Caring for your tractor tyres

How long will your new tyres last? That depends on whether you use them correctly and drive carefully. And this applies regardless of tyre quality.

Caring for your tractor tyres
Tyre pressure should always be measured on a cold tyre. If you want to check the pressure after the tractor has started driving, you will have to stop and wait for the tyres to cool down.
Photo: FW Archive

When buying tyres for your tractor, trailer or any other farm machine or implement, ensure that they are the correct type and size.

Tyres are manufactured, tested and guaranteed for a specific task and terrain. If used properly, they will function optimally.

Tyres are designed to carry a specific weight related to tyre pressure, so check tyre pressure every morning before the machine is used.

If the pressure is higher than that prescribed, the tyre will stretch and twist out of position. It will also be unable to absorb shock properly, putting too much pressure on the rubber.

Such a tyre is more susceptible to cuts and impact breaks, and will wear down more quickly.

It will also compact the soil more than a correctly inflated tyre.

If the pressure is too low, on the other hand, the tyre could distend and warp. This will generate excessive heat, causing the tyre shoulder to wear down. It can also increase fuel consumption.

Tyre pressure refers to the cold tyre. So measure the pressure before the tyres start rolling or after the machine has been standing for a while and the tyres have cooled down again.

Know the carrying capacity of the tyres, then determine the weight of the vehicle and the load. Never overload a tyre; this will damage it.

Additional tips

  • Clean the tyres regularly, especially if chemicals have been used on the lands; these can reduce the lifespan of a tyre.
  • Check tyres regularly for cracks, cuts and wear. When a tyre has serious cuts or cracks, or is worn down by more than 80%, replace it.
  • Hitting potholes, taking sharp turns, and braking suddenly significantly shorten the lifespan of tyres. Avoid bad driving habits like these.
  • Do not store tyres for longer than recommended. Place them vertically, not stacked, away from direct sunlight.

Guarantee
Buy a brand you can trust. Ensure that the tyres carry a proper guarantee, and are backed by after-sales service.

Source: De Goede, L. 2018. ‘Good practices for tractor tyre care’.