How To Reduce Abnormal Wear To Farming Tyres
Considering the nature and long-term use of farming equipment, machinery and vehicles, you can expect tyre tread to wear down eventually. However, the more important question that needs answering is how to reduce abnormal wear to farming tyres. The good news is that by regularly inspecting your vehicle and buying the right farming tyres for the task at hand can help.
What Are The Main Causes Of Abnormal Wear To Farming Tyres?
Your farming tyres can wear down prematurely for various reasons from incorrect wheel alignment to over or under-inflation, overloading and incompatibility with certain machinery. To give you a better understanding of what causes abnormal tyre wear, here is a summary of the most important factors to consider.
Improper wheel alignment
As with your car, incorrect wheel alignment on farming machinery is a common cause of abnormal wear to farming tyres. Indeed, this can be costly and not just in replacing the tyres but also in fuel efficiency, especially when driving on the road. If your wheel alignment is off, you will first notice abnormal wear patterns on the edges of the front tyres.
If you identify the symptoms early enough, you can rotate the tyres to help extend their lifespan. To stop it from happening again, you need to adjust the tracking which is relatively simple to check and adjust on your own. For more advice on how to rotate your farming tyres or if you require a tyre repair/replacement, contact TyreFix UK now!
Incorrect tyre pressure
If misaligned wheels weren’t bad enough, incorrect tyre pressure can have severe consequences. When the air pressure is too high, the tyres become hard and ridged which result in a rather uncomfortable ride. Grip is also reduced as there is a smaller surface area making contact with the ground. With fewer lugs, there is less traction and as a farmer, you know that spinning wheels can damage soil structure and increase fuel consumption.
Under-inflated tyres are no better as they can also increase fuel consumption as much of the power is lost due to flexing. And, having too much of the tyre in contact with the ground adds stress to the sidewalls and can cause serious damage to the casing. It also results in heat building up in the rubber and that can lead to abnormal wear on farming tyres. Stability may be reduced, especially at higher speeds and on the roads.
Non-compliance to the loading index (Overloading)
When you mount any equipment to the rear of a tractor, it will increase the weight on the rear axle while removing weight from the front. The balance of weight between the two axles is referred to as the load distribution and tyre pressure is adjusted to take this into consideration.
Overloading and incorrect tyre pressures can easily lead to abnormal wear on farming tyres. This places too much stress on the tyres which causes damage and, ultimately, tyre failure. Always follow the recommended load index from the tyre manufacturer to extend the tyre’s lifespan and avoid abnormal wear on farming tyres.
If you want to work out the extra load a machine puts on an axle, use the following calculation:
Additional weight = implement weight × distance ÷ wheelbase
Incorrect usage of farm machinery and equipment
How you use your tractor and other farming equipment plays a crucial role in abnormal wear on farming tyres. For example, if you often drive on road surfaces with heavy loads, your tyres will wear faster as the road surface is more abrasive than soil. The solution is to drive much slower as you could potentially save 6 months of wear and tear on all your tyres.
If you do notice abnormal wear on farming tyres, here is a simple explanation of sloped wear. This refers to the tyre wear being more pronounced on the inside of the left tyre, or on the outside of the right tyre. This is due to the slope of the road you frequently drive and is accentuated when you constantly have to correct your steering to stabilise the vehicle. The solution is to switch the tyres regularly so they can wear more evenly.
Tips To Reduce Abnormal Wear On Farming Tyres
Now that we’ve established what causes abnormal wear on farming tyres, it is time to look at how you can reduce it.
- Perform a visual tyre check as it will help identify any physical damage early on
- Check the tyre tread and if there is less than 20-25% left, you may need to replace your farming tyres relatively soon
- Make sure lug nuts are tightened to the correct specification
- When in storage, inflate tyres to the manufacturer’s recommended level and check regularly to avoid costly damage
- Clean the mud, sticks, and rocks from lugs and remove mud from the rim and weights
- If possible, store equipment inside in a cool and dry place or at least use a waterproof cover if the vehicle is left outside
- If the farming equipment or machinery will be stationery for several months, avoid parking on rocks or asphalt
The Importance Of Visual Tyre Inspections
A visual inspection includes looking for foreign objects such as nails, screws or any other sharp items. Also check for any physical damage to the sidewalls (bulges, blisters, cuts) or seperation from impact damage.
Inspect your tread for any signs of abnormal wear on farming tyres and correctly adjust your tyre pressure to the recommended level for the load and speed you will be operating at. To make sure you get this right, invest in a tread depth gauge as they’re not expensive and easy to use.
- Set air pressure to 2.0-2.5 bar (29-36 psi) at mounting
- Run the tyres for a few miles on the road at the maximum tractor speed
- Adjust the air pressure to the operating air pressure
- Measure the tread depth the next day (24 hours later)
How To Measure Tread Depth On Farming Tyres
Tread measurement should be made on properly mounted tyres as they typically expand after the first inflation. Considering the difficulties and variation in measuring tread depth of agriculture tyres, use the centre line as the simplest measurement method.
- Measure at least four locations along the centre line of the tyre
- Use a flexible steel ruler to align with the round shape of the tyre diameter. Press the top of the ruler to the inside of lug 1 and the bottom of the ruler to the inside of lug 3. If you don’t have a flexible steel ruler, you can also use a hack saw blade
- Using a tyre gauge, measure down to the deepest point between lug 1 and 2
- We recommend measuring your farming tyres every 500-1,000 hours but do the first measurement earlier after fitment. During the first 100 hours of operation, the wear rate is generally higher but that is normal for all types of tyres.
Consequences Of Abnormal Wear On Farming Tyres
Damaged wheels or tyres can be extremely dangerous for you, other road users and people working with you. In case of deep splits, or signs of excessive wear, you may the risk of a tyre burst, complete immobilisation, reduced breaking ability and overturning especially when the machinery is loaded.
Any downtime is costly and a burst tyre can have a negative impact on productivity, not to mention the soil. To avoid accidents, make sure to change your worn tyres, especially during particularly intense periods such as harvesting, ploughing or sewing. To minimise the impact on your soil, it’s vital to make the right choice when buying farming tyres.