Understanding Stubble Damage
Stubble damage can occur to any tyre when stalk remnants repeatedly hit and wear the tread or wall of a tyre. Stubble piercing can also occur when strong, sharp stubble punctures the tyre, eventually causing air loss.
So what can you do to help your tyres stubble impact?
Harvest and post-harvest stubble: Some growers are harvesting at low heights to allow easy establishment of the following years crop.
Cut height of stalks: Low / shorter stubble has sharper angles and higher damage rate. As a result there is no chance for the stalk to be pushed over by the tyre. This causes damage not only on the case/lug but on the lug face as well. Other factors which contribute to stubble damage include seed technology & weather conditions.
Tyre stubble damage causes: Dry conditions with the improved genetics crops in use today, stubble in the field becomes extremely rigid and uncompromising with steel like strength. Under these circumstances, tyres may sustain stubble damage that may range from minor scarring to severe penetration scarring.
Usually this damage is merely cosmetic and though unpleasant in appearance, does not impair the tyre’s function to deliver a full life of service.
The extreme is exposure and even penetration of the cord body in tubeless casings may cause loss of air pressure, thus tyre failure. Genetics and farming methods are changing every year, tyres are on equipment for decades. One may not have a problem (stubble damage) this season, but wait for the next change and then they have a problem.
Problems faced by growers: Chipping to tractor and implement tyres often indicate that stubble is posing a problem by making some minor adjustments to the way they operate their equipment and/or by outfitting equipment with one of the many available aftermarket products that help combat stubble tyre damage.
• Farm tyres to run between the rows rather than over stubble.
• Wide fitment tyres such as 900s, running in narrow row crops should explore the use of aftermarket attachments such as Stalk Stompers. Farmers should also consider running reverse TREAD LUG DIRECTION.