For sprayers to work at their optimum the right tyre choice can help the operators get the results required whether at top speed or on the headland turn the right grip comes in handy
For an operator who can drive a tractor down a furrow or in a straight line when haymaking, they shouldn’t take it for granted they will be a whiz operating a sprayer, because it simply depends on too numerous of factors.
The operation is already a hazard getting into the cab with its much higher centre of gravity than most other agricultural equipment, and at some point, in addition to working in paddocks rough enough to tilt you off balance there will be road travel at very high speeds, garnishing a sea sickness of sorts.
Operators will also be working their sprayer down some narrow rows of vines and orchards where they will have to face steep climbs, descents, and oscillations due to the product load onboard, uneven terrain with slippery or arid soil. Haven’t finished yet, as well as through crops of various heights, on different types of soil with an unholy inclination or two.
Sprayer operation is not for the faint hearted, especially on unlevel ground where the operator is sitting on a perch in an environment where driving safety becomes a variable and getting home safely depends on many factors working in your favour.
To lessen the risk impacts and for overall vehicle performance, choosing the right tyre that matches the type of work and the set-up of the machine is therefore vital.
BKT are specialists in designing tyres for safer sprayer operation, and in addition from operator experiences in the paddock they have put together a series of tips for the safety of the operator.
Correct tyre pressure setting is important to minimise any added operator discomfort.
In the case of crops that require row crop tyres, BKT’s first tip is to use VF, i.e. Very High Flexion, tyres. These, in fact, have 40% higher load capacity at the same pressure as the same standard size.
This gives the sprayer adequate load capacity, minimising vibrations during transport. But it is important to set the tyre pressure based on the total weight that the tyres will have to bear.
Due to the reduced volume of row crop tyres, BKT recommends more frequent checks than for other agricultural tyres that are in most cases wider.
The bouncing effect is the hopping that occurs, especially noticeable during road transport.
However, it must be said that this phenomenon is rare in row crop tyres because of the reduced sidewall, there is rarely bounce, that’s more of an issue associated more with standard tyres.
However, if it does occur with your sprayer tyres, it is important to perform an accurate analysis to identify the cause, and that can vary greatly.
Bouncing can be triggered when the critical frequency of the tyre, due to the speed, interferes with the frequency of the vehicle on which it is mounted.
To determine the cause, it will be necessary in most cases for a tyre technician to intervene. They will need to be equipped with instrumentation that can read the harmonics caused by the bending of the side of the tyres.
The current generation of tractors for instance that run at speeds in excess of 30kph have had to adopt shock absorbers on the front axle to absorb the critical frequencies of the tyres, that was the solution to eliminate bouncing in that instance.
At low speeds, this bouncing effect can also be created by imprecise mounting of the tyres on the rim, or by small shape imperfections in one or two elements that make up the wheel.
When you add together these two imperfections, even if minimal, they generate a bigger problem and that can give rise to bouncing.
This phenomenon is resolved by matching the tyre and the rim to compensate for the two imperfections. To resolve this issue, it is often necessary to contact an expert tyre technician who can eliminate the disturbance through a test and then manual intervention.
Spaces and sizes
The sizes and types of tyres mounted on sprayers can be vastly different, depending on the circumstances to determine the correct width and height for the vehicle to work across different types of crops.
In general, in the case of spraying along narrow rows, it is necessary to have tyres of adequate width.
If the spraying and weeding applications take place instead in a long open paddock – considering the distance between the rows is important. And it is necessary to mount tyres at a width that doesn’t damage the rows.
Another important consideration however is to have a tyre that will not compact the soil, in such a situation it is recommended to use larger volume tyres that enable good load capacity and reduced tyre pressure.
Three specialist sprayer tyres from BKT include the AGRIMAX RT 955 WITH 23 different size, the AGRIMAX RT 945 with eight sizes and the AGRIMAX RT 855 with a staggering 47 sizes
The BKT sprayer range
The range of BKT branded tyres for sprayers is extensive and they offer high performance.
In addition to the benefits of operator comfort, BKT tyres make it possible to guarantee high performance in terms of vehicle stability, reduced soil compaction and traction. With the benefit of these factors comes a saving in time, fuel and money.
The distinctive factor common to all BKT sprayer tyres is durability.
BKT’s flagship is AGRIMAX SPARGO, a row crop line equipped with VF technology that allows more load at the same pressure or less pressure with the same load. Available in seven sizes, it is a versatile product, suited both in the paddock and on the road due to a greater number of lugs that improve the uniform motion.
AGRIMAX RT 955 is the radial row crop tyre at the top of its market, available in 23 different sizes, ideal for applications on row crops and for spraying. Excellent for loads, traction and self-cleaning capabilities.
Similar features also for the AGRIMAX RT 945 model, available in eight different sizes and equipped with a narrow tread to protect crops. Its self-cleaning qualities also make it ideal for road transport.
Finally, AGRIMAX RT 855, available in 47 sizes, can also be used for spraying and for combined road and paddock transport. It is a radial tyre that combines high load capacity with low compaction.
For more information on specialist sprayer tyres, contact BKT distributor Tradefaire on tel: 1300 915 078 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or see the full range on their website at: www.tradefaire.com.au