Hauling crops from field to barn or silo isn't such a simple undertaking anymore for farmers.
As with any other industry, developments in technology have altered the way they do business. Over the years, the methods for crop hauling to market has continued to change, with more and more farmers leaving their tractors at home in favor of faster truck and trailer combinations and switching from back-country roads to higher-speed paved roads and highways.
That means tires that were made strictly for fields and slow-moving farm vehicles don't meet Department of Transportation (DOT) standardsand that can create a predicament for farmers.
SD International USA L.L.C. recently stepped into the breach, launching its first Agrostar DOT-approved tirea 12-ply bias model in size 11L15 I-1in order to meet the changing needs of the farming community.
Jim Carpenter, marketing manager for Phoenix-based SD International, said that while most farmers used to transport goods at speeds less than 15 mph, farm equipment used today is capable of reaching speeds of 50 mph or more. As a result, many modern day farmers require DOT-approved tires for their trailers.
The product was originally designed for an existing Agrostar customer in Colorado who had a need for this tire in this size, as none of their suppliers offered any DOT-approved farm tires, Mr. Carpenter said. And they wanted a brand that their competition did not sell or have access to.
SD International's new tire, which the company began distributing in April, is manufactured by Chinese tire maker Wendeng Sanfeng Tyre Co., which allows the company to keep costs lower for customers.
Price is always an issue and our competitionat least the brands I am familiar withare all more expensive, Mr. Carpenter told Tire Business.
Though the company is marketing only one size, we can now add additional sizes and tread patterns as the need comes up, he said.
The company is in the process of developing its first high-speed radial DOT-approved farm tire, which he said he believes will become the industry standard in the future.
Certainly there is a shift in this direction, but only for farm equipment that will be used over the road, he said. For farm equipment that is still used only in the field, DOT-approved is not necessary. My only question is can we have it both ways and still control where these tires are used?