BIGGER, TALLER, faster. Those are the three words so often used to describe how farm equipment is changing to meet the needs of large-acreage growers. Tire companies have responded in step by introducing entirely new radial farm tires, with new designs, shapes, and compounds, that can handle the extra load. Here are four radial tires being introduced in 2010.
Firestone AD2 Technology
Firestone creates a new class of agricultural tires designed to handle bigger and heavier farm equipment. (See FINcast, Edition 7, bit.ly/agMLJT.) The new tires are built with the company's Advanced Deflection Design (AD2) technology that features greater sidewall flexibility. The new class of tires is available in five sizes: two for front-axle applications of MFWD tractors, and three drive tires for MFWD and both axles on 4-wd tractors.
The AD2 technology allows the tires to carry loads that are up to 20% greater than the loads standard radials of the same size can carry. “That means the operator can carry heavier loads or add ballast to a tractor without having to raise air pressure in the tires,” explains Tom Rodgers, Bridgestone Americas Ag Group, which produces Firestone farm tires. “Alternatively, they can carry the same weight at a lower inflation pressure to reduce soil compaction.”
In addition, the AD2 tires have a larger footprint that adds to traction while helping reduce soil compaction. These new tires are available now. Additional AD2 ag tires will be available over the next year. For more information, visit www.firestoneag.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 154.
Titan Tire Corporation, maker of Titan and Goodyear Farm Tire brand tires, will launch two new products this spring. (See FINcast, Edition 7, bit.ly/agMLJT.) First is the Goodyear OptiTrac R1W radial design tires available on new 4-wd tractors and combines. The new design features a tread that is 25% deeper than that of conventional R-1 radial tires for longer wear. A self-cleaning tread action promoted by a 45° tread lug angle provides for improved traction, especially on soft soil. Other features include a modern European design and an improved mold and shape that allow for a smoother ride. Average retail price: $2,900.
Also new is the Goodyear Ultra Sprayer tire specifically designed for sprayers. Tread bars are engineered to carry heavy sprayer loads and can handle speeds up to 30 mph. The Ultra Sprayer product line is available in widths from 12.6 to 15.2 in. to accommodate row widths from 20 to 36 in. Average retail price: $1,600.
Michelin VF tires
Five years ago Michelin introduced a new radial farm tire to North America called the Increased Flexion (IF) tire. The tire was so named because it has a greater ability to flex under increased loads than standard radials have.
This year the company announced it will introduce the Very High Flexion (VF) tire that will flex 20% more than IF-classified tires. Tires with higher flexion, or flex, allow for lower air pressures that leave behind a bigger tire footprint, resulting in less soil compaction that could otherwise reduce yields. Michelin says the new VF-classified tires will be available later in 2010.