Paul Butler, who no-tills 400 acres of corn and soybeans near Macon, Ill., says he'll need new tractor tires in 2 years, so he's buying a set this fall and putting them in the shed to age. A set can cost him around $6,000.
"I've been told by numerous tire guys and online friends that new tires are soft, but they get a lot harder after 1 or 2 years," Butler says. "I have a friend that farms 5,000 acres who gets a new tractor every 2 years and you can see how, in that first year, the stalks eat away at the tires."
Is there truth to this statement about aging tires?
Yes. Scott Sloan, Titan Tire Corp.'s product development manager, says it's similar to what occurs with pencil erasers, which tend to dry out and become tougher over time.
"If you can afford to do that, I would suggest doing it, honestly," Sloan told attendees at the National No-Tillage Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, last January.
"But from both a tire company and a dealer inventory standpoint, inventory is money and it's no different for growers," he adds. "If you have a brand-new set of 838s in the shed, you want to use them."