How do you know if your tires need to be replaced?

The proper maintenance of tires will help vehicle owners tell whether they need their tires to be replaced or not. Tractor tires nowadays have slip indicators. But with old tires, you may check at how far the dirt is pushed backward by the tractor tires’ lugs. When slips increase, you might want to check your tire for other signs that it’s time to replace them already. Here are some signs that can tell you if your tractor tires need to be replaced:

  • Cuts or bulges on the tire surface
  • Deflated tire
  • Cracks because of dryness
  • Uneven wear

What is better bias ply or radial?

A bias tractor tire is more flexible giving a comfortable and smoother ride even on rough terrains. However, bias tractor tires have less traction and harder to control at higher speed.

Radial tires, on the other hand, strengthens the tire and lengthens the life of the tire. It also provides more control and lowered resistance when trucks or tractors are driven at high speeds. However, radial tires give rougher ride at lower speeds and they don’t give much for the tires’ self-cleaning ability.

Tractor Tires and How to Keep Them in Good Condition

Tractor tires are the key parts of the heavy equipment that get the construction and agricultural industry moving. It is an engineering vehicle designed to provide high traction power to haul agricultural and construction materials or machinery and provide power to other mechanized farm and construction implements.

Image source: titan-intl.com

From the first gasoline-powered engine driven backward and forward by farmers in Northeast Iowa, in 1892 to driverless and AG robot-operated tractors, these vehicles are playing a significant part in building infrastructures and boosting agricultural production.

To stay good and efficient in any industry, tractors should have well-maintained tires and tractor owners should be able to get good tractor tires. To get the most of the tractor tires’ performance, owners are consistently weighing options on the best offers of new tires and used tires. How much do used tractor tires cost or how much do used truck tires cost? These are often the concerns of truck owners. Tractor tires are more expensive to replace so the option of buying retreaded used tractor or truck tires is still very viable. One thing is clear: the price of tractors tires’ is affected by the growing demand from both developing and developed countries.

 

Global demand for tractor tires

Off-the-road (OTR) tires market is also projected to increase at a CAGR of 4.64 percent from 2017 to 2025, according to a research. This demand amounts to approximately US$7.68 billion by 2025, from US$5.34 billion in 2017. OTR tires cover that which is used in construction and mining equipment, agricultural tractors and industrial equipment.

The demand for tractor tires is also growing significantly according to the report of the Global Agriculture Tractor Tires Market – Strategic Assessment and Forecast 2017-2022. Analysts say the tractor tires market is expected to grow at 5.06 percent (compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in terms of shipment from 2016 to 2022.

RankExporter2017 Rubber Tires Exports% World Total
1.ChinaUS$14.2 billion19%
2.Germany$5.9 billion7.9%
3.Japan$4.8 billion6.5%
4.The United States$4.7 billion6.2%
5.Thailand$4.4 billion5.9%
6.South Korea$3.4 billion4.6%
7.Netherlands$2.6 billion3.5%
8.France$2.5 billion3.4%
9.Poland$2.1 billion2.9%
10.Spain$2.1 billion2.8%

Source: World’s Top Exports

Although there will be a flat growth rate for the demand on 2017, the increasing farm mechanization in developing countries like those in the African continent, India, Thailand, and China will continue to boost the demand for agricultural tractor tires.

Among the types of tires, radial-ply tires are considered the most recent and more efficient compared to bias-ply tires. With these advantages, the demand for radial-ply tires from developed countries like those in Europe and North America is expected to grow. Developed countries demand highly for technically advanced tires.

European countries with developed geographies are also posing high demand for high HP (horsepower) tractors. High HP tractors are also increasing in Latin America. The demand for high HP tractors would necessitate higher demand for technically advanced agricultural tractor tires, too, since wide and large tires are used in high HP vehicles.

A brief history of tractors

Image source: deere.com

The word tractor came from the Latin word “trahere” which means “to pull”.  Its first use in 1896 referred to “an engine or vehicle for pulling wagons or ploughs.” But the earlier term for the tractor was “traction engine” and it was used as early as 1859.

John Froelich invented the first gas-powered tractor in Iowa, United States. Before that, steam-powered engines were used in the farm to thresh wheat. It was difficult to transport because it was heavy and bulky and hard to maneuver. It also poses a serious risk of setting the farm on fire.  

Froelich, who was familiar with that equipment, invented a hybrid of a vertical one-cylinder engine that was placed on a running gear of a steam traction engine. The hybrid invention was powered by gasoline and a few weeks later, farmers in South Dakota used the new threshing machine.

