When farmers move sprayers and other equipment these days they’re usually in a hurry. As farms continue to grow in size, there never seems to be enough daylight to get all the acres covered that need to be.
Farm equipment manufacturers, including the companies that supply farm tires, are working to address that issue. Titan Tires, which makes farm tires for Goodyear, recently took its latest entry to the market, the Goodyear Ultra Sprayer VF, to World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif.
The Ultra Sprayer VF (VF stands for Very High Flexion, a term that refers to the amount of flex in the tire) can carry 40 percent higher loads at the same inflation pressure as a standard radial or carry the same load at 40 percent lower inflation pressures than a standard radial, resulting in improved flotation and reduced soil compaction.
“Today’s sprayers are heavier than ever before – many featuring 1,300-gallon tanks and 140-foot booms. So it can be challenging finding a narrow sprayer tire that’s able to carry the heavy loads while maintain traction and flotation,” says Scott Sloan, agricultural product manager for Titan and Goodyear Farm Tires.
“That’s where the Ultra Sprayer VF comes in. It’s built to perform on the heaviest machines on the market,” said Sloan, who works out of the Titan Tire manufacturing facility in Des Moines, Iowa.
Sloan has been logging a few road miles himself in recent months, traveling to a number of farm show events, including the new Ride and Drive area that World Ag Expo set up for Titan on the grounds of the International Agri-Center.
Traveling the roads is another feature where the Ultra Sprayer VF is designed to help – by preventing something called “road loping” as well as "power hopes" while tractors or sprayers move across a field.
Equipment manufacturers are leading the charge to change the way tires are made. “These guys are getting larger; they’re moving farther and faster than they ever have. Speed to the next location is very critical to them,” says Sloan.
“Being able to get that 47,000-pound four-wheel-drive tractor from one field to the other at 26-mph is important. If they have what we call ‘road lope’ where the tires start bouncing, and it becomes an uncontrollable situation, they have to throttle back and run a machine that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars at 18 mph.”