John Deere Maintenance Monday: Choosing the right size tractor tires
In this edition of Maintenance Monday, we're answering a question from Eddie in Colorado. He bought a used tractor at auction. The tires need replacing, but he's not clear on how to buy the right size he'll need for his operation.
Jerry Griffith is a division marketing manager for John Deere. He says tires have a major effect on tractor performance and productivity. The recommendation is to put on the biggest tires your machine and farming practices allow in both height and width.
"What that's doing is it gives you a bigger footprint than a shorter tire," says Griffith. "And that longer footprint gives you more square inches on the ground, and every square inch that you add helps to provide the ability to transfer the power from the engine to the ground. The reason you want that not only to transfer the power to the ground so you reduce slippage, but it also helps to provide a softer ride."
Larger tires also allow for less air pressure in the tire, which minimizes soil compaction. Have as low a psi as you can, given the amount of load on each axle of the tractor.
"We want to determine what the axle load is going to be based on the implement that you're pulling," Griffith says. "Our operator's manuals, as well as other manufacturer's operators manuals have charts. The tire manufacturers also have load index charts, and you can go in there and based on the amount of load that's on the axle, that'll give you a starting point on the air inflation that should be in your radial tires."
On mechanical front-wheel tractors, both the front and rear tires are engaged. The front tire is smaller and requires more revolutions to cover the same distance, so it's important to select tires that match the front-to-rear gear ratio. Tire and tractor manufacturers have a chart to help with that process.
Eddie received a free John Deere cap for submitting his maintenance question, and you will, too, if we use your question in our program!
Radio interview source: Jerry Griffith, Division Marketing Manager, John Deere
Listen here to the radio story (mp3)
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