Growers tired of getting flat tires on their center pivots now have a new option: the Valley Revolution airless tire. Flats usually happen at inconvenient times and places, when the corn is high, the heat is intense and the tires are difficult to reach without damaging the crop.
This new airless tire from Valley Irrigation is a rugged, durable tire that eliminates problems with flats. It features a well-proven aperture design, similar to tires used on forklifts.
Vice President of Global Marketing Matt Ondrejko said that Valley Irrigation monitored the industry and considered plastic and steel tires before deciding on aperture tires. Plastic tires tend to slip on rocky ground and have poor self-cleaning, he said, while steel has no give and can quickly corrode in some field conditions.
“Revolution airless tires from Valley are thick, rubber tires with webbing in the sidewall, between the tread and the wheel, to give it softness and flexibility,” Ondrejko said.
The aperture design provides flexibility over ridges and other obstacles to help prevent overloading of the drive train. The compliant rubber tire won’t slip on rocks or other hard objects.
In addition, the non-directional tread provides excellent traction while reducing track depth by keeping mud in the wheel track, rather than pushing it out of the track like standard tractor tires.
Most center pivot flat tires aren’t noticed until they cause the center pivot to stop, ruining the tire, rim and sometimes the gearbox, Ondrejko said. A flat tire can cost $1,000 to $1,500 and means making repairs in the middle of a field. Flats also can cause downtime during peak irrigation season when water is critical to maximizing yields.
“With these airless tires, irrigators will benefit from longer tire life, while eliminating flats in their fields,” he said. “We’re confident this tire will last for many years, so confident that the Valley Revolution tire comes with a five-year, full replacement warranty.”