Farm equipment is getting larger so farmers can cover more acres faster. But this means more weight on the vehicles, which leads to soil compaction. Soil compaction robs crop yields.
To tackle this problem, tire makers are developing new tire technologies to transfer the weight across a larger area. As a result, tires today are up to 7.5 ft. tall, 4 ft. wide and have more flexible sidewalls that can withstand heavier weights than standard radials. The bigger the footprint, the tighter the pressure applied to the ground. A good analogy of this concept is that a 100-lb. woman in high-heeled shoes exerts more weight per square inch than a 200-lb. man in work boots.
New tire technologies include increased flexion (IF), very high flexion (VF), and radial plus (R+). Tires with these technologies can be run at 20 to 40% lower air pressures than standard radial tires, which creates a longer footprint. – Jodie Wehrspann