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May 15, 2020A Guide to Agricultural Tyre Pressure & Tread Patterns

If you want your agricultural operation to run at optimal efficiency, re-evaluating your vehicles is a good place to start. While it’s important that all aspects of your vehicles are properly maintained and accounted for, tractor tyres can really be put through their paces by demanding farm work, so it certainly pays to tune them properly.

TreadFirst Agricultural Tyres_R1 Tractor Image

In this guide, the Treadfirst team will be taking a look at agricultural tyre pressure and tread patterns, so you can get a better understanding of these features and how they can impact farming work.

Tyre pressure

While we all know that it’s important to ensure that our tyres are at the correct pressure, this is doubly important for agricultural tyres. Failing to do so will lead to a significant drop in performance and will have a profound effect on overall tyre wear and soil compaction. You will even find yourself spending more money on fuel, as an agricultural vehicle with incorrect tyre pressures can waste 20-40% engine power through tyre slip and rolling resistance. 

Finding the right pressure for your particular set of tractor tyres is all about trying to maximise the overall tyre footprint, whilst keeping them as strong and secure as possible. Essentially, this means you’re looking to find the lowest possible pressure that won’t end up damaging the construction of the tyres themselves. Given that the load on the tyres could be changing from day to day depending on the work required, the optimal tyre pressure will also take this into account. 

To help navigate this problem, agricultural tyre manufacturers create comprehensive resource sheets with data on tyre sizes, maximum load weights and suggested inflation pressures, so if you’re looking to find the right pressure for your tyres in particular, this information is essential.

Basic tread patterns

While finding the right pressure for your tractor tyres is important, if you’re using the wrong tread pattern for the job, you will be fighting a losing battle. 

There are three basic types of agricultural tyre tread patterns for lug or bar-type tyres, these can be understood as follows:

  •  R1 –  this is a standard tread type and is used primarily for general dry-land farming. These tyres have the shortest lug height and the narrowest spacing between lugs. Unless you’re doing something specific, this is probably the tread pattern to opt for.
TreadFirst Agricultural Tyres_R1
  • R1W – As you might be able to guess, the “W” stands for “wet”, meaning that these tyres do their best in wet and sticky soil conditions. This tread pattern fills the gap between R1 and R2 tyres by having a deeper lug with wider spacing than R1 tyres but shorter and narrower than R2. The exact difference between lug heights will vary by about 20% depending on the manufacturer, however.
TreadFirst Agricultural Tyres_R1W
  • R2 -This is a tread type used typically with cane and rice or other crops grown in wet muck or flooded fields. The tread depth of R2 tyres is approximately twice as deep as R1 tyres. R2 tyres also have the widest spacing between lugs to allow mud to shed easier. If you plan on using R2 tyres, you should bear in mind that they need to be matched on both the front and the rear. With R1 or R1W tyres, however, you can mix these patterns on the front and rear for specific purposes.
TreadFirst Agricultural Tyres_R2

If you’re looking for a new set of agricultural tyres, look no further than Treadfirst – we supply and fit a broad range of tractor tyres across the entire East Anglia region. What’s more, if you’re not sure exactly what tyres you need, our skilled team of fitters will be able to offer guidance – you can even use our tyre size guide on our site for help! For more information, get in touch with Treadfirst today. We look forward to hearing from you.

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