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June 27, 2024 << Back to Blog

What to Look for in a Sprayer Tire

27 Jun

June 27, 2024

Today’s self-propelled sprayers are marvels. They can deliver nutrients and chemicals with sub-inch accuracy (at speed), operate in crops as tall as a person, and follow GPS signals with fantastic precision—all of which require good tires.

Demands Placed on Sprayer Tires

To make the most of a self-propelled sprayer in the field, its tires must be able to operate at low inflation pressures and produce an optimal footprint that disperses the weight of equipment over a large area to reduce soil compaction. For row crop tires, this means creating long, skinny footprints, while floater tires deliver wide, fat footprints.

On the road, a sprayer’s tires must be able to travel at high speeds (with no squirming or wobbling) and deliver stability while fully loaded—no small achievement, considering a sprayer’s high center of gravity and the movement of its liquid load.

Perhaps most importantly, sprayer tires must repeat this performance season after season, during some of the most time-sensitive parts of the year. For instance, farmers commonly find themselves scrambling to apply weed, insect, and disease control in tight windows, which often means having to work in less-than-ideal field conditions and moving quickly between fields.

Characteristics to Look for In a Sprayer Tire

Equipping a sprayer with application-specific tires—that is, tires specially designed to meet the unique needs of the farmer—is a sure way to improve its performance and lessen stress while spraying. Below are a few factors to consider when choosing a sprayer tire.

Tread Pattern

The tread pattern of a sprayer tire plays a significant role in dictating how it will perform. Sprayer tires in general feature two types of tread patterns.

  • Bar-lug pattern: The traditional bar-lug tread pattern—like what’s found on our Alliance Agriflex+ 354—is a mainstay of sprayer tires. Bar-lug tread patterns offer outstanding traction and self-cleaning during fieldwork. Special features like the curved lugs and overlapping centerline of our 354 design reduce vibration and resist wear on the road.
  • Hybrid pattern: Hybrid treads, like the industrial-style blocks configured in an R-1-type curve found on our Alliance Agriflex+ 363, bring balanced performance to sprayers that spend an equal amount of time in the field and on the road. The numerous blocks provide an abundance of biting edges for creating traction on soft surfaces and provide outstanding stability when working on slopes, while the low rubber-to-void ratio delivers a comfortable ride and mitigates heat build-up when traveling on hard surfaces like asphalt.

Speed

Today’s sprayers often spend as much time traveling between fields as they do in them. It’s common for sprayers to work in the field at speeds of 10 to 16 mph and travel on the road at 20 to 30 mph, if not faster. Consequently, high-performance sprayer tires generally carry a high-speed rating. For example, both the Alliance Agriflex+ 354 and 363 are D-rated, meaning they can work at speeds up to 40 mph.

Load Carrying Capacity

Not only must sprayer tires be able to travel at high speeds, but they’re also asked to carry heavy loads, like large tanks filled with liquid insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides. Here VF tires are providing a huge boost to sprayer performance. VF sprayer tires like the Agirflex+ 354 and 363 can carry 40% more load—at the same inflation pressure—than conventional radials.

Compounding

The longest-lasting sprayer tires are made with special compounds that can withstand the heat generated by traveling at high speeds and long distances—heat is the number one enemy of tires—while also being robust enough to fend off crop stubble. Modern crops like corn and soybeans are engineered to stand up to everything from extreme weather to pests. The downside of these super-resilient crops is that they leave behind stout residue after harvest that can wreak havoc on tires. Alliance’s Agirflex+ 354 and 363 are made using stubble guard compound and are backed by a 3-year stubble and hazard and 10-year workmanship and materials warranty.

An extra level of protection: while stubble-resistant compounds help ensure long service life, staying between the rows is an excellent way to extend the life of sprayer tires—avoiding damage-inducing stalks, rather than running them over. Because of this, tires like the Alliance Agriflx+ 363 feature a center bar that improves lateral stability and makes it easier to keep between rows.

Steel Belts

Steel belts are another characteristic to look for in high-quality, high-performance sprayer tires. Steel belts provide a number of advantages, including helping tires better dissipate heat (the number one enemy of tire longevity), providing puncture protection, and allowing tires to produce a large, uniform contact patch.

VF Technology

VF tires like the Alliance Agriflex+ 354 and 363 are uniquely positioned to help sprayers meet the challenges facing them. VF tires are able to carry 40% more load at the same pressure as traditional radials, allowing them to handle the heavy loads sprayers commonly carry while dispersing the weight across a large footprint to minimize soil compaction and protect yields.

The large footprint provided by VF tires also enhances traction, reduces slippage, and improves efficiency. In the end, they enhance efficiency, productivity, and profitability—music to every farmer’s ears.

Alliance VF Sprayer Tires

The traditional bar-lug Alliance Agriflex+ 354 and hybrid-patterned Alliance Agriflex+ 363 are two fantastic VF tire options for today’s sprayers. Their benefits include:

Alliance Agriflex+ 354

  • VF: can carry 40% more load than a conventional radial at the same inflation pressure
  • R-1W Tread: delivers exceptional traction and self-cleaning in the field
  • D-speed Rating: able to travel at speeds up to 40 mph
  • Steel Belts: offer increased puncture protection, improved heat dissipation, and a larger, more even footprint
  • Stubble Guard: resists damage from stalks and residue in the field
  • Warranty: backed by a 3-year field hazard and stubble damage warranty and a 10-year workmanship and materials warranty

Alliance Agriflex+ 363

  • VF: can carry 40% more load—at the same inflation pressure—than a traditional radial
  • Hybrid Tread: unique combination ag/industrial pattern provides exceptional performance in the field and on the road
  • D-Speed Rating: able to travel at speeds up to 40 mph
  • Steel Belts: deliver improved protection from punctures, better heat dissipation, and provide a larger, more even footprint
  • Stubble Guard: engineered to stand up against stalks and residue
  • Warranty: backed by a 3-year field hazard and stubble damage warranty and a 10-year workmanship and materials warranty

Alliance Whole Farm Concept

Alliance’s Whole Farm Concept is a commitment to delivering a low-pressure tire—like our VF Agriflex+ 354 and 363—to every machine that enters the field, ensuring the advantage of equipment operating on VF tires isn’t minimized by machines running on standard tires.