7 tips to improve performance of agricultural tyres

How to keep your agricultural tyres in peak condition

Your agricultural tyres are some of your most valuable assets. And some of the most expensive. If you neglect your tyre tractor check, you could compromise safety, performance, and increase your costs. A few basic precautions and checks are all you need to prolong tyre life. You could save thousands of dollars over the course of a tractor’s lifetime.

Here are our seven top tips for agricultural tyre maintenance:

1.    Check your tyre pressures

It should be on your weekly maintenance programme. Use a low-pressure gauge to make sure your agricultural tyres are properly inflated. Ensure the gauge is properly calibrated by getting it checked at least once a year.

Always check inflation pressures when the tyre is cold – when the tyre is hot, the air inside expands, and the pressure rises. When the tyre cools down, it will be underinflated.

If your tyres are filled with water or antifreeze, use a special gauge and ensure the valve is at the bottom of the tyre when testing.

The danger of underinflation is that damage will be caused to the cord, and the carcass can fail. Over-inflation should only be used when hillside ploughing, or if you plan to use the tractor on hard surfaces for long periods. To determine the correct tyre pressure, weigh the rear axle with the tractor tool in a raised position and then refer to the load/inflation tables supplied.

2.    Tyre types

In the same way that you wouldn’t fit and mix radial and bias tyres on a car, you shouldn’t do so on your agricultural vehicles, either.

3.    Watch for valve damage

Valve damage is a sign that the tyre is slipping on the rim. It is caused by:

  • Underinflated tyres
  • Too much lubricant on the bead when the tyre was mounted
  • The bead is improperly seated on the rim

If a valve is damaged, get the tyre and wheel checked by a tyre specialist immediately.

4.    Watch for tyre spinning

If you notice that a tyre is spinning, it is probably because the wheel weights are too light. Spinning on rough surfaces will wear the tread bars, and eventually, the tyre will become useless. The best action to prevent this is to add wheel weights, though as a temporary measure you might also:

  • Adjust inflation pressure down (but not below the recommended pressure)
  • Decrease the draft load

5.    Check your rims

If your tyre is fitted to a rim that is too narrow, it will suffer the same problems as if it were over-inflated. The wear will be concentrated on the centre of the tyre tread. Wear will be increased, and traction will be reduced. The tyre is also likely to suffer sidewall damage, where the wheel rim subjects extra pressure on the tyre. It’s not unusual for tyres that have been fitted on narrower rims to suffer sidewall separation.

Always ensure that your tyres and rims match.

6.    Clean oil and grease from your agricultural tyres

Oil, grease and fuel damages tyre rubber. So, too, does agricultural chemicals. If you use your tyres where they come into contact with any such liquids, make sure they are cleaned before storing your vehicle.

7.    Check your tyres for damage daily

At the end of every day, do a tyre check. Look for cuts, scrape and breaks. Look for exposed cords. If a tyre is damaged, it should be removed, tested and repaired by a qualified tractor tyre specialist.

For all your agricultural tyre needs in West Brisbane, we’re here to help. We’ve got extensive experience in the supply, fitting, and maintenance of agricultural tyres on all types of vehicle. Contact us (by Skype, telephone, or on our contact form) and make sure your agriculture tyres are in top condition for all seasons.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

About the Author

Kevin has been at the forefront of the tyre industry for over 20 years. Kevin's speciality is in industrial and commercial tyres including the management and upkeep of fleets. Kevin has worked with vehicles his whole career from painting, mechanical, suspension and panel beating he has also spent time in the Australia Army as a driver. He has driven all size of vehicles throughout his career so understands the demands placed on drivers.