Take the pressure down

Tyre pressure plays a key role in soil compaction

Russell Kennedy, Harvest Tyres technical advisor, says correct tyre pressure is important at harvest time.

Russell Kennedy, Harvest Tyres technical advisor, says correct tyre pressure is important at harvest time.


Farmers are being urged to take a leaf out of John Farnham's song book and 'Take The Pressure Down' when it comes to their tyres.


AN AGRICULTURAL machinery tyre expert is channeling his inner John Farnham and urging growers to take the pressure down.

Russell Kennedy, technical adviser with Harvest Tyres, said incorrect tyre pressure could lead to inferior machinery performance and soil compaction.

And it is not just a problem on the seeding or spraying rig, when conditions are often wet, but at harvest as well.

Mr Kennedy said trial work had found tyres with advances in tyre lug positioning and the correct pressure left markedly smaller tracks in soil, meaning they would cause less compaction.

Speaking at the Southern Farming Systems (SFS) Agri Focus field day at Westmere in Victoria earlier in the year, Mr Kennedy said farmers tended to err on the side of too much pressure.

“Don’t be afraid to have the pressure down when you are working in the paddock.”

“The tyre has a defined shape under load and if there is too much air and it is over-inflated there will be a smaller footprint, which in turn not only means a rougher ride but it also leads to more compaction,” he said.

Not only can over inflation cause issues to soil structure and economy of the machinery but Mr Kennedy said it also often led to tyres failing before they should.

In many situations, he said the difference between optimal pressures for paddock use and on the road was to blame.

“People often don’t adjust when they get into the paddock,” he said.

However, he said farmers could go too far the other way, with ultra low tyre pressure leading to stress on the tyre that can lead to side wall cracking as well as the obvious rises in fuel usage.

Mr Kennedy said lug pattern innovations would also be a strong driver of reducing compaction.

He said trials with different patterns had shown a tyre with newly designed lug patterns would have more less soil penetration than one with a traditional pattern.


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