As an implement dealer, your number one duty is to advise your clients on how to get the best performance out of their ag equipment. While often overlooked, tires and wheels are one area that can have a significant impact on performance.
For example, increased soil compaction may be harmful to certain types of crops in certain climates. Sometimes, the solution can be as simple as a new set of IF or VF tires.
Should you advise farmers to stick to the OEM wheel and tire setup or to make the switch to custom wheels and tires? It depends on their application and what problems they’re experiencing.
Let’s look at when custom ag tires might be the best solution for farmers.
A custom setup is when a tire or wheel component is non-OEM or non-original. Common customizations are often needed to modify the height, width, tread, flexion, and more.
Custom ag tires are ideal for optimizing performance because not all tires are ideal for all crops and soils. Thus, even when you find the perfect tractor, this doesn’t mean that the supplied OEM package is what your crops and field need.
Optimizing your machine for your unique application may not mean changing significant components—a tire swap or custom wheel can make a world of difference.
Here are some of the most common situations when farmers can benefit greatly from custom tires based on our experience.
Some farmers trade in their tractors every year, while others keep them for several seasons. The tires on a newly purchased machine (new or used) may or may not be optimal for the farmer’s application, but that shouldn’t stop the sale.
Farm equipment typically rolls down to customers through a complex used-equipment infrastructure. Machines may move across the country for a higher chance of a sale. For example, in California, the tractor is always in the field, increasing the running hours. On the other hand, a three-year-old tractor used in the Midwest is likely relatively low in hours.
When you purchase a piece of equipment, your sale could hinge on whether it has the right tires. When you get a tractor from across the country to sell in your market, replace the tires for your local soil, crops, and climate needs.
As your tractor ages, it may not have the same performance as it did in its prime years. However, this doesn’t require purchasing a completely new piece of machinery.
New tires can aid farming issues such as high compaction, lack of traction, row height, and width changes on an existing machine. Switching to custom ag tires may mean a whole new life cycle for your machine.
Different crops need different types of tires. Help your growers optimize wheat, barley, beetroot, rapeseed, and the farming activities connected to them like plowing, sowing, or spraying with custom tires. The tires are the sole connector between the machinery and the soil, so they play an essential part in the field and yield.
Did you know that excessive soil compaction can reduce your yield by up to 30%? If your customers come to you because they notice a change in their production that can’t be explained by something else, they may need a new set of custom wheels or tires.
There are so many farming problems that custom wheels and tires can solve. We talk to dealers and farmers about them every day. These are some of the most common issues we hear where custom wheels and tires can help.
A reduction or increase in row spacing can have a significant impact on crop yields. If your yields are not what you have hoped, getting tires with a narrower or wider footprint could fix that.
Do keep in mind that row spacing is different across the country to accommodate the different types of soil and crops, so something that works in California may be a terrible idea in the Midwest.
New wheels and tires are the only cost-effective way to change tractor height. You may need to do that when you change the type of crops you plant or, as mentioned above if a machine makes a move cross-country. Your machine height considerations are going to be significantly different for an orchard than for a strawberry field.
The degree to which soil is compacted depends on its composition (for instance, loamy soil has a different compaction degree than sandy soil), moisture, equipment weight, and other factors. Excessively compacted soil has poor drainage, with decreased water and airflow.
Soil that is compacted results in stunted growth as well as lower and uneven yields. Switching to custom wheels and tires that take into account your specific application is the optimal way to reduce soil compaction.
Power hop is a common problem in high-horsepower tractors. The term refers to the bouncing that occurs when a four-wheel-drive or mechanical front-wheel drive machinery is operating under draft loads. This is caused by the sidewall of the tire flexing and then recoiling when it gains traction.
The tire pressure is very important here—both over-inflated and under-inflated tires can contribute to power hops. A new set of custom ag tires can help with even weight distribution, increased traction and, consequently, power hop reduction.
There are hundreds of factors and factor combinations that matter when choosing the right custom tires. Soil type, crop type, climate, the level of machinery usage, just to name a few. Every field has specific needs, so there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to choosing custom wheels and tires.
At CFI Tire, we have helped hundreds of implement dealers make the best choices for the farmers they serve. If you’re not sure what type of custom tires are ideal for your customers, get in touch with us. Our tire experts are on standby to help!