Forestry tires are designed to operate in extreme off road environments. They allow your skidder, forwarder, and feller bunchers to power through mud, rocks, and abrasive soil, and they have to handle both hot and cold temperature conditions. To ensure your rubber forestry tires do not wear prematurely or fail out in the forest on the job, follow these tips and precautions.
Check tire pressure regularly
Important for all equipment tires, but especially for forestry tires, checking pressure on a daily or weekly basis will prevent over and under inflation. If your tires are not adequately inflated, it can result in excessive heat buildup, which can potentially damage the sidewall, beads, or lining. Alternatively, if your tire is inflated too much, it will increase the likelihood of impact damage, particularly in the forest where stumps and debris are common. Consult your owner's manual to find the recommended inflation pressure for your forestry machines.
Ensure the tire is mounted correctly
In order to mount a forestry tire, first ensure that there is no debris on the inside of the wheel to avoid any friction between it and the tire tubes. If mounting a tubeless tire, replace the tubeless valve stems to ensure proper sealing. Inspect the wheel for any cracks or damage in and around the valve stem protector.
Properly mounting your forestry tires helps them maintain the proper air pressure for the job. The larger the tire, the more important correct mounting becomes, as the torque on the sidewall at the rim is much higher due to the longer sidewall and wider tread.?Whether you are mounting with or without a tube, it's important that the tire is placed on the wheel with elevated?knurling in order to keep it from slipping in high torque situations. If knurling is not even on both sides of the wheel, you run the risk of having the sidewall twisting and distorting under the load.
Inspect the jobsite, avoid debris
Even with heavy duty forestry tires, driving over stumps and debris can still cause flats, leading to unnecessary and costly downtime. Stay on the trail whenever possible, avoid stumps, and use your blade to push any debris out of the path of your machine.
How to purchase replacement tires
If you need to find a replacement tire for your forestry equipment, be sure to match the tread height as closely to the other tires as possible. Correct matching will give you the best traction possible and reduce wear on the powertrain. Most manufacturers recommend no more than 3% side to side and 6% front to rear axle diameter differential.