Bias, Belted Bias, Radial: What’s inside a tractor tire

Tractor tires are not just round pieces of inflated rubber. They differ depending on their purpose. Tractor tires, in particular, are heavy-weight as its purpose is to take a massive amount of weight and force. Here are the three types of tire construction:

  1. Bias – A bias tractor tire has several layers of rubber plies intersecting with each other. The crown and sidewalls inside a bias tractor tire are interdependent. The plies create a thicker layer that is more flexible and more sensitive to overheating.  It has cords that stretch out from bead to bead. Each bead is a bunch of tensile steel wire that binds the tire to the rim. The cords are positioned in layers at approximately 35 degrees of opposing angles to get a crisscross pattern, where the tires’ tread is adhered to. A bias tractor tire is more flexible giving a comfortable and smoother ride even on rough terrains. However, bias tractor tires have less traction and harder to control at higher speed.
  2. Belted bias – Similar to the construction of a bias tractor tire, a belted bias tractor tire also has crisscrossing layers of multiple rubber plies overlapping each other. The difference is, a belted bias tractor tire has a corded belt or steel stabilizing belt attached under the tread. The belts are and the layers are positioned at differing angles and this construction improves the tires performance compared to the bias tractor tires. The belt provides a comfortable ride with lesser rolling resistance when driven at higher speeds.
  3. Radial – Unlike the bias and belted bias tractor tires, a radial tractor tire uses cords extending from the beads and across the tread placed at the right angles to the center of the tread. The cords are placed parallel to one another instead of crisscrossing and the stabilizer belts are placed beneath the tread. The construction strengthens the tire and lengthens the life of the tire. It also provides more control and lowered resistance when trucks or tractors are driven at high speeds. However, radial tires give rougher ride at lower speeds and they don’t give much for the tires’ self-cleaning ability.

Take care of the tractor to take care of the tires

Since tractors are heavy-duty vehicles they are more expensive to maintain and tires are also valuable parts of the investments. To prolong the life of the tractor tires, one should make sure the whole vehicle is well-maintained. Here are maintenance tips for tractors and tractor tires:

  • Educate yourself about the manual – Understanding the manual properly will make you more knowledgeable on the do’s and don’ts of the tractor and the tires. Manuals list the basic instructions on how to take care of the vehicles and the manufacturer’s advice on troubleshooting frequent problems.
  • Learn about your tires specification – The tractor tires’ specifications include its height, width, diameter, model number, size of the tire, and the recommended tire pressure and weight, among others.  
  • Get the proper tools – If you are investing on a tractor tire, you might as well invest in proper tools to use. These heavy-duty vehicles require larger wrenches and other necessary tools.
  • Check the tire inflation – Frequent running on low tire pressure increases the tread wear and damage to tractor tires. Tires have recommended air pressure in the manual. Checking the tire pressure will make the tractor use more efficient and safe.
  • Say no to overloading the tractor – Each tire has a load capacity. Carrying load that is way above the recommended load will also cause damage and increase the tread wear on the tire.
  • Keep your tractor and tires clean – Cleaning the vehicle is very important to help you spot the leaks and damages easily. Some tires have self-cleaning ability depending on the depths of its tread.

How can you tell that your tractor tire needs replacement

Image source: www.deere.com

Tractor tires nowadays have slip indicators. But with old tires, you may check at how far the dirt is pushed backward by the tractor tires’ lugs. When slips increase, you might want to check your tire for other signs that it’s time to replace them already.

The proper maintenance of tires will help vehicle owners tell whether they need their tires to be replaced or not. Unusual vibrations, aging tires, and depth of tread are some of the things that will send you the signs of a tractor tire that is badly needing of replacement. Here are the things you should look out for:

  • Cuts or bulges on the tire surface. If your tractor tires have cuts, punctures or bulges, that might be caused by impacts or bad road conditions, you should fix it immediately as this might cause you a delay in production or worse, an injury.
  • Deflated tire. A deflated tire may be caused by lack of air pressure. Once the tire is deflated, the sidewall of the tire is prone to damage.
  • Cracks because of dryness. Tire materials also dry up and harden making cracks appear. Cracks can deteriorate the tire causing it to lose its flexibility. The cracks, when left unchecked, can lead to tread separation.
  • Uneven wear. When a tire lacks enough air pressure, it can wear out unevenly. Sometimes you may see a one-shoulder wear which is when the tire is tilted to one side exerting more pressure on one of the shoulders. It may also have a two-shoulder wear which happens when the tire lacks air pressure. When this happens, the outer parts of the tread come into contact with the road too much causing more treadwear. Treadwear in tires may also appear in the center when the tire is over-inflated.

Are Used Tractor Tires Okay To Buy?

If you need a replacement for your tractor tires, buying a new one might not be an easy option to take especially that it is very expensive. How much do tractor tires cost? A radial design tractor tire from Titan Tire Corporation has an average retail price of US$1,600 to US$2,900. Some new tires might come cheaper at US$400, but still, it costs a fortune for many.

Buying used tractor tires will save you from breaking your bank. Used tractor tires will not be damaged anytime soon. How much do used tractor tires cost, you ask? If your tractor only has one damaged tire, you can get a new tire for as low as US$50. However, the price depends on how well the tires were preserved. Make sure that you are able to check the tread wear and age of the used tires you are buying to make sure that it will still last you for several more years.

If you lack the money to buy even used tractor tires, don’t forget that selling your used tractor tire can give you additional fund, too. Even if your tractor tire is really damaged or flat, there are interested buyers to repurpose old tractor tires and turn them into an equipment or accessory for a gym, furniture, or playground.