Which agricultural tyre is the best suited to agro-industrial sites?
Authored by: Tractor tyre expert | 02 June 2023
Certain agricultural tyres have been designed to resist harsher work than field crop farming. They have special features which will be beneficial in many activities or industries connected to farming in which loaders, backhoe loaders or telehandlers are used regularly. Certain tyres have indeed been developed that are particularly suited to agro-industrial work; they are perfect in the sugar industry, on waste collection sites and composting platforms, in livestock farming, for creating and packing silage silos and for agricultural contractors who work on civil engineering sites. These tyre models can cope perfectly with repeated manoeuvres on hard ground, and working inside as well as outside the buildings. This versatility is very rare for standard tyre models on the market.
In this article we look at the tyre models that are best suited to these related activities or agro-industrial operations.
1. What are the characteristics of an agro-industrial tyre?
Agro-industrial tyres have been designed to adapt to different types of vehicles:
tractor with a front loader.
They are also suitable for agricultural use on a telescopic handler with a lifting arm or fork, or use with a shovel for agro-industrial or civil engineering sites.
In view of the requirements linked to these types of work, the tyre must have several characteristics that are significantly different from what you need for farming:
Good resistance to external aggressions
When you work on an agro-industrial site, you will frequently come across obstacles which could damage your tyres: stones, branches, various debris…
If you use standard tyres, there is an extremely high risk of you damaging them and you will rapidly have to start thinking about replacing them with a more sturdy tyre.
Tyres that are specific to agro-industrial use are more resistant to wear on hard or abrasive surfaces. They are designed to work on all types of site, whether industrial or not. Thanks to their robust structure they are totally resistant to extreme conditions, abrasive ground, sharp objects and various impacts.
Manoeuvres when loaded and in lifting position are frequent with a telescopic loader or front loader, and can be tricky and dangerous.
The tyre plays a major role in the stability of your vehicle; if it is too supple or underinflated, it will crush into the ground and suffer from an excessive twisting effect.
The diagonal structure bias-ply tyre, which is often cheaper, should be avoided as it will lack stability, unlike a radial tyre which is perfectly flat.
That is why it is important to choose suitable tyres to avoid the risk of the machine toppling over due to an imbalance (if the load at the end of the boom arm is too heavy).
By opting for a specific radial tyre with a reinforced casing, you will be able to increase the inflation pressure and reduce the lateral strain during loaded manoeuvres, thus automatically increasing the stability of your machine.
More load capacity
On agro-industrial sites, the objective will be a lot of heavy lifting operations, like beets in a sugar plant or branches and garden waste at a composting platform.
Backhoe loaders are frequently used to lift heavy loads of up to thousands of tonnes. If you bear this in mind, using standard tyres which will be crushed under the weight of the load is not necessarily a good idea.
Agro-industrial tyres are specific, they have been designed to carry heavy loads and resist the load transfer during lifting operations.
Good resistance to inflation pressure
Unlike working in rows on soft soil in the fields, handling work is intensive and involves much more manoeuvring and variations in load.
Standard tyres and models with supple sidewalls, such as low-pressure tyres, are not suitable for this type of use; they will not be able to carry heavy cyclic loads.
Ideally you should opt for a tyre with a very solid casing which can work at a higher inflation pressure to compensate for the excess load at the moment of extraction for shovels, or at the moment when most outreach is needed when lifting with a telescopic boom arm.
2. Why use an agro-industrial tyre for handling, loading or unloading…
Handling operations involve working with heavy loads and require tyres with the capacity to resist a high inflation pressure to compensate for this load.
This work also involves driving on different types of surface: asphalt, farm courtyard, construction site, factory courtyard, storage area … All this necessitates a quality of tyre that is resistant to aggressive work on hard ground.
Handling operations, loading or unloading, transport in the warehouse, the storage of materials and the distribution of silage… are all repeated on-the-spot manoeuvres with heavy cyclic loads which will place your tyres under considerable strain.
To be able to manage the load transfer comfortably
On a telescopic loader which carries out handling operations, the front axle is placed under the most strain when the machine is loaded and, inversely, the weight is transferred to the rear axle when it is empty.
