John Deere Maintenance Monday: Repairing a tubeless tire
What's the best way to repair a tubeless tire?
Radio interview source: Jeremey Massey, John Deere Ag Tech Instructor, Northwest Mississippi Community College
In this edition of Maintenance Monday, we're answering a question from Brian in Illinois. He's fed up with trying to repair his utility tractor tires after running over nails and other sharp objects. Pulling the tube out, finding the hole, and fixing it takes him nearly all day. Is there a way to make tire repair easier?
Jeremey Massey is a John Deere Ag Tech Instructor at Northwest Mississippi Community College. He agrees that when a tire tube is punctured, it's quite a production to repair it. Because of the time and effort involved, a lot of people are switching to tubeless tires because they're much easier to fix. If the hole is a-quarter-inch-or-smaller, all it takes is a special plug to seal it up – and there's no need to remove the tire.
"You insert a tool that has a little crow-foot-type-thing on the end, and as you push it into the tire, it folds the plug over," he says. "The plug has a lot of glue on it, and you install some more glue on it to make it slick, and you shove it into the hole where the puncture is. And when it gets in there, it just squeezes itself to the tire and more or less vulcanizes, which is making a union between the tire and the plug, and seals the hole off."
You then trim off the outside edges, so they don't stick to dirt and grass, and pull the plug back out. Let the seal rest for a couple of minutes, put more air in the tire, and you're good to go.
"Plugs are just 100-fold easier than a tube," says Massey. "They just are. You know, they make life a whole lot easier. When you go out to the field if you have your plug kit and air compressor, air your tire back up and start cutting hay."
This kind of repair is very inexpensive. Massey says each plug costs 50-cents-to-a-dollar, and you can buy a tire plug kit at any automotive repair store.
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