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Tire Expert Center

When to Replace Tractor Tires

Regular maintenance of your farm equipment should include an inspection of your tires. This can help prevent costly downtime in season.  If your tires are showing their age, or the tread is significantly worn, they can begin to impact how well your tractor performs in the field. In most soil conditions, worn out tires may cause a tractor to operate at a higher slip rate resulting in excess fuel consumption and more time spent in the field.

Three key things to look for to know if you should replace your tires.

1. Exposed Body Plies and Belts

Agricultural tires are exposed to many objects or conditions that could create cuts and tears on the exterior rubber. If these cuts or tears do not expose the body plies or belts the tires can be used. Once a cut gets deep enough to expose the body plies or belts it needs to be replaced. The body plies and belts are what give the tire strength to contain the inflation pressure. If these components get damaged they could cause the tire to become unusable. Inspect the tire sidewalls and tread area regularly and if you see any body plies or belts it is time to replace that tire.

2. Air Pressure

Agricultural tires are exposed to crop stubble when operating and some tires occasionally find objects like a hidden fencepost or deer antler in the field. If you notice a slow leak and it’s not from the valve stem, there could be punctures in the tire. Ignoring a leaking tire could result in the tire running under inflated (or over-deflected) which could cause damage to the body plies making the tire unusable.

3. Tread Depth

The tread of a tire is what transmits the power from the tractor to the ground. As the tread depth decreases below 20% of its original depth, it may start losing traction in wet soil conditions. When a tractor starts operating at a higher slip rate, it takes longer to get a job done and use more fuel.

Replacing Your Tires

Tire maintenance is such an important part of keeping your equipment in good working order, operating at maximum efficiency, and minimizing downtime.  You can use Firestone’s 7 Step Check List to help you inspect your tires and help you determine if it is time to replace your tires.

If you’re not sure what type of new tire to purchase, start by reviewing our primer on Ag tire types here.

For assistance, you can always speak with a professional at any Firestone Ag Certified Dealer.