There are many things to check before field operations begin again this spring, and checking your tires is often forgotten. But, in today's agriculture - with larger equipment and heavy loads, running on tires that are not properly cared for can be expensive.
It’s costly to have tire problems in the field, when Mother Nature only gives you a small window of opportunity to get your work done on time. Delayed planting can cost you as much as *$570 an hour, making every hour you’re down a loss to your bottom line.
Inspecting your tires can help to avoid downtime in the field and increase your profitability when the proper inflation pressure is used. Firestone Ag has created a simple seven step process for farmers to check their tires, repair the issues before they result in down time, and keep them moving in the field once they start:
- Check tire pressure regularly – Set the inflation pressure using an inflation calculator and an accurate gauge.
- Check the sidewall – Sidewalls differ by tire type. Look for any cracks, cuts or other damages.
- Check the tread – If there's less than 20% tread left on your tire, it’s time to get new tires.
- Check the tread area- Are you seeing some stubble damage? How about exposed cords? If you answer yes to either of these questions, it is time for a replacement.
- Check your contact area – Make sure there is no space between the lugs and the ground.
- Check your valve stems – Look for cracks, corrosion and dirt. Use a valve cap.
- Check nuts and bolts – Everything should be properly tightened.
Checking inflation pressure is one of the most important steps in the tire check process. Proper inflation pressure increases efficiency, tire service life and ROI, as well as decreases downtime, tire wear and fuel costs.
* The $570/hour figure is based on the following common industry assumptions: 16-row planter, planting at 30 inches, planting at 5 miles per hour, and field efficiency of 80%. The price of corn was averaged to be $3.35/bu., and the yield was taken from 2017 USDA reports of 176 bu/ac. Yield loss from delayed planting was taken from DuPont Pioneer’s Planting Outcome Effects on Corn Yield study.
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