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Comparison of Subsurface Pressure Created by Radial Agricultural Tires and Agricultural Tracks

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  131595925,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   Benjamin R Rethmel, Bradley J Harris
Keywords:   Tire Track Compaction Soil Footprint IF Tires.

Abstract. Controlled field and indoor tests were conducted to compare the subsurface pressure created by metric marked radial ply tractor tires (Standard), IF metric marked radial ply tractor tires (IF), and agricultural tracks (Tracks). Subsurface pressure was measured by a piezoelectric mat supported by a steel plate and covered with moist sand. Preliminary testing confirmed the use of sand at 3” and 7” of depth would provide consistent and repeatable results. Subsurface pressure created by tires or tracks is an indication of soil compaction, which is a critical component to crop yield. The sub-surface pressures created by the tire and track options were tested to quantitatively measure the effect on compaction. Field testing was conducted using two similar tractors configured for row crop conditions. A tractor using dual 480/80R50 rear tires and dual 420/85R34 front tires was compared to a tractor using an 18” wide track fitment. Testing showed that standard tires produced a higher pressure profile as compared to the track system. It further showed that the IF tires lowered the pressure profile below the standard tire and track system.

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