Jacking up the tractor

13 safety rules for operations involving agricultural tyres

Authored by: Tractor tyre expert | 18 March 2022

We don’t generally give it much thought, but when we talk of accidents linked to tyres, we tend to think about speed on the road or the explosion of a tyre due to excessive loads. These two points seem to be under control, because everyone knows that driving too fast or loads that are too heavy are easy issues to settle, by a simple decision, so as not to run any unnecessary risks.
However, when we think about safety linked to agricultural tyres, it’s not so obvious that the risks are just as present during tyre handling, inflation or other operations linked to tractor tyres.

In this article we look at safety rules to enforce to limit the risks and serious problems during agricultural tyre operations:

Why take precautions with your agricultural tyres?

Agricultural tyres have a much greater volume of air and larger dimensions than standard vehicle tyres, with a much higher load capacity, which requires more inflation pressure. The higher the pressure, the greater the risk of the tyre bursting during handling operations. On the other hand, insufficient pressure for the load carried by the tractor may lead to accidents on the road, with consequences that can sometimes be dramatic and often with major financial implications.

During any operation involving your tyres, the risks are present once more due to the volume of air and the pressure of course, but also because operations involving tyres require the raising of the tractor and the handling of large sized tyres whose weight can cause accidents.

Moreover, if the mounting is not correctly carried out, this can cause accidents which may sometimes be irreversible. If the bead is damaged or incorrectly positioned during manual mounting or mounting with a machine, the risk of the tyre exploding during inflation or when driving increases. In any case, the risks resulting from incorrect mounting are multiple and can be as serious as writing off the tractor completely in the event of an accident, without mentioning bodily injury and the considerable costs this could cause.

Here are the 13 safety rules linked to mounting or operations involving tyres:

Safety rules for site preparation

The first reflex to adopt before working on tyres is to prepare the site correctly. These procedures may seem unnecessary, but they ensure that you always work in the safest possible conditions and protect you against potential accidents.

1. Have the right personal protective equipment

A minimum amount of equipment is necessary to operate in the best conditions, such as for example:

  • Protective gloves
  • Safety footwear
  • Protective glasses
  • Hearing protectors.

2. Clean and prepare the working area

To work on the tractor, you should choose a large, clear area, with a perfectly flat floor, ideally made of concrete to ensure tractor stability. Trailers or implements must be removed during operations as well as ballast.

When the tractor is ready, don’t forget to indicate that an intervention is in progress with the appropriate signage (traffic cones, magnetic disk on the vehicle,…) to make sure that nobody starts up the tractor without realising an operation is in progress, which could cause a serious accident.

3. Have a minimum amount of safety equipment

A minimum amount of safety equipment is obligatory to be sure that you are operating in the best possible conditions:

  • The chocks: placed under all the tyres that will remain on the ground, both at the front and the rear, they make it possible to maintain the tractor in place and prevent it knocking the jack stands if there is any movement.
  • The jack: beware, the jack is only designed to raise up the tractor, not to maintain it in place when lifted. Certain faulty jacks may give way, making your tractor fall. You must obligatorily position the jack at the spot indicated by the manufacturer (cf. user guide).
  • The jack stands: these are indispensable, making it possible to maintain the tractor in its raised position. They must be perfectly positioned to avoid any unexpected movement and prevent the tractor falling during the dismounting or remounting of the tyres.

Jack and jack standsJack and jack stands


The safety precautions linked to mounting or dismounting tyres

Mounting or dismounting agricultural tyres is an operation that can be tricky and dangerous for several reasons.

You have two options:

  • Either the complete removal of the rim with its tyre in the workshop before using a specific machine to dismount the tyre.
  • Or dismounting directly on the tractor without removing the rim.
In both cases there are risks if you do not have the right equipment or if you do not follow the right procedure.

4. Deflate the tyre before removing the bead

Before trying to unseat the bead, it is essential to begin by deflating the tyres. The tyre to be dismounted must be fully deflated before you begin work.

5. Do not stand facing the valve

When you open the valve, be careful not to stand opposite it because projections are possible or an explosion with the valve being ejected.

6. Hold the tyre in place during dismounting to stop it falling

To avoid the tyre falling during dismounting, you can keep it in place using an airbag. When you deflate the airbag, be careful that the tractor is well balanced and stable by ensuring that the chocks and jack stands are correctly positioned.

7. Use proper handling equipment

As regards handling the tractor tyre, beware of the weight of the tyre, bearing in mind that a front tyre can weigh on average between 50 to 140 kg (example: 140 kg for a 540/65 R30 size tyre) and a rear tyre between 110 to 350 kg.

