The Days of Simple Tyre Selection are Gone
A few years ago council workers, farmers and private amenity contractors had straight forward requirements. Tractors had two types of tyres, small on the front and larger at the rear. Ride-on mowers were simply attired with rubber. According to Stowmarket-based tyre and wheel supplier, Fieldens, when today’s farmer or fleet manager comes to order tyres, the list of requirements covers several pages. Earlier it was floatation or narrow tyres, today there is the requirement for speed with a high payload, but – “oh yes, we don’t want to sacrifice floatation as we must avoid damage to soil structure and ultimately plant growth.” Fieldens reports that amenity operators face a similar challenge – they need to move quickly from site to site, but then work with heavy equipment on a sensitive sports ground.
Alternatively there is the problem of kerbing and blowing out tyres of ride-on mowers. “What can you do about that – but we’d like some wider tyres at the same time so we can carry on working during bad weather like we’ve had in the past two summers?” Then there’s the spraying contractor carrying increasingly heavy loads. It’s not just the tyres that have to be up to the job but the wheels too – especially if the machine has to work across sidling ground with all the stresses and strains that brings.