Tires and Ballasting for Agricultural Tractors

  • Ralph Alcock


The steel-wheeled tractor was replaced by vehicles fitted with pneumatic tires in the 1920s and 1930s. Harvey Firestone (1868–1938) was instrumental in developing reinforced, “low-pressure” tires that were suitable for agricultural field work. World War II resulted in shortages of natural rubber previously used for tire production. This accelerated the research and development of synthetic rubbers such as styrene and latex. The synthetic rubbers produced had better wear-resistant properties than the original rubber tires. Synthetic rubbers that are commonly used today include polyurethane, neoprene, polybutandiene, and butyl. Natural rubber may still be used for some specialized applications.


Natural Rubber Rolling Resistance Forward Speed Contact Patch Tractive Efficiency 
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Copyright information

© The AVI Publishing Company, Inc. 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ralph Alcock
    • 1
  1. 1.Agricultural Engineering DepartmentSouth Dakota State UniversityBrookingsUSA

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