractors and planters ran alternating rows—one with traditional duals and the second with Goodyear LSW 1000/40R32 front tires and Goodyear LSW 1100/45R46 rear tires.

The narrow duals created a pinch row effect that hampered root growth and seed germination. Harvest results showed a 5-bu.-per-acre yield bump from use of the low sidewall tires—a $16-per-acre advantage. 

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