Stretch That Tire Dollar

Peak harvest is never the best time to scramble to get your tools, especially the tires that literally keep you rolling in the field. Harvest is a busy time for ag tires. And this year is not a normal year in the supply chain. You may be waiting for specific tires if you don’t plan ahead, says Kevin Rohlwing, the chief technical officer for the Tire Industry Association. 

Waiting until the last minute to get tires probably isn’t a good choice this year, says Kevin. With supply chain issues across the whole tire industry, there is likely going to be a wait to get the rubber you need to stay on the road and in the fields. He shares that in farm tires specifically, the backlog happened when supply shut down during COVID, but farmers kept working. 

Transportation has also caused headaches, with many tires and needed supplies to make them stuck on ships or in ports. Kevin points out that both oil prices and energy prices going up due to the war in Ukraine, is going to push tire prices higher. Some tire manufacturers have already announced an additional 10% price increase after an earlier price hike and it doesn’t look like there will be relief any time soon. 

Keeping the tires you do have going as long as possible will stretch your dollar. Kevin reminds us that improper inflation is the number one reason tires fail. He says using the equipment manufacturer’s suggested air pressure is the number to go by and not what the tire says on its side. Checking tire pressure in the morning when it’s colder is the best time to do it and be sure to use a tire gauge. Of course, an antler or hidden cinder block can make even the best maintenance plan irrelevant if you hit them just right.