Think investment rather than purchase cost for your agricultural tyres
Authored by: Tractor tyre expert | 06 January 2023
The tyre is often wrongly thought of as a standard consumable despite the fact that the quality of your work depends on how good the tyre is. A quality tyre has such an important impact that your productivity improves on a daily basis, whereas a low end tyre will slow down your production. There is an enormous difference at the level of significant aspects such as reducing slip and fuel consumption and less rapid wear with a quality tyre. A cheap tyre will have a much shorter lifespan for the same use and the price of replacing it with another discount model will see your original purchase price double, which casts some doubt over your purely economic strategy. All the more so in that throughout its use you will struggle with excessive slip, compaction and soil sealing and permanent extra fuel consumption.
In this article, we look at why your agricultural tyres, just like your other tools, constitute equipment that should be considered as an investment:
1. Considering agricultural tyres as an investment rather than a purchase cost
It is true that top-of-the-range tyres are quite expensive to buy, but a slightly more in-depth analysis will prove that it makes more sense to “invest” in your tyres rather than trying to save a lot of money on the purchase. The return on investment with high-tech tyres will be seen over time and is much better than any discount purchase of standard, bottom-of-the-range tyres.
Here are the main advantages of buying a more high-tech agricultural tyre:
A tyre fit for many uses
The same tractor will often be used for very different tasks depending on your farm, your geographical situation, the type of crops you grow or the distances you cover on a daily basis.
If you work frequently in the fields, but also very often in the court farmyard, you should opt for high-tech tyres adapted to the variability of your activities.
Firestone has developed the Performer range for multipurpose use and work in the fields. These tyres all have a reinforced internal structure and are made from a rubber compound that is ultra-resistant to wear, making them the most suitable tyres for mixed use.
A better production quality
Top-of-the-range tyres have a superior production quality. They have casing structures that are better designed and generally reinforced and supple sidewalls which mean that you can carry heavy loads while working at a low inflation pressure. They are the outcome of many years of testing for the biggest tyre manufacturers.
The warranties that come with these products ensure that a very high level of vigilance is required in terms of quality, whereas certain quality control tests are scrapped for discount tyres in order to reduce costs.
High-tech IF tyres have been developed to offer a better level of performance than standard tyres.
Firestone’s Maxi Traction IF tyre is a perfect example. It was designed to work at very low pressure, giving it optimal traction capacity which is improved by the technical lug design used in the manufacturer’s most sophisticated models.
With its wider, longer footprint, it has a larger contact patch with the ground which limits soil compaction. It offers better productivity thanks to its traction capacity, so you can cover more hectares in a day than with a standard agricultural tyre, which is a real bonus in terms of daily productivity gains.
2. Consider the "hourly cost" rather than the gross purchase price
When you invest in the acquisition of a more upmarket tyre, you must take account of more long-term factors such as the longer lifespan, or the capacity to work faster with better traction which should incite you to think more about the hourly cost rather than the acquisition of the equipment.
To make this type of calculation, use the formula below:
By opting for a high-tech IF tyre, you benefit from the many advantages of a quality product that lasts longer than a discount agricultural tyre:
Extremely robust casting: the MAXI Traction IF tyre has a reinforced structure to carry heavier loads and a reinforced bead profile to secure the tyre/rim connection.
Fortified rubber thanks to an ultra-resistant compound which makes it highly resistant to wear and to damage, for a longer lifespan.
An improved tread: this is made up of 6 layers of rubber to ensure optimal stability in all circumstances, while providing a better traction capacity in the fields and greater resistance during work on hard surfaces.
On the other hand, a discount or lower end product does not last as long and will therefore have higher hourly than a high-tech tyre, with lower quality work into the bargain.
To help you choose the right equipment, a comparison between a cheap tyre and a quality tyre is necessary:
OPTION A: Cheap product with purchase price the main focus
If we fix a target of 4,000 working hours, here are the main points to consider before opting to buy a discount tyre:
Low purchase price
Risks or cons
Poor quality: the casing of a discount tyre is designed with low-quality materials, often resulting in the premature replacement of the tyre.
More slip, self-cleaning impossible in wet weather conditions, leading to the destructuring of the soil in your fields.
Strong rolling resistance causing extra fuel consumption.
Regular loss of time (slip, rolling resistance).
High maintenance costs linked to fragility and rapid wear.
Very low probability of reaching 4,000 working hours with this type of product, taking into account the above points.
In the event of a problem linked to the quality of the product, there is little chance that you will benefit from a warranty, so you will have to buy a new tyre, thus doubling the cost of your purchase while retaining all the daily disadvantages of working with a discount tyre.
OPTION B: Quality product with hourly cost the main focus
Still with an objective of 4,000 working hours, but with a quality tyre :
Better manufacturing quality: a top range tyre is designed with sturdy materials which ensure the product lasts longer.
Lug technology: less slip thanks to a specifically studied design.
Capacity to work at low pressure and thus preserve your soil as well as future yields.
Better motricity: more traction, less fuel consumption.
Time saving with better traction and less slip.
Reduced maintenance cost due to the solidity of the casing: the casing is made with quality materials which offer extra resistance to wear.
In the event of problems (production or material defect): the tyre is 100% guaranteed by the manufacturer with a 10-year warranty offered by Firestone.
Can reach 4,000 working hours or more, in normal working conditions (depending on the type of soil, crops, crop practices, tools used, field layout, etc.).
Risks or cons
Save your cash by buying on credit
Cash is your security, and the more you have the easier it is to cope with unforeseen events: breakdowns, machine failure, immobilisation of equipment etc. If you consider the tyre as a tool, so as an investment rather than a consumable, it is more logical to buy it on credit like you would for any sophisticated equipment.
Getting the bank to pay for your equipment means that you can start producing without advancing any cash. The monthly cost is relatively low for two sets of upmarket tyres, so you can save your farm’s cash with no immediate outlay.
By staggering the repayment over 24 months, you will start to see the return on your investment after the first harvests, even before your equipment has been fully paid for.
3. Anticipate orders to ensure availability and control prices
For many farmers, it’s when you start up a new campaign that you begin to notice defects in your tyres. It’s easy to understand why; as these problems are the result of a minor issue during the preceding season which is amplified or becomes visible during inflation and the first flexions and deflexions of the tyre.
The best way to purchase your agricultural tyres is to think ahead during the winter when stocks are full, with a delivery date programmed for the spring.
By doing so, you avoid ordering at the same time as all the other farmers who notice problems during the same period, and avoid stock shortages. It won’t be more expensive and you will have the right products at the right time, without having to wait.
4. Take service into account in the price of the tyre
There generally isn’t any real guarantee with a low end tyre. It’s always going to be complicated to make a warranty claim after a few hours or days of use when your responsibility in the breakdown or problem can easily be called into question.
By opting for a high end tyre, you can obtain a 10-year warranty to cover defects in materials or manufacturing.
This warranty may cover up to 100% of the price and applies to products purchased within the European Union from Firestone tyre dealers. At Firestone, you also receive support from expert technicians if you have a problem. The manufacturer’s services include training, advice on use, product follow-up and rapid replacement if there is the slightest problem linked to the manufacturing process.
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.
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This information is intended only to make you aware of the technical and functional aspects of agricultural tires and their use. It does not allow you to make a judgment or a definitive conclusion on a given problem. Only your agricultural tire expert is able to make a technical assessment and take a final decision, case by case.