The snow is ready to melt, and planting season is around the corner. And, while farmers may be eager to get into the field this spring, a few simple maintenance checks will ensure their tires are ready too. Firestone Ag, a business owned and operated by Bridgestone Americas, Inc., has created a simple 7-step process for farmers to conduct a tire check.
It is costly to have tire problems in the field. Farmers are often working against the weather, and Mother Nature only gives them a small window of opportunity to get their fields planted on time. In fact, delayed planting can cost as much as $570 per hour*.
“As a farmer myself, I know all too well that itch to get into the fields as soon as the weather starts to change,” says Brad Harris, manager, Global Agriculture Field Engineering, Firestone Ag. “It is important to examine tires when you prep equipment for planting season. Our 7-step tire check list helps find problems and repair tire issues before they result in costly downtime.”
Firestone Ag Tire Check includes the following guidelines:
- Check tire pressure regularly using an accurate gauge. Set the inflation pressure using an inflation calculator.
- Check the tire’s sidewall for cracks, cuts or other damages.
- Check the tread. If there is less than 20 percent left on the tire, consider new tires.
- Check the tread area for stubble damages and exposed cords. If any damage is detected, it is time to replace the tires.
- Check tire contact area to make sure there is no space between the lugs and the ground.
- Check valve stems, look for cracks, corrosion and dirt. Use a valve cap.
- Check nuts and bolts to ensure they are properly tightened.
“Further, I always like to remind farmers how important inflation pressure is to tire performance. Using the proper inflation pressure for the load you are carrying will increase efficiencies and tire service life, while decreasing downtime, tire wear and fuel costs,” Harris adds.
Visit www.firestoneag.com for additional information.
* 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.