When dealing with such heavy weights, it is not always easy to carry out handling manually, which is why using appropriate lifting equipment is recommended to avoid tendinitis or exertion related aches and pains and potential accidents.

Wheel balancer suitable for mounting and dismounting agricultural tyresWheel balancer suitable for mounting and dismounting agricultural tyres

Safety rules for operations involving the wheel or the rim

8. Never heat the iron of the rim with a mounted tyre

Before carrying out interventions on a tractor tyre, the first precaution to take is to begin by deflating the tyre completely.
Agricultural tyres may be made up of serval parts (rim + discs). For safety purposes, it is advisable never to weld or heat a rim, bolt or the iron of the rim on a mounted tyre, because it could burst under the effect of the heat which will increase the inflation pressure. For this type of welding operation, it is always best to dismount the tyre.

A tyre that bursts is very dangerous and can be fatal for those close by, given that the debris can be projected dozens of meters and the blast can knock down a garage wall.

9. Never work on an overheated tyre

Beware of problems linked to braking: the force necessary for braking is proportional to the mass of the trailer and the square of the speed, it is always evacuated in the form of heat.

If a tyre has overheated during very long braking (mountain road) you should not try to deflate it because an overheated tyre may burst. It is always best to wait till the heat dissipates before taking any action.


Safety rules to follow during inflatione

10. Lubricate the beads correctly

Inflating a tractor tyre must be done following strict safety rules.
During the mounting and placing of the beads, you must use a specific lubricant to obtain ideal positioning during the inflation process. In addition to the beads, you must also lubricate the grooves, the rim seat and the rim tape.

Contrary to popular belief, the use of soapy water, grease or mineral oil hydrocarbons to lubricate the beats is highly unadvisable. If you don’t have special lubricating oil, preference should be given to edible vegetable oils.

11. Do not exceed the maximum pressure when seating the beads

As far as the inflation process is concerned, the manufacturer indications shown in the form of a pictogram must be respected at all costs.
Generally, inflation pressure should not exceed 2.5 bar.

Maximum pressure for placing tyre beadsMaximum pressure for placing tyre beads

If the beads are not correctly in place when the maximum recommended pressure is reached, you will have to deflate the tyre immediately, then reposition the tyre correctly on the rim, making sure that you lubricate the beads and the areas concerned once more, before reinflating the tyre without exceeding the recommended inflation pressure.

Be very careful during inflation, as accidents may occur at any time. The inflation process is very dangerous, because incorrect positioning of the tyre, improper mounting or even a moment of inattention can cause the tyre to burst, sometimes causing serious injury.

12. Don’t stand facing the rim during inflation

To avoid accidents during inflation, never stand facing the rim, but keep far away from the tyre in line with the tread in front of the tractor tyre for front tyres and behind the tractor for rear tyres.

For increased safety, it is also recommended that you keep a safe distance by using a sufficiently long tyre inflator hose (3 m between the nozzle and the pressure gauge).

Dangerous tyre explosion trajectoriesDangerous tyre explosion trajectories


Safety rules for handling during storage

When your tractor is not needed for a certain length of time, during the winter for example, it is preferable to increase pressure by 0.5 bar and store vehicles inside, on a clean flat surface.

On the other hand, if you are using seasonal tyres or specific tyres, you should dismount them to extend their useful life. Handling operations for storage can be tricky, due to the considerable weight which can more than 350 kg.

13. Follow tyre transportation rules for your safety and to preserve your tyres

A tyre which falls suddenly can cause a serious accident, all the more so in that it isn’t easy to keep it in place or handle it without the appropriate lifting equipment. If you want to store your tyres high up, for example, using the right lifting equipment for the weight of your tyres will make the task easier, such as:

  • Wheel balancer
  • Manual lift truck
  • Pallet truck
  • Front loader
  • Hoist

To avoid dropping or damaging your tyre during transport, make sure you follow the lifting rules shown in the diagram below:

Rules for handling tyres safely without damaging themRules for handling tyres safely without damaging them



For certain operations it may be safter to turn to a professional, who knows the job inside out, working with tyres all day, and who has the right equipment and tooling and knows all the procedures and obligatory safety measures for mounting and dismounting tractor tyres.


For more information on tractor tyres

With Firestone, you have the guarantee of tractor tyres that deliver a real advantage, and that in choosing our brand, you can work worry-free.

Discover our performance range

Most people who read this article have also read some of the following articles:

Topic: Tyres technical advice

Did you like this article? Share it: