Tractor pressure with heavy implement

Pressure: it’s the volume of air in the tractor tyre that counts

You must always bear in mind that the only link between your machine (its power, its weight) and the ground, is your tyre. That is why this part of the equipment, which is essential to work successfully, is so important.

The mass borne by your tractor tyres depends essentially on the quantity of air contained in each tyre, so either you force compressible air into the tyre or you increase the volume, ere is the best solution:

Your tractor equipped with its implements represents a considerable mass which must be borne by your tyres. The weight on each axle will be borne by the air trapped in the tyres. So, for your trailer to be as efficient as possible, you need to adjust the quantity of air on the basis of the following parameters:

  1. The tyre manufacturer data which limits the pressure between a minimum and maximum level
  2. The weight on each axle of your tractor
  3. Soil and crop preservation
  4. The slip ratio


Option 1

Increase the pressure of your current tyres to bear the mass of your implements and your tractor

To increase the load that can be borne by your agricultural tyres, you can increase the pressure, i.e. force more compressible air into the tyre.

The inflation pressure of a tyre is close to the pressure it exerts on the ground, so the higher the pressure the more the tyre compacts the soil.

On loose soil, the increase in pressure worsens soil compaction, increases the slip ratio, promotes the creation of ruts in which crops do not develop and increases rolling resistance. Thus the increase in pressure harms crop development, penalises mechanical efficiency and reduces your productivity.

comparison of standard tyre footprint against IF tyre

Option 2

Increase the size of your tyres to bear the mass without increasing pressure

To increase the load that can be borne by your agricultural tyres, you can also increase the volume of the tyre to have more air in the tyre.

increase the size of tractor tyres

By increasing the size of your wheels and your tractor tyres, you improve their performance: the tyre will compact the soil less because its contact patch will be larger, you will reduce slippage for the same reason, so you will also reduce your consumption but above all, the load could be much greater because the volume of air that a tyre must contain is proportional to the mass it carries, which makes it possible to increase the mass considerably by increasing the global tyre dimensions.

Your tractor’s original tyre mount is rarely the best, it’s simply the cheapest for the tractor manufacturer. So, if your implements are heavy and you have to work whatever the weather on soft ground or heavy soils, this option of increasing the diameter of your back wheel as much as possible is the best solution.

Be careful, while the diameter of the wheel should be increased as much as possible, you should look to decrease the diameter of the rim to the minimum to ensure that you increase the volume of air. This is where the choice of tyre is crucial.

There are limits to increasing the volume however, because the bulk, the size of the tractor may become a problem if there is any distance between your farm and your fields. The increase in diameter may also limit the turning radius of your tractor and raise the centre of gravity, which can cause problems if you are not working on flat land.


Option 3

Use low pressure VF tyres

For the same weight borne, a lower pressure tyre distributes the weight over a larger surface area on the ground.

increase the size of tractor tyres

This increase in contact with the ground makes it possible, in addition to a better transmission of power, to increase grip and save on fuel.

Low pressure tyres, large VF tyres, which make it possible not to have to increase the pressure while increasing the load are the key to preserving your soils, your crops and your yield. Thanks to their more refined design, they have the advantage of being usable at low pressure in the fields and on the road, which means that the changing of pressure, which is often considered as a waste of time, is no longer necessary.


The blog is written and administered by tractor tyre experts who are available to provide you with the advice you need to help you to maximise your productivity (technical data for agricultural tyres, agricultural tyre performance, air pressure advice, solutions to avoid soil compaction, sprayer tyre pressure, etc...

To learn more and boost your farm's profits, the pneu tracteur experts have prepared is offering you a free, detailed white paper that explains the essential role your agricultural tyres play in your productivity. Click below to download your guide:

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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.

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