Checking combine harvester tyres before and during harvest is essential to increase operational efficiency and minimise soil compaction.
It can also help avoid sudden punctures. During previous harvests, tyres may have been damaged causing bulges, cuts, or tears, says Richard Hutchins, agricultural specialist with tyre manufacturer Continental.
“A thorough check of the tread area and sidewalls, including the rim of the wheel, will identify any areas of concern,” says Mr Hutchins.
He explains: “The low operating pressure and requirement to carry a heavy load creates strain on the tyre wall, so if there is a fault the tyre should be changed to avoid operational failure and down time.”
Continental CombineMaster tyres can now be specified with ContiPressureCheck, a new system that monitors the pressure and temperature of tyres to help prevent tyre related issues, such as underinflation or overloading.
Flat spots can occur when a combine is parked for long periods. “Flat spots are common with combines because of the length of storage time. Investing in a tyre with a more flexible carcass material will help,” says Mr Hutchins.
Continental has a patent pending for its N-Flex technology – a heat-treated nylon that sits beneath the rubber to help the tyre return to shape after impacts and heavy use. It reduces the likelihood of flat spots and provides a more comfortable ride.
The company has also developed a stronger single wire Hexa bead with a hexagonal cross section. Many agricultural tyres use as many as ten individual wires to create one bead. But Mr Hutchins says multiple joins in the bead can cause weaknesses.
There is a risk that the tyre can detach from the rim, especially at low pressures, he says. “A more flexible tyre, with a stronger Hexa bead construction, will grip the rim even at very low pressures.
“This reduces the risk of the tyre slipping off the rim, while spreading the weight of a combine. This is especially important for the front tyres which take more weight and torque.”