• The balance between load and inflation directly affects key performance metrics such as traction, flotation, tire wear and fuel efficiency.
Goodyear Farm Tires,a Titan Tire Corporation brand, wants to remind growers to check the inflation pressure of their tractor, combine and grain cart tires before harvest to ensure optimum performance.
Growers can visit TirePressureCalculator.com — a mobile-friendly website created by Goodyear Farm Tires to help determine the optimum inflation pressure — based on load.
“Inflation pressure is the most important aspect of tire maintenance and should be adjusted based on load. The balance between load and inflation directly affects key performance metrics such as traction, flotation, tire wear and fuel efficiency,” said Scott Sloan, product engineering manager for Goodyear Farm Tires, “but, because load and inflation tables aren’t always accessible in the field, the tendency for farmers is to estimate or simply ignore inflation altogether.
“Doing so, however, can severely inhibit performance and tire longevity. That’s why we introduced the calculator.”
The user simply indicates the dimensions of the tire and the load index — both can be found on the side of the tire — as well as the axle and implement weight, and the calculator will provide the optimum inflation pressure for the user’s application, as recommended by the Tire and Rim Association. The easy-to-use calculator works for any brand of metric, agriculture radial tire and is easily accessible from a smartphone, tablet or computer.
According to a study conducted by Ohio State University, over-inflating a 20.8R42 radial tire by as little as 8 psi can decrease the footprint area by 33 percent. Experience has shown that a smaller footprint can decrease traction and increase ground-bearing pressure, thereby causing surface soil compaction, which can lead to lower yields.
In a field experiment conducted by the University of California, a tractor with tires inflated to the proper air pressure used 20 percent less fuel and was 5.7 percent more productive when compared to a tractor with overinflated tires conducting the same stubble-disking operation.
“In real terms, a typical tractor today has a 160 gallon fuel tank and a 10 percent increase in efficiency results in reduced fuel consumption of 16 gallons per fill,” says Sloan. “That’s the equivalent to saving at least $50 per fill at today’s diesel prices. Over a year’s time, that savings can add up just by adjusting your air inflation pressure.”