Extreme weather conditions, melted snow and heavy rainfall can leave fields extremely wet or waterlogged. Farmers are being advised to adjust heavy machinery tire pressures or they risk causing compaction and irreparable damage in wet conditions. Continental’s Agriculture TireTech-App helps farmers to choose the correct pressure for their Continental tires according to daily farming operations and ground conditions.
Farmers should be looking to set the lowest possible pressures for field work. Severe wet and rainy winter can waterlog many fields which might take weeks or months to dry out fully.
Richard Hutchins, Agricultural tire specialist, Continental Tyre Group Ltd UK on the latest ongoing rainfalls in the UK
After the rainy winter, many fields are still wet and waterlogged, and it may take months for them to fully dry out. Farmers should ideally choose a particularly low tire pressure for their field work in order to avoid long-term damage to their soil. If the use of heavy machinery for cultivation or sowing cannot be avoided, farmers can reduce the risk of soil compaction by choosing the right tire pressure.
Establishing the load of the vehicle is critical to establishing the correct tire pressure. Technical data sheets are available from most major manufacturer websites, but Continental has also introduced a new mobile app. Using a database of all available Continental tires, the app cross references the properties of the tire with the load of the vehicle and recommends the best tire pressure. This allows farmers in the field to see instantaneously what pressure their tires should have with the respective axle load of their machine. The Agriculture TireTech-App is now available for iOS and Android.
Adjusting the pressure of a tire changes the footprint and allows the weight of the vehicle to be spread over a larger surface area. When the tire pressure is reduced in wet conditions, the driver achieves greater grip and can work more efficiently. The tires also have significantly less rolling resistance, which reduces the risk of soil compaction.
The correct pressure for tractor tires is dependent on the load and speed necessary to carry out the required task. Not using the correct pressure is a major cause of soil compaction. It can also damage the tire, slow down the operating speed and increase fuel consumption. Concerns about soil health can be partially addressed by the correct use of machinery and tools to prevent soil compaction. To meet the daily challenges faced by farmers, Continental has invested €2.5 million in an agriculture-focused research and evaluation center.