Ford truck owners

In January, we printed a letter from Texas rancher Jay O'Brien, who said he was disappointed with the dealer support he got when his Ford truck was damaged from being driven on dusty roads. Guy Major with United Auto Workers (UAW) Quality Control saw the letter and called with the following response:

Truck owners should be aware that they need to change their air filters more often in very dusty environments and extreme use conditions. With its blowing sandy soil and gravel roads, most Texas farm and ranch country falls into the extreme use category.

Not changing the filter often enough in such conditions could be considered abuse by the owner, which may be why the dealer paid for only part of the repair job. However, if Mr. O'Brien or any other Ford truck owner feels they are not getting appropriate support from their dealer, we encourage them to call the Ford Customer Assistance Center at 800/392-3673.

Too low tire pressure?

Apparently farmers are being given conflicting information about tractor tire pressure. After reading our story about tractor tire pressure (“Tire trends: the low-pressure look,” October 2003, page 40), readers called in to say their tire salesmen had warned not to decrease pressure or the tire warranty would be void. Of particular concern was a recommendation in our story to deflate tires to as low as 6 psi.

We checked with Firestone. Here's what Jay Wheeler, an ag tire engineer at the company, had to tell us.

We do show inflation pressures as low as 6 psi for radials in our application books but nothing lower than that. The main thing to remember is that the load-carrying capacity of the tire is greatly reduced with the lower pressures. If the weight is reduced to the proper level, then there should not be a problem. But if the weight can't be reduced enough, it may take duals (or triples) to get the loading right.

Obviously the loads do change with mounted implements or spray tanks attached. When low pressures are used on an overloaded tire, it causes excessive flexing in the sidewall that could lead to premature failure. Then there is the possibility of doing damage to the tire (or rim) if a sharp object (rock or other) were to hit an underinflated and overloaded tire. We preach that the optimum footprint is achieved when air pressure is matched to load and that inflation pressure can be changed to match load accordingly. The trick is to know the load first and adjust pressure to match.

As with any product, most warranties are not set up to cover factors beyond the manufacturer's control.

No Heider parts

We have been getting several calls recently due to your reply to a reader letter [November 2003, page 68]. You state to call us [Scranton Manufacturing] for Heider parts and service. In the past we used to do this; however, we no longer carry any Heider parts. We now manufacture refuse packers. Thank you for your help.
Kessie at Scranton Manufacturing
Scranton, IA

We apologize for any inconvenience. We are unable to locate any further information on Heider auger wagon parts. Readers needing these parts may want to check auctions or ask a good machinist if he or she could build the parts they need.