Modern Tire Dealer

APR 2019

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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55 w w w . M o d e r n T i r e D e a l e r . c o m A G T i r e T a l k QUESTION: What is the best way to reduce stubble damage? RALF KRIEGER , head of development and industrialization of agricultural tires, Continental Tire the Americas LLC: ere are several trends in modern agriculture that increase the risk of stubble damage. • e modern plant breeding process is much faster with genetic engineering. e goal to have a more stable plant that is resistant against windstorms and pests leads to a very firm plant structure. • To extend the yield of the feed harvest or biogas production, the plant cutting height is reduced year by year. e remaining stubble is shorter and not easy to tumble over. • e fight against pests, like the corn moth, also demands a low cutting height. e potential on the tire side is limited by the need to balance flexibility and protec- tion. A good strategy is to bend the stubble before it can penetrate the tire. Depending on the size, structure and geometry of the tread pattern, the stubble is clamped and guided to the tire surface. e result is high contact pressure with the possibility of damage. If the tire survives the first 1,000 hits, more will come and cause cavitation at the rubber surface. To minimize the risk, the pattern shape can be optimized. A 45 degree orientation of the lugs is better than 23 degrees. A flat slope in front of the lug is better than a steep one. In addition to tire selection, growers can use a mechanical stubble breaking device which quickly covers the cost of itself. SCOTT SLOAN , ag product manager/ global LSW, Titan International Inc.: Stubble is an ongoing challenge for end users and tire manufacturers. Stubble has become more of an issue over the past couple of decades for many reasons. Seed popula- tions have increased from an average of 24K per acre to almost 55K. Genetics have also improved to enhance plant health against insects and climate conditions. So now is there not only more of them, they are much more robust — so tires are exposed to twice as many plants that are much more likely to damage a tire. On any given year weather conditions like drought and freezing play a huge part in the aggravation of stubble damage. Chopping heads have not helped the situation either, as stalks cut 3 inches to 5 inches do not allow the tires to push the stalk over to minimize penetration into the tire, essentially creating a field of rebar that the tires have to cross. Tire companies can only do so much with the compound. Everyone says we need to make the compound harder. We work within the "Magic Triangle" when it comes to compounding. e area of the triangle is constant, if the compound is changed to affect a certain physical property, another property of that compound will be affected also. e tire may not show signs of stubble but the end user will be just as unhappy when the base of the lugs or sidewalls begin to crack out. It's a delicate balance. It's not that we aren't working on it, we are constantly evaluating new compounds to find that bal- ance of stubble resistance and tire longevity and performance. So what can grower do? My suggestion to all growers that own any brand of tire is to get something in front of the tractor or combine to knock down the stalks ahead of the tires. Just by doing that they would double or triple the life of the tires. I am a huge advocate of mechanical devices that Stubble damage James Tuschner By COURTESY OF CONTINENTAL TIRE Modern Tire Dealer has partnered with AG Tire Talk to provide answers to the insightful questions farm tire dealers have about farm tire technology. is is the seventh in a series, which is designed to help agricultural tire dealers better connect with their customers. A trending question followed by an abridged version of the answers will appear in our Commercial Tire Dealer section every other month; for the complete answers, check out www.agtiretalk.com! IT CAN'T BE ELIMINATED, BUT IT CAN BE MANAGED Depending on the size, structure and geometry of the tread pattern, the stubble is clamped and guided to the tire surface. The result is high contact pressure with the possibility of damage. The tread pattern can minimize the risk of damage.

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