Tips for maintaining your tyres during harvest season
When both harvest season and planting winter wheat (among other produce) are fully underway, the last thing a farmer would want to worry about is equipment failure or malfunction. Lengthy and costly delays may spell disaster if the tyres on a combine harvester or tractor equipment are not fit for purpose.
Thankfully, there are a few things one can do to help avoid this occurring. The first is regularly to check tyres for any kind of damage: cuts, tears or any bulges. It is good practice to develop a habit of checking the sidewalls and bead area close to the rim: harvesting equipment, when operating on slopes, can apply a massive strain on the bead/sidewall area of the tyre and checking it regularly will help detect any possible damage as early as possible.
Check agri tyres regularly
Check both front and rear tyres regularly. It’s quite easy to assume that if the front tyres are fine, then the rear tyres will be in good condition too. Rear tyres must be allocated the same amount of time for checks as the front tyres. If a combine has been inactive for a while, ensure that tyres are stored without the vehicle’s weight on them, and shielded from direct sunlight. Flat spots can lead to casing integrity failure, causing problems during service. Note: For insurance purposes make sure the vehicle can be moved quickly in case of building fires.
If unsure, consult the tyre manufacturer for guidelines on tyre and wheel storage.
Adapt your driving style
Accelerate slowly and brake progressively to maximise tyre life. It sounds pretty obvious but it can really help extend the tyres’ lifetime, ensuring they stay in service for longer.
Avoid potholes, kerbing and roadside debris, if possible. Driving hazards/heavy impacts can cause real issues with tyres: the consequences don’t always show immediately but will affect the vehicle’s ability to be efficient/reliable during the harvest season.
Choosing the right tyre
We will get into this more in a later blog post, but we break Agri jobs and applications down into five areas: click on them individually to see our range.
The correct tyre for the task is important and can be tricky to choose, as farming is very different based on geography and operation. Always keep in mind that tyres are designed for specific operations and vehicles. Particular attention should be paid to tyre load/speed indices and operational recommendation; it’s not always just based on tread pattern choice or size, as the casing is also designed for its intended service application.
Farm crops, ground conditions, transportation and seasons all play a part: narrow tyres are designed to travel between crops (and are commonly identified as Row Crop tyres), whilst wider flotation tyres are designed to reduce ground pressure, slippage and protect the soil structure.
In order to avoid damage to fields, large contact area tyres operated at low pressure are used as they produce less surface pressure on the field or lawn. Always consider that the air inside the tyre carries the weight, so attention must be paid to operating weight, operating speed and manufacturer’s recommended air pressures.
Vredestein has a superior range of tyres that work across the board, specially designed for specific agricultural tasks and specialist vehicles. Check out the range of Agri tyres and contact our Agri specialist for more info.