Stop Getting Stuck in the Mud

Posted by irrigation.education Community on Sep 10, 2015 10:00:00 AM
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center pivot irrigation wheel tracks

As you likely know, deep wheel tracks are a headache in the field. They lead to low crop clearance and can cause your pivot or linear to get stuck mid-rotation.

A common misconception is that a longer or heavier span automatically means deeper wheel tracks. This is simply not true. Pivot weight has little to do with deep wheel tracks. The key to minimizing ruts is ensuring that tires are properly inflated. Tire inflation directly affects ground pressure, which is the leading cause of deep wheel tracks. There is actually an equation you can use to determine the best tire pressure. And, proper inflation also maximizes tire life.

One way to reduce wheel tracking is by equipping your pivots or linears with tires that keep more soil in the wheel’s path. Unilateral tires use horizontal treads rather than the conventional angled treads. While angled treads increase traction by digging into the soil, they push soil out to the edge of the wheel track causing deeper ruts. Unilateral tires keep more soil in the wheel path resulting in shallower ruts.

If you want to find out more about how to keep your pivot from getting stuck mid-rotation or how to calculate the best tire pressure, hop on irrigation.education and take our short flotation Options course

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