Modern Tire Dealer

DEC 2018

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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F a r m T i r e s M T D D e c e m b e r 2 0 1 8 62 For peak performance, the typical mechanical front wheel drive tractor weight split is 60% on the rear axle and 40% on the front axle. "I usually try to get 125 to 136 pounds per 1 PTO (power take off ) HP (horsepower)," says Degenhardt. OPTIONS FOR GROWERS Degenhardt first learned about a tire's effect on soil compaction at a dealer meeting hosted by Titan International Inc. about two years ago. e company's LSW (Low Sidewall) technology is exclusive to Titan and Goodyear Farm brand tires. Like VF tires, LSW tires can carry 40% higher loads at the same inflation pressure as standard tires, or they can carry the same load as standard tires at 40% lower inflation pressures. But instead of more flexibility in the sidewalls, LSW tires have larger wheel rims and lower sidewalls. LSW tires were developed not only to reduce compaction but to minimize road lope (swaying and bouncing during road transport) and power hop (bouncing while pulling in the field), according to Scott Sloan, ag product manager/global LSW at Titan. "With the LSW tire's sidewall being physically shorter, we can run lower inflation pressures." Sloan says super single tires, which replace dual tires on farm equipment, were developed to reduce soil compac- tion. Super single tires use both LSW and VF technologies. The company's most popular sizes are the LSW1250/35R46 and LSW1400/30R46, which is the world's larg- est farm tire, according to Sloan. "Replacing two tires on the corner of a tractor with one big tire gives you a lot more surface area, contact area and a lot better flotation and less compaction," he says. Degenhardt meets the preferences of individual customers with Titan's super single tires and Alliance's IF and VF tires. He says he likes Titan's Goodyear Farm line because of the unique LSW technology and Alliance tires because they are the only ones in the market with all steel casings and IF/VF technology in standard sizes. "I've done a lot of playing around with air pressure, and it really is the final piece in a lot of situations," he says. "With the Titan LSW for the super singles and Alliance with the duals I was able to bring everything home," says Degenhardt. "It all comes down to looking at what you have for a footprint now and how many more square inches per tire you gain on the ground by going to an IF or VF tire. A guy who wants his duals can have his duals, and a super singles guy can have his super singles." For example, one of Degenhardt's cus- tomers puts dual tires on his equipment for planting but removes them for sidedressing (fertilizer application). "LSW wasn't going to work for him. So I have Alliance VF duals on the back of his tractor and the Alliance IF duals on the front." Using both IF and VF tires on the same machine enables Degenhardt to make sure the weight distribution across each axle is correct. e weight split depends on the size of the tractor and the amount of weight it will be carrying. In this case, using a VF tire with a heavier load index on the front of the tractor was not necessary. "You are taking more power and effort than what is required so you are decreasing the efficiency of your tractor," says Degenhardt. "If you don't balance the tractor to get the tires to perform, it's a waste." Another customer had a pair of duals on the front of his tractor. "We put singles on the front. I weighed it when we set it up. I dropped his air pressure down in the back. He was running 25 psi; he's running 15 now and 12 in the front," says Degenhardt. "He told me they could never go full speed on the road because it hopped so badly. But with the air pressure adjusted correctly, he can wind it out all the way and run it at top speed," says Degenhardt. e pricing of the two types of tires is comparable. "You can put LSWs on a trac- tor or put duals on a tractor for about the same amount of money," says Degenhardt. LOWERING PRODUCTION COSTS Larger farm equipment is helping to boost efficiency but it may cause soil compaction that can reduce yield. "Equipment in the last 20 years or so has really gotten big. e size of equipment wasn't an issue when I was a kid," says the 39-year-old McHugh. McHugh has standard radial and bias tires on his other equipment, which includes four tractors used in the field, two combines, a sprayer, several planters and four semi tractor-trailers. He grows corn, soybeans, rye and wheat. His approximately 2,000-acre farm also includes organic production of heirloom corn varieties and small grains for a local distillery. McHugh says road and field travel is smoother with the Alliance VF tires compared to standard ag tires. e Alli- ance tires also proved themselves as far as reducing compaction. "We see less of a footprint in the field, not only visually but scientifically," says McHugh. "e tractor we have the VF tires on actually weighs more than the other tractor. From what I'm seeing from my studies, we're leaving less of a footprint with the heavier tractor because of the tires. It's nice to see this technology. e pros of tires are that they are much lower maintenance compared to a track system." In addition to traditional metrics like bushels per acre, growers like McHugh are focused on lowering their production costs. For example, controlling wheel Alton Degenhardt says correct inflation pressure is helping growers get the most value out of their agricultural tires. After weighing the tractor, Alton Degen- hardt (left) discusses the correct infla- tion pressure with his customer, Patrick McHugh, who farms 2,000 acres. PHOTO: ALLIANCE PHOTO: ALLIANCE

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