Modern Tire Dealer

JUN 2019

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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A G T i r e T a l k M T D J u n e 2 0 1 9 56 e language itself, R-1 and R-1W, is a tire industry standard defining the minimum designed tread depth of an agricultural traction tire. e Tire and Rim Association defines the minimum bar height based on the tire width and the aspect ratio (height of the sidewall). e R-1 designation is the standard tread depth. e tread depth of an R-1W tire is at least 20% deeper than the same sized R-1 tire. In simple terms, R-1W tires have a taller bar height, but all the other dimensions, such as overall diameter and rated load capacity, are the same between the R-1 and R-1W tires. ere is not a substantial performance difference between the two types of tires — particularly for farmers who are concerned about soil compaction. Soil compaction is the result of the axle load and the inflation pressure to carry the axle load. Since the two tires have the same load and inflation pressure, the tires will create the same amount of soil compaction. If farmers are concerned about soil compaction, it is more important to look at tire sizes or IF and VF tires that carry the axle loads of their tractors at pressures below 15 psi. e traction difference between the two tires depends on the soil conditions in which the tires operate. e deeper R-1W tread depth does not automatically mean the tire has more traction. Traction is dependent on tread bar shape and the angle of the bars. However, when deciding between the types of tires pay close attention to soil conditions and consider the following: • Dry or normal soil moistures can use an R-1 tire. e R-1 and R-1W tires will have similar amounts of traction. Both tires work great in these soils, but if a farmer is debating the two tires because of cost vs. performance, the R-1 tire is more cost efficient. • In wetter soil conditions, even if they are borderline, consider using an R-1W tire. Just like in dry soils, the R-1W tire doesn't generate more traction over the R-1, but the deeper skid will help maintain traction in higher slip ranges. e extra cost of the R-1W helps ensure traction in those areas, which helps with time and fuel efficiency. • In wet soils, like those in the Texas Bayou or the Gulf Coast region, neither the R-1W or the R-1 is the best choice. Instead, farmers could look to move up to an even deeper tread on R-2 tires. e tread depth of an R-2 tire is two times deeper than R-1 tires to help gain traction in those wet soils. Aer considering the soil conditions, think through how oen the tractor will be running on paved surfaces like the roads or concrete feedlots. If a farmer doesn't have to drive many miles on the road to get to their fields or doesn't operate in a concrete feed lot, then an R-1 tire is a good, cost effective solution. Above all, consult with your local tire dealer to determine what type of tire works best in your area. ■ James Tuschner has spent 25 years in the tire industry, primarily focused on the agricultural and specialty tire markets. His experience includes time spent at Alliance Tire Americas Inc. (first as director of marketing, then as director of business development) and Denman Tire Corp. He started www.agtiretalk.com in 2016.

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