A lot of people consider that adjusting the pressure of agricultural tyres is not important in the management of your farm, and that you have other, more urgent things to take care of everyday. And it’s true that this task takes time, requires materials and is very repetitive, in short it adds a task that you may be tempted to avoid by using a intermediate pressure that works on the road and in the fields.
Do you really think that this compromise is the ideal solution? Have you any idea of the real cost of not managing the pressure of your tractor tyres?
Tyres represent the 2ND cost item after fuel
These are the two elements which will really impact your profitability: tyres and fuel. The best choice would therefore be to always drive economically and to avoid any action which would tend to wear out your tractor tyres more quickly.
The surface of the road which is hard and abrasive, and the earth in your fields which is loose and soft, are so different that you can’t work with the same pressure for both (unless you are using VF tyres which are specifically designed to adapt to both uses).
Choosing a medium pressure level to suit all types of ground is certainly the most frequently used option, but it is the worst possible choice that you can make as whatever the ground you are driving on, road, fields or hard or loose terrain, the pressure is never right.
On the road, if the tyres are under-inflated: their lifespan is reduced by 25%
On the road, the tyre heats up, making the rubber more tender and reducing its lifespan by 25% due to the abrasion of the tarmac on your tyres.
If under-inflated, the tyre “bounces” on the ground, causing abnormal wear to the shoulder and lugs (one of the two will be worn down). Similarly, if you notice more wear to the rear of the lugs, this is a sign that you are often driving with under inflated tyres.
Motricity and cornering stability are reduced. The tyre undergoes a distortion which is not compensated by its pressure, it will tend to squash excessively, impacting braking stability, especially when loaded. If your machinery is carrying a heavy load, the risk of accident is much greater than average with under-inflated tyres.
Fuel consumption is increased by 5% on the road
On the road, by using a medium pressure, the surface contact between the tyre and the road will be greater than normal and the rolling resistance will be increased, leading to increased fuel consumption of up to 5% of your overall consumption, and more if your tyres are really under-inflated, or if the road proportion of your trip is sizable.
On roads, it’s best to increase the pressure to limit the rolling resistance by reducing the surface contact. Inflating to 2 bar can save up to 30% of fuel as compared to inflating to 0.8 bar which is advised for field work.
In the fields, if your tyres are over-inflated, fuel consumptio is increased by 10% per cm depth
You spend more time in the field, over-inflated tyres cause constant increased spinning which will lead to quicker wear to the tyre rubber, no matter what farm machinery you are using: tractor, trailer, combine, etc.
Your over-inflated tyre will dig into the soil, you will increase the rolling resistance: 1 extra cm deeper GENERATES 10% extra fuel consumption.
Excessive spinning and rolling resistance require additional tractive force from your tractor which will lead to wasted time, excessive soil compaction and a reduction in profits.
Your long-term productivity is highly dependent on the structure and biodiversity of your soil and excessive compaction will permanently damage the soil in your field.
In the field, the right choice is to reduce the pressure to improve traction by increasing the contact with the soil. Your tyres will dig less into the ground. Reduction in spinning enables you to increase the forward speed and your soil is protected.
The bridgestone-agriculture.eu blog is written and administered by tractor tyre experts who can provide you with advice dto help you optimise your productivity (Technical data for agricultural tyres - Agricultural tyre performance - Pressure advice for agricultural tyres - Soil compaction solutions - Sprayer tyre pressure - etc.)
To take it a step further and increase the profitability of your farm, the tractor tyre Experts has prepared a free highly detailed ebook which explains the essential role of agricultural tyres on your productivity.
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This information is intended only to make you aware of the technical and functional aspects of agricultural tires and their use. It does not allow you to make a judgment or a definitive conclusion on a given problem. Only your agricultural tire expert is able to make a technical assessment and take a final decision, case by case.