It is therefore important to choose a technical tyre which will be able to cope with a high inflation pressure to manage these permanent cyclic loads.
To improve stability
An agro-industrial, radial tyre will be much more stable than a basic bias-ply tyre because it has a flat tread contour and reinforced sidewalls.
It can cope with a high inflation pressure to avoid any lateral movement in the sidewalls.
This makes it possible to obtain better stability than with a diagonal structure bias-ply tyre whose tread is more rounded and therefore more supple laterally.
3. An ideal tyre for the use of a shovel or blade on an agro-industrial site
At certain agro-industrial sites you really need to work with suitable tyres to avoid untimely breakdowns.
The sugar industry for example, has to manage each campaign with multiple vehicles to shift the beet stocks deposited in the plant’s courtyard by the trucks, or deal with all the co-products resulting from the processing of the beet (earth, stones, plant waste …).
These activities, carried out by backhoe loader, require a more sturdy and durable tyre than a standard model.
Waste collection sites or green waste composting platforms
Waste collection sites or green waste composting platforms which manage the treatment of organic waste or green waste from parks and gardens require work with backhoe loaders.
During composting work or when turning over piles of compost, the tyres will be placed under various different types of strain linked to the manoeuvres, driving over branches or miscellaneous debris, which could damage their structure. It is therefore advisable to use reinforced tyres that are resistant to impacts, to branches or perforation and to the different types of wear …
4. A tyre that is suitable for all activities in connection with agricultural farming
Life on an agricultural farm is not just limited to field crops, and for farms which specialise in mixed crop-livestock farming, the use of a machine dedicated to handling operations or ancillary activities is very frequent.
For example, during the storage of silage in silos, you will need to use your heaviest tractor to pack down the silo. Unfortunately the latter, with its wide tyres that are designed to avoid soil compaction, will not be very efficient, even if you increase the inflation pressure considerably.
A loader equipped with agro-industrial tyres with a high inflation pressure will be of great use in packing down the silo.
You can inflate your tyres to maximum pressure and add additional ballast to weigh down the front and the rear.
In this case, your tyres must be more resistant to load. A well compacted silo will ensure that the fodder is preserved better.
5. An efficient tyre for construction and civil engineering work
When you use your tractor for civil engineering work such as earthwork, handling work on a construction site, ground levelling…. your machine must be equipped with specific tyres with a reinforced tread to work on particularly difficult terrain, which is often impossible with standard agricultural tyres.
The same applies if you work on a demolition site with a great deal of rubble on the ground which could puncture the casing of an unsuitable tyre.
6. Firestone’s Duraforce Utility tyre is dedicated to agro-industrial uses
Firestone is aware of the needs of farmers and agro-industrial sites and has developed specific tyres destined for intensive use on hard, abrasive surfaces.
The Duraforce Utility is perfectly adapted to handling work in buildings and farm courtyards, to specific works or the use of a loader.
This tyre offers many advantages:
Very good stability and increased security
The Duraforce Utility has a flat tread contour which offers a more stable contact patch with the ground, reinforcing the balance of your machine when lifting operations are in progress, while ensuring optimal adherence on hard surfaces.
This high-tech tyre has an extra-wide tread arc and a thicker sidewall than its competitors to guarantee perfect lateral stability.
A higher pressure capacity
Unlike standard agricultural tyres, the Duraforce Utility has a highly resistant, robust casing which can work at inflation pressures of between 1.2 and 5 bar, which allows you to increase your load without worrying about the tyre’s resistance capacity.
Great durability in difficult working conditions
Equipped with a belt made up of 6 or 7 layers of stabilising ply in its tread, the Duraforce Utility can work for longer on hard, abrasive surfaces. Its rubber mixture includes a special anti-wear compound developed by Firestone’s research and development teams.
By giving preference to agro-industrial tyres specifically destined for handling and lifting work, the budget may be a bit higher than with standard tyres but the load capacity, outreach capacity, stability and resistance to wear will make it possible to work more efficiently with heavier loads, thus reducing the frequency with which your tyres need to be replaced.
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.
Most people who read this article have also read some of the following articles:
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.