2013-08-06  facebook twitter rss

Don’t Risk Compromising Machine Performance by Fitting Budget Tyres

Replacing premium-brand tyres fitted by leading farm machinery manufacturers as original equipment with ‘budget’ alternatives will compromise performance and be a false economy, according to Mitas Tyres Ltd.

“Tyres are so fundamental to achieving the manufacturer’s intended performance, both on and off-road, that the correct choice of replacements is critical,” emphasises Ron Wood, UK Automotive Engineering Manager for Mitas, the world’s leading manufacturer of off-road tyres.

Mitas RD-03 radial fitted to John Deere tractor

Mitas RD-03 radial
fitted to John Deere tractor

“The common definition of a ‘premium’ tyre is one that major agricultural equipment manufacturers fit as Original Equipment (OE) to main-line products,” Mr Wood explains. “Premium tyres are defined by their high level of design and technical input, use of more expensive materials to meet OE performance requirements, stringent manufacturing quality and high level of back-up service.

“Mitas supplies leading farm equipment manufacturers such as Case IH, New Holland, John Deere and JCB who invest heavily in developing new products and constantly update them to maintain a competitive edge. Ensuring that they operate to their full potential is therefore paramount. Using cheaper brands of tyre may significantly compromise performance, so it makes good business sense to continue to fit premium tyres throughout the life of the machine to avoid compromising its performance potential.”

Whilst manufacturers appreciate the critical role of premium tyres and employ dedicated specialists, Mr Wood says that farmers may be tempted to take the lowest-cost route when choosing replacements. He states:

‘Budget’ tyres initially appeared in smaller sizes for less demanding applications, using older, low-tech designs which were cheap to manufacture but still highly profitable. Larger ‘budget’ tyres are now coming onto the market and may look similar to premium brands, but there are substantial differences so it is important to appreciate what these are because the physical demands are so much greater.

“True ‘budget’ tyres have little to offer other than low initial cost, which is not the same thing as lower overall cost. Because there is so much more to assessing a tyre’s true worth than purchase price alone, farmers need to obtain sound technical advice in order to make an informed choice.

“This is becoming more difficult because the increasingly seasonal demand from the agricultural sector means that most suppliers are unable to justify the investment required to properly service this specialist market. This has led to a general downgrading of the technical knowledge base and fewer distributors now have the expertise to offer farmers the specialist advice and service they need. Consequently, we often come across instances of incorrect tyres having been fitted, whether in terms of type, size, suitability or safety.

“Many distributors now order only on an ‘as needed’ basis from a third party to reduce their stockholding, often purely on the basis of low price because it makes for an easier sale. Customers may therefore receive a lower-quality, non-premium tyre and be invoiced for a particular size rather than a specific brand.

“Appearances can be deceptive, as almost any manufacturer can make a tyre which looks good on the shelf,” Mr Wood emphasises. “However, the clever bit is the construction, manufacture and quality of materials which are used. Two tyres can appear almost identical yet have completely different operating characteristics, performance and longevity. A common confusion is that if a tyre has thicker sidewalls in its construction that must equate to higher performance and greater longevity, but this is not the case. It is therefore important to choose tyres carefully and buy from a manufacturer with a proven reputation as an OE supplier.

Jon Ward, Managing Director, Mitas Tyres Limited

“Choosing premium tyres has many benefits,” emphasises Ron Wood of Mitas Tyres Ltd

“In addition to their significant investment in Research & Development, leading tyre manufacturers employ stringent manufacturing techniques, using modern, high-quality materials which can withstand greater flexing and heat build-up whilst delivering optimum in-field and on-road performance. They also invest heavily in testing to achieve the optimum balance between traction, smooth running and longevity, as well as providing customers with a comprehensive back-up service. Mitas, in common with other premium manufacturers, provides a multi-year warranty against manufacturing defects and individually assesses any warranty claim, a service sometimes lacking from suppliers of budget tyres.

“The demands on agricultural tyres make it is critical to fit the correct ones to maintain performance and safety. With downtime becoming increasingly costly, farmers should appreciate the benefits of investing in quality tyres to ensure that expensive equipment remains operational and achieves its full potential.”

Mitas Tyres

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