Machine and crop performance or too cheap tyres?

Smart saving has to be smart to be beneficial
The cheapest tyres on the market are the need for more frequent repairs and breaks in field work. If you count well, such "savings" will not cover losses or downtime. They also have a negative impact on the productivity of farms and agricultural enterprises.

As much as USD 37.5 billion is the value of Polish exports of agri-food products. This is the 15th highest in the world and accounts for 2.1% of global and 5.9% of EU exports.[1] The data also indicate that in the years 2004-2020 productivity increased by as much as 230% in real income on AWU (Annual Work Unit).


One of the factors that contributed to the improvement of the efficiency of domestic agriculture was the mobilization of funds from the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union. As part of this support, farmers received, subsidies for the modernization of farms and financial support for investments in modern technologies and agricultural machinery. The increase in the productivity of Polish agriculture also resulted from the progressive mechanization of the land, which allowed to increase work efficiency and improve the quality of manufactured goods.

This increasing productivity would not be possible without modern machines, which also need modern tyres that guarantee reliable operation in changing terrain and weather conditions.

Modern tyres for agricultural machinery are characterized by high strength and resistance to damage, which ensures a long service life and minimizes the risk of failure during operation. In addition, innovative technological solutions allow to optimize the grip and stability of agricultural machinery – which increases work safety and improves its efficiency. Among the tyres available on the market, models with different treads and sizes stand out, allowing them to adapt to different operating conditions – such as soil type or topography. Thanks to this, farmers have more freedom in choosing tyres and can choose them to suit their individual needssays Piotr Sarnecki, General Director of the Polish Tyre Industry Association (PZPO).

Season started

The season of field work has already begun, which means that it is worth taking a close look at the condition of the tyres and deciding on a possible replacement. To help you choose the best tyres, we offer some important tips to avoid unnecessary costs.

First of all, you should choose branded tyres produced by recognized companies. Their manufacturers have several decades of experience and a recognized position on the market, which guarantees the highest quality and the best technologies and parameters. Another important element is the selection of tyres according to the profile and power of agricultural machinery. For new and powerful vehicles, it is best to choose radial tyres, and for older and weaker diagonal ones – in accordance with the manufacturer's guidelines – advises Piotr Sarnecki.

Radial tyres better and more efficiently transfer the power of the machine to the ground, and the most modern ones also prevent excessive soil compaction. Diagonal ones, on the other hand, are characterized by a more durable and resistant internal structure, making them more resistant to the hardships of driving on demanding ground. If you want to minimize costs and increase the efficiency of field work, it is worth remembering the above principles and investing in the right tyres for your agricultural machine. In times when it is difficult to predict the weather during field work – whether the soil will be more compacted than the sun, or more soggy and requiring effective transmission of the wheel drive – it is worth thinking about tyres that will allow for versatility while maintaining high cost efficiency and a longer number of operating hours.

Which ones to choose?

Tyres of agricultural machines should be characterized by high quality and durability, because they are exposed to high loads and hardships of driving in variable terrain. These tyres should also provide good levels of grip and stability, which is especially important when working on wet, slippery or uneven surfaces. What's more, they must also be well suited to the characteristics of the machine, taking into account the power, weight, speed and type of work for which it is intended. To this we add the necessary aspect in the context of operation, i.e. repairability. If the tire has the right construction and the number and strength of internal layers – it can be skillfully repaired, achieving results close to factory parameters. If we are looking for savings – it must be done wisely. For example, we can look for a tyre model from the previous season from a recognized manufacturer. Or its brands from a slightly lower price range. Of course, these will not be the best technologies from a given company – but tire design, durability and repairability will still be at a good level. Such a compromise is better than a weaker construction with fewer layers – as is the case with the cheapest tyres from exotic manufacturers. Here the saying works – you buy cheaply, you use it expensive.

" Choosing the right tyres for agricultural machinery is also crucial for the efficiency and effectiveness of field work. Tyres should be made of durable materials to ensure strength and resistance to damage. The design of radial and cross-ply tyres differs in the number of layers of rubber used in production. Radial models have fewer layers on the front and side of the tire – making them more flexible and resistant to the rigors of off-road driving. On the other hand, diagonal models, which mostly use inner tubes, are more resistant to puncture – but have more modest traction parameters. Regardless of the design chosen, it is important that the tyres come from recognized manufacturers. Avoid buying used tyres or from Chinese manufacturers, which often do not meet the requirements for quality and durability. In case of doubt, it is worth using the help of qualified sellerssuggests the PZPO expert.

New technology

Radial tyres are becoming more and more popular on the market due to the ability to work with reduced pressure, which reduces ground pressure during field work. Operators of the heaviest machines especially appreciate this advantage, as these machines tend to get stuck in loose ground due to their weight. Radial tyres also have lower fuel consumption and lower operating costs.

New categories of radial tyres have appeared on the market: models of the IF class (increased flexibility) and VF (very increased flexibility). They are characterized by even greater lateral flexibility of the walls and higher load capacity – up to 40% higher than ordinary radial tyres of the same size. Importantly, they do not require an increase in the nominal pressure. This is an important advantage that does not force the operator/driver of the machine to adjust it during field work, especially in wet and boggy areas. In addition, IF/VF classes minimize soil compaction without damaging plants and without adversely affecting the amount of harvested crops.

Operation and repair

Tyres used in agricultural machinery have to cope with various difficult conditions – such as sand, mud, water, clay and asphalt. It should also not react with chemicals used for farming. These demanding working conditions are crucial for agricultural efficiency, and only branded tyres can meet these challenges. However, even such tyres can be damaged.

Unlike tyres used in passenger vehicles, agricultural variants are fully repairable – although this process requires knowledge and skills. The most common damage to radial tyres is the intersection of the sidewalls, which if the carcass is not disturbed, can be regenerated. It is advisable to entrust the procedure of non-vulcanized application of losses of the rubber mixture to specialists.

Repairing agricultural tyres is not easy, but feasible and only in the case of quality good tyres. Cheap counterparts are not durable and their repair may not be successful, which means that new tyres are spent again. In practice, it is from a few to several thousand zlotyssums up Sarnecki.

That is why it is worth choosing services with a Tyre Certificate®. To get it, they had to undergo an audit of technical skills, equipment and service. It is available to all tire service providers – network, independent and ASO. The application form is available at:


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[1] Report of the Polish Economic Institute (PIE) entitled "Two decades of development of Polish agriculture. Innovation of the agricultural sector in the twenty-first century".

Source: Polish Tyre Industry Association