Implement Tire Trends

Implement Tire Trends

What is going on with Implement Ag Tires?  Topic of discussion is changing I-1 Free rolling multi-rib tire that is used on variety of towed implements.


Old vs. New
For decades the Bias Ply constructed 9.5L-15, 11L-15 and 12.5L-15 I-1 tires were staples of the market. If you wanted something more than standard, the most advanced tire was the higher speed rated Bias Ply DOT approved F-I, with same straight rib design.

Soil compaction awareness, larger implements, higher equipment speeds and prolonged road service have driven the industry to change with the following improvements:

  1. Radial Construction.
  2. IF/VF Technology.
  3. Improved Tread Designs to improve roll.

Old vs New Implement

BIG Difference

When comparing Old vs. New technology, load and pressure specifications have changed dramatically. Reason:  they make a big impact on reducing soil compaction and increasing yield.

Before we dig in, a quick reminder. Just like Radial Rear Tractor, Modern Implement tires are changing from Standard to Metric sizing (i.e. 11L-15 is now stated as IF280/70R15) along with changing from ply to load index (12 ply is now stated 128D).  For more information on this visit our Sidewall Identification page

For this exercise we will compare one of the most common Bias Implements used today, the 11L-15 F-I 12 ply Highway Service versus Modern Radial Firestone IF280/70R15 128D.

Air Pressure Difference
11L15 12 ply F-I
Max Load 3,960 lbs.
Inflation Pressure 90 PSI

IF280/70R15 128D
Max Load 3,960 lbs.
Inflation Pressure 52 PSI

As shown above, IF280/70R15 128D can carry same load using 57% less air pressure. In other words, PSI or Pounds Per Square Inch on the ground is reduced from 90 PSI to 52 PSI- a very big difference.

Footprint Difference
Also, contact patch is increased with Radial IF offering compared to Bias, as shown in below flat plate measurements.

11L15 12 ply F-I
75 square inches

IF280/70R15 128D
78 square inches

Rolling Difference
Lastly, traditional straight rib tread design, especially in muddy conditions, tends to plow through the field as opposed to roll, exacerbating soil compaction. New varied tread modern designs are designed to continue rolling in varied conditions and applications.

Less Pressure, Larger Footprint, and Better Roll under wide array of conditions makes today’s IF VF Radial Implement tire a far superior option in the never ending quest to improve yield!

All information is provided in this blog solely to provoke thought. All deductions made from information on this site must be confirmed by Certified Ag Tire Dealer before use. Ag Tire Talk does not recommend anyone conduct tire service work with exception of Certified Ag Tire Dealer Professionals.


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8 Responses to “Implement Tire Trends”

  1. Leonard Bartula says:

    Thank you so much for this web site!
    Very easy to understand information.

  2. Brent Frey says:

    Thank you so much for this website. I work as a salesman at a local ag equipment dealership and with the increasing size of farm equipment and the speeds that these big newer tractors can go. Your information will be very valuable at our dealership. Thanks again.

  3. Lore says:

    Surprisingly well-written and informative for a free online article.

  4. Brian Jones says:

    This is the type of information that is sorely needed in the marketplace. Not only does the end user need it, many equipment dealers and tire dealers need it as well. We get calls daily from buyers and dealers inquiring about tire specs, loads, metric conversions etc. And the sizing varies in different regions of the country, depending on the type of farming and the size of the tractor used. Your article does a good job of explaining an important topic…keep up the good work!
    Brian Jones

  5. Emile Guedon II says:

    I’ve been very displeased with the new Firestone IF280/70R15’s. They look great on paper, but in the field they have not held up well. We bought a new Kuhn Krause 8005 40′ Excelerator and the wings have Firestone IF280/70R15’s mounted on tandem walking beams. I was excited to see them as I had already purchased 4 of them to replace aging 11L-15’s on other implements. I have only used one of them so far with limited acres on that implement after mounting.

    We ran the 8005 and on day 3, had a sidewall puncture from a cotton stalk. We had only been working in the stalks for one day. The tires all had 52psi at the start of the day. The stalks had been shredded last fall, had wheat no tipped through them for grazing, and then had an Orthman 1TripR ran directly down the row. Basically very few stalks were in the standing position.

    I am looking for other options on new implement tires.

    • James Tuschner James Tuschner says:

      Many growers have been pleased with larger footprint IF280/70R15 Firestone tires with reductions in soil compaction; however, they are not built specifically to solve the exceedingly tough stubble issues you are encountering.

      To reduce stalk punctures I recommend you go to a tire specifically designed to withstand issue you are encountering with “Stubble Resistant” Rubber compounding. Further, I am recommending you go to a Bias instead of Radial tire. Radials are great for reducing soil compaction with larger footprint; however, they are more prone to pick up stubble punctures- especially in sidewall.

      Goodyear has an 11L-15 Farm Utility I-1 8 ply TL Stubble Guard and Titan has an 11L-15 Dura-Life I-1 18 ply Stubble guard option that should improve stubble resistance. Be sure to check with your Local Tire Dealer to choose ply rating that can withstand weight your are carrying and also note recommendations are SL rated meaning Service Limited to Agriculture Usage and that tire cannot be used in applications in excess of 30 mph. Firestone IF280/70R15 is rated for speeds up to 40 mph.

      If you insist upon Radial Option, Alliance is building similar to Firestone IF280/70R15 381 137D; however, Alliance version has steel belt, whereas Firestone does not. Steel belt is proven construction attribute to reduce punctures.

  6. Emile Guedon II says:

    I agree, this Firestone IF280/70R15 has a much more vunerable sidewall. Unfortunately, Kuhn Krause puts these on the wings at the factory on their newly realeased vertical tillage tool, which is purposed to be run directly behind the combine in lots of stubble.

    • James Tuschner James Tuschner says:

      Thank You to Firestone AG for reaching out to me on this blog post. Although not expressly stated in all printed materials, please note that all Firestone Destination Farm Radial Implement Tires have stubble resisting steel belt construction.

      Also, please note that Firestone is supplying a Field Engineer Hotline to work thru any and all issues that either a grower or dealer may encounter: 1-800-TIRE-ENG (847-3364)

      Lastly, as pointed out by Firestone in our discussion, exceedingly tough stubble should always be countered with stubble prevention devices.

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