Bridgestone South Africa

Agricultural Tyres Trouble Shooting

Fabric breaks

Most fabric breaks are caused by the tyre hitting some object, subjecting the tyre fabric to a shock it cannot withstand. The fabric ruptures more easily if under the excessive tension produced by over-inflation. At pressures higher than normally recommended, injuries can occur which may later result in a large "X" or diagonal break.

Even with correct operating pressures, a highly localised blow, such as contact with a sharp rock or tree stump, produces a very great penetrating force which may result in a break. The higher the speed at which the tyre strikes such an object, the greater the damage to the tyre.

Use of extra ply types, adjustment to recommended pressure and greater care in driving will minimise chances of damage to the tyre. When hydroinflating a tyre, care must be taken to use either calcium chloride or a suitable anti-freeze (consult your Firestone dealer). Failure to do so could result in the water freezing in the tyre during winter periods and this could result in a tyre breakage due to water expansion.

Tread and sidewall cuts

The tread and sidewall rubber of tractor tyres is tough and cut-resistant, but occasionally some sharp object such as a piece of glass, pointed stone, or steel will cut a tyre. Rubber is cut far more easily when wet, so tyres are more likely to be cut in wet weather.

Most farm tyres injured by cuts or snags can be satisfactorily and economically repaired for continued service. Tyres should be inspected periodically for injuries. Cuts or breaks that enter or expose the tyre body fabric should be promptly repaired. Otherwise, moisture and foreign material will enter the injury, deteriorate the cords and make it impossible to restore the tyre to service.
A tyre damaged in this way should be removed promptly from the wheel and sent to a reputable repair shop where a permanent repair can be vulcanized into the tyre. If, in an emergency, it is necessary to continue to use a tyre after it has been injured, a blowout patch or boot may be inserted at the point of injury to reinforce it. However, a tyre repaired in such a way should not be used for longer than three or four days.

When a cut or snag extends only into a rubber lug and not into the tyre cords, it should be treated by beveling out any loose pieces of rubber with a knife to prevent extension of the injury, so it will not pick up stones, etc., which could work into the cords.

Beveling should be done as smoothly as possible around the injury to the surface of the lug.

Stubble damage

Under certain dry field and crop conditions, stubble may become unusually stiff and cause excessive wear on the tread surface, exposing tyre cord fabric, or even puncturing the tyres. This condition is considered a natural hazard, as opposed to a field hazard.

The sketch shows a device used to bend stubble down before the tyre turns over it.Stubble damage can be minimised in row crops by adjusting the track width so that the tyres do not run on the rows.In crops where stubble cannot be avoided, care should be taken not to spin the tyres.

Tread bar "Wiping"

Agricultural drive wheels are designed for use on relatively soft field surfaces which generally conform to all of the tread surfaces, not just the tread bars. If the tyre is operated on a hard surface, only the tread bars can contact the surface. This causes the action which quickly wears rubber off the bars. Paved roads cause rapid tread wear, especially at higher speeds.

If it is absolutely necessary to operate drive wheel tyres on hard surfaces for prolonged periods, increase inflation pressure to the maximum permissible as quoted in the load inflation charts of the Firestone Farm Tyre Data Book. This will reduce squirm and minimise tread wiping but will also cause the tread bars to wear faster towards the centre of the tyre

"Weather checking"

Tyres inflated to high pressures, or exposed to sunlight, ozone, draughts or electrical discharges will develop small cracks or checks, sometimes very quickly. This condition is called weather (or ozone) checking or cracking. This is an appearance condition only and will not affect the service life of the tyres.

Correct pressure and protection from the elements (and from electrical discharges such as from arc welding) will help prevent this condition. Even a good coating of mud on the tyre helps.

Tread damage from spinning drive wheels

Application of the high torque available in today's powerful tractors may wear drive wheel tyre tread bars rapidly and/or cause the tread to tear, chunk, chip, crack around the base of the bar nose, etc.


The result of tractor tyres with insufficient wheel weights or excessive inflation pressure will be that the tread bars wear smooth or that the bars will be cut or snagged when subjected to severe service on abrasive surfaces.

The addition of weights, adjustment of inflation pressure to recommendations, decreasing of draft load and proper operating will remedy this condition.

Valve damage

When valves are torn off tubes, this indicates a slippage of the tyre bead on the rim or an improper centering of the valve in the hole of the rim.

Slippage of the tyre bead on the rim may be caused by:

  • low inflation pressure
  • improper seating of bead on rim
  • excessive use of soap solution on bead or rim when mounting the tyre.


Do not allow tyres to come into contact with grease or oil - both destroy rubber. After using a tractor for spraying, wash any chemicals from the tyres.

Competent repair

Tyres should be inspected periodically for possible damage. Outs or breaks that enter into or expose cords in the carcass of a tyre should be promptly repaired. Damaged tyres should be removed promptly from the wheel and sent to a reputable tractor tyre service station or repair shop where a permanent repair can be vulcanized into the tyre.

Bridgestone South Africa

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