Rapid agricultural tyre abrasion on silex soil

What is the best agricultural tyre for silex soil?

Authored by: Tractor tyre expert | 19 April 2024

Choosing the best agricultural tyres for your tractors is a necessity, especially when you work on difficult terrain like silex or stoney land. There are unique challenges attached to working on these types of soil, which rapidly accelerate tyre wear and potentially impact the productivity of your farm. Investing in quality tyres may seem pointless at first, but the reduced frequency with which you replace your tyres will lead to significant savings in the long run. Understanding how the soil composition and relief influence tyre wear is essential if you wish to make an enlightened choice. Due to its abrasiveness, silex soil can cause severe damage, reducing your tyres’ lifespan. However, a careful choice of tyres and settings that are specially adapted to your land can significantly extend your tyre wear life.

This article explores the possible options for those who have to face the harsh reality of silex soils, placing the emphasis on optimising agricultural tyre efficiency and longevity. Discover how to choose the best agricultural tyre, that not only manages to withstand the harshness of your land, but also improves the efficiency of your daily work.

1. What are the difficulties linked to silex soils?

Silex soils cause major difficulties for agricultural tyres. Their extreme abrasiveness is one of the main problems encountered. The silex particles present in the soil act as sharp edges, causing many cuts to the tyre tread.

Silex soils are abrasive for agricultural tyres
Silex soils are abrasive for agricultural tyres

Major risk of incidents for unsuitable tyres

This sharp abrasiveness considerably increases the risk of serious accidental cuts on the sidewall or tread of the tyres. When you work on these types of soil, make sure that you use tyres with a better manufacturing quality that are capable of withstanding this constant aggression.

Agricultural tyre wear after only 730 hours on silex soil
Agricultural tyre wear after only 730 hours on silex soil

Repeated cuts have a negative effect on your tyres’ lifespan. If the tyres are unsuitable or the settings are wrong, their useful life can be halved. A replacement may be necessary after only 1200 hours of use, which represents a real financial loss for farmers.

Agricultural tyre wear linked to silex after 1300 hours
Agricultural tyre wear linked to silex after 1300 hours

Choose tyres that are suited to your land

Be careful if your land is sloping. On this type of terrain, the tyres slip more, which leads to additional cuts. The combination of the highly abrasive soil and the additional difficulties linked to the topology can considerably reduce the wear life of your tyres.

Recent tyre lugs scratched by silex
Recent tyre lugs scratched by silex

2. The key role of correct pressure for silex soils

The importance of maintaining suitable pressure on silex soil should not be underestimated.  This sort of unrelenting work environment demands particular attention to tyre settings to ensure efficiency as well as increasing the tyres’ lifespan.

Having the right pressure in your agricultural tyres is essential to ensure an even weight distribution over the contact patch with the ground. Overloaded tyres or incorrect pressure can result in an excessive alteration of the tread and sidewalls, increasing the risk of punctures or breakdowns, in addition to premature wear.

Load and pressure are closely linked:

  • When the weight pressing down on the tyres is too high, you need to increase pressure to compensate for the extra load.

  • The higher the pressure, the further the tyres sink into the ground. In this case, you increase the slip ratio and, as such, the potential number of cuts and premature wear.
On silex soils, a high slip ratio is detrimental,  due to the abrasive sharpness of the soil.

The solution: work at low pressure

Working at low pressure makes your tyre less rigid so that it can fit the shape of the soil particles more easily, and sink into the ground less, reducing the risk of slipping and of cuts.
In addition, driving with a low inflation pressure on silex soils will lead to better traction and optimal adherence.

Furthermore, low pressure helps to reduce soil compaction, protecting the structure of the soil despite the density of the silex and encourages easier plant growth.


3. Take due account of weather factors

When the ground is wet, agricultural tyres become more sensitive to cuts. This increased sensitivity is due to the fact that moisture makes the tyre’s rubber more supple. And consequently, the rubber reacts differently in different weather conditions:

  • It becomes more supple when moist, which increases sensitivity to cuts that tend to be deeper if the rubber is wet.

  • On the other hand, in dry weather, the rubber is more rigid and therefore more resistant to cuts.
Greater impact of silex soils in wet weather
Greater impact of silex soils in wet weather

Avoid slipping in wet weather

If the tyre slips on very wet ground, the rubbing against the silex present in the soil will act like a cheese grater and tear off tiny rubber particles from the lugs, causing premature tyre wear. So to protect your tyres’ wear life, you must take the weather into account and whenever possible avoid working in wet conditions on silex soils.


4. The Maxi Traction: the right agricultural tyre for silex soils

Working with tyres that contain a high volume of air gives you a greater load capacity. This option allows you to work at a lower inflation pressure, which helps to limit slip considerably.

When you work on silex soils, give preference to resistant tyres such as Firestone’s Maxi Traction tyre. These tyres are the fruit of specific research and development work to increase resistance to wear, thus ensuring better efficiency on all types of terrain.

Maxi Traction agricultural tyres
Maxi Traction agricultural tyres

A robust, more resistant casing

The Maxi Traction tyre has a robust casing and a more resistant rubber compound. This premium agricultural tyre is specially designed to cope with difficult conditions such as silex soils.

The ingenious and innovative composition of its structure allows this tyre model to maintain optimal efficiency even in abrasive environments where premature wear is a constant challenge.

In addition, it is equipped with deeper, wider, longer lugs which guarantee exceptional durability  and consistent performance levels throughout its lifespan.

A higher load capacity

As the Maxi Traction offers a high load capacity, especially in its larger sizes, this minimises the risk of overloading and makes it possible to reduce the inflation pressure. This in turn allows farmers working on silex soils to reduce wear and extend the lifespan of their tyres.

Ability to work at low pressure

Thanks to its robust casing and top quality materials, this high-tech tyre can work at low pressure while maintaining its structural integrity. This allows farmers to work with serenity, knowing that their tyres can withstand silex soils by reducing pressure.


Optimal traction

With the Maxi Traction tyre, farmers can be sure to obtain optimal traction on silex soils, reducing the risk of slip and damaging their tyres.
This improved reliability results in less frequent tyre replacements and as such reduced operating costs, making them a judicious choice for agricultural work on this type of demanding surface.



Choosing the right agricultural tyre for silex soil is essential for boosting tractor performance as well as the sustainability and profitability of your  operations. Firestone’s Maxi Traction tyre stands out as an excellent option for this type of demanding land, thanks to its robust casing, its wear resistant rubber compound and its optimal traction capacity. By investing in quality tyres such as the Maxi Traction, you can reduce operating costs and improve your productivity on silex soils.


To help you clearly define the causes of premature wear on your current tyres, we have developed a complete guide for you to download free of charge "How to detect abnormal wear in my tractor tyres"

How to detect abnormal wear in my tractor tyres

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Topic: Tyre wear

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