Modern Tire Dealer

DEC 2018

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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Page 62 of 113

61 w w w . M o d e r n T i r e D e a l e r . c o m and VF tires that can operate at a lower air pressure under increased loads, compared to standard radial tire technology." Until a couple of years ago, growers were showing limited interest in IF and VF tires. Bill Haney, agricultural and industrial sales manager for Apollo Vredestein Tyres North America Inc., notes that IF tires require close monitoring of air pressure. "VF tires answered the requirement for higher load carrying capacity at more standard air pressures," he says. In addition, the initial technical specs for IF and VF tires called for wider rims, which made them expensive in the replacement market. "Since then the specifications in many cases changed to allow standard rims," says Haney. "e point is that lower air pressures are possible in the field for use with ever increasing tractor horsepower and weight. Lower air pressures are the goal for reducing soil compaction. VF tires are a higher load version of the IF concept." FOCUS ON SERVICE There are two Degenhardt Tire stores serving growers in Wisconsin. Reuben Degenhardt, Alton's grandfather, opened a store in Norwalk in 1962. A store in West Salem, about 25 miles away, followed. Today Reuben's sons, Jim and Pete, own the company. Jim is Alton's father. ere are five employees, plus Alton Degenhardt's mother, Roberta, his aunt, Nicki, and two cousins, Jordan and Zach. e retread shop, which has capacity for up to 100 tires a week, uses the Oliver process to retread skid steer and medium truck tires for agricultural use. e two stores do not offer mechanical service and focus entirely on tires. "We'll do anything from a 410/350x4 tire for a lawn cart all the way up to a 29.5/R25 OTR tire. And everything in between from tractors, combines, skids steers, and graders," says Degenhardt. e company also offers mobile road service. Degenhardt's uncle services the area around the Norwalk store, and Degenhardt covers a roughly 80-mile radius around the West Salem store. A typical day is spent on the road making service calls for customers. "I can change any tire on the road, but we cater to the farmers aer hours for emergencies, especially during planting and harvesting." Local growers know that if they have an issue, they are not going to be down overnight waiting for a tire. "I've got pretty much any farm tire you could want on hand. Anything round and rubber, big and small, we've got it all," says Degenhardt. POUNDS ON THE GROUND Degenhardt is working closely with Patrick McHugh, a grower who is conducting a soil compaction study on his farm. Compac- tion interferes with a root's ability to grow into the soil and extract the nutrients and moisture a plant needs. Roots and water cannot infiltrate compacted soil, creating problems for growers. McHugh uses a device called a pen- etrometer to measure the resistance in soil in foot pounds. e key metric is the pounds per square inch exerted by a tire on the surface of soil. "I needed to know pounds per square inch. When you first talk to tire people, they talk about how many pounds you put into the tire. Well, I talk about how many pounds are on the ground," says McHugh. As part of the study, McHugh has replaced standard radial ag tires on one of his tractors, a Massey Ferguson 8680, with VF tires from Alliance Tires Americas Inc. He is measuring and comparing the amount of compaction under the standard and VF tires. "You need to know the exact weight of that equipment and tire," says McHugh. Degenhardt believes he is the only tire dealer in the area using portable scales to weigh farm equipment. He purchased the portable scales in the fall of 2017. He began carrying them with him on visits to customers' farms, where he weighed equipment and explained how tire pressure could reduce compaction. Degenhardt uses footprint boards, which he makes out of white plywood, to demonstrate to customers how lower air pressure expands a tire's contact area. e tire is positioned on the board before and aer the pressure is lowered and sprayed with black paint to show the number of bars on the footprint board. More bars mean more of the tire is on the ground. "You can see the difference in the number of bars on the footprint board and in the way the machine performs," he says. In the spring of 2018, interest in the portable scales "just blew up" along with Degenhardt's sales of tires for reducing soil compaction. "You want to get the most value for your dollar out of your tires, so that's why weighing and making sure your weight splits are correct sets that tire and tractor up for optimum performance," says Degenhardt. "at's where you are going to get less soil compaction, better traction and minimal amount of slip percentage. You're getting more power to the ground and getting more work done with less effort." PHOTO: ALLIANCE Alton Degenhardt places portable scales under each tractor tire. Knowing the weight exerted by a tire on the surface of soil enables him to calculate the air pressure needed to optimize the tractor's performance and reduce compaction. He also uses the scales to determine the correct weight split of the tractor. ALSO IN CTD Farm tire market shares ........................ 70 AG Tire Talk: Proper tractor ballast ..... 71 Commercially viable ............................. 76

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