FIRESTONE has introduced a free Europe-wide iPhone application to help farmers maintain their tractor tyres at the right pressure. When the “Tyre Pressure Calculator” app is downloaded, users simply select their tyre size and then see the correct tyre pressure for the load and speed of their tractor. Operating a tractor on incorrect pressure shortens tyre life and can unnecessarily increase soil compaction, which reduces crop yield. When changing farming activity (for example between field work and road transport) the app can help farmers maximize tyre life by adjusting to recommended tyre pressure.
Firestone will officially launch the app at this year’s Agritechnica show, the world’s largest agricultural machinery and equipment exhibition, in Hannover from November 13th to 19th. Although iPhone users are already able to download the IOS app throughout Europe, Firestone plans to extend the service to smart phone users and other devices in the coming months through an Android platform and web-based version, currently under development. Additional language versions will also be added.
Rafal Spirydon, Senior Manager Agricultural Tyre Marketing, Bridgestone Europe, says:
“The standard advice to farmers when they ask about tyre pressure is to refer to the manufacturers’ technical data book. But few farmers have these books, so they’re left in the dark. We decided to do something about this and, with the growth in smart phones, an app is the ideal solution.”
Improves efficiency and crop yield
Soil compaction is a serious issue for farmers. When soil is compacted, it loses the ability to store air and water, both of which are essential for seed germination and crop growth.
“The ground contact pressure of the tyre footprint depends strongly on the tyre’s inflation pressure. Therefore reducing tyre pressure also reduces soil compaction, helping to improve farm crop yield and profitability” explains Spirydon.
Tests conducted by Firestone show that the size of a contact patch increases by more than 40% when tyre pressure is reduced from 1.6 bar to 0.6 bar. However many farmers over-inflate to compensate for the bulge at the bottom of a large radial tyre, unknowingly reducing tyre life and increasing soil compaction.
“Firestone’s new phone app solves this problem by enabling farmers to correctly match inflation pressure to the load, helping them to improve farm efficiency” says Spirydon. “And it does this in a fast, easy way that is friendly for the user and the environment.”
Firestone, which is part of the Bridgestone Group, has a strong position in the agricultural tyre market in Europe and is a leading supplier of radial tyres to tractor manufacturers and the tyre replacement market.