AKRON—Goodyear has issued a product service bulletin encouraging farmers to choose the correct tire size and inflation pressue to support the added load on single drive-position tractor tires under severe conditions. While today's higher-powered tractors and beefy farm implements have increased the demands on drive tires, some farmers—due to row-clearance and other crop considerations—are further increasing the stress on these tires by forgoing dual configurations in favor of single-position applications, according to Goodyear.
"Ten years ago, an 18.4R46 farm tire could withstand a single-position application—even for heavy-duty service such as plowing," said Dave Weed, Goodyear's application engineer for farm tires.
Overloaded and overpowered tires can experience sidewall or ply turn-up separation, as well as cracking above the rim flange, Goodyear said.
"When you remove the outer dual, you are doubling the load on the remaining tire," Mr. Rubber said, adding that row crop tire sizes are particularly prone to such overloading because they operate closer to their inflation rating and cannot be inflated more to compensate for the increased load.
"In planting and cultivating operations, the tire chosen for single-position applications must be capable of carrying the full weight of the tractor and the implement in the raised position."
Goodyear's service bulletin suggests three operating approaches to avoid such tire overloading:
1) Continue using dual applications and investigate use of straddle dual setups to eliminate row clearance issues.
2) Select a tire size that, with increased inflation pressure, is capable of absorbing the increased load when the outer dual is removed.
3) Maintain a second set of tires for use in single-position applications that has extra capacity to handle the load. (Some applications don't permit a second set of larger single tires.)
"Farm equipment and methods of farming are changing in order to help farmers improve their bottom line," Mr. Weed said.
"Overstressing tires and causing premature damage defeats that goal."