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Tire Companies and Rubber Quality

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Tractor Guru

Joined: 07 Apr 2002
Posts: 3565

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:14 pm    Post subject: Tire Companies and Rubber Quality Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I'd be interested to hear from some of the other tire geeks on YT as to their experiences with older (and new if you wish) rubber quality and the effects of age or abuse on different brand of tires generally used today for pullers. Here's my assesment of ten years buying/selling/trading tires.

Older Goodyear tires from the 40's & 50's seem quite robust to the elements. However, there was a point in the company's history at which the sidewall quality suffered. All newer Power Torque, Traction Torque, and 45deg Diamond tires crack on the sidewall eventually, usually before the tread warrants replacement. Traction Torque tires in particular have a split in one line entirely around the sidewall, only seen when flexed or when the casing finally starts to split. Twenty five years on a moderately used Moline loader yielded no significant tread wear, yet both 14.9X28 6 ply tires split and blew the sidewalls out on the same day with 12-14 pounds of air pressure in them. Other sizes have yielded similar results. The old Power Torques (predecessor to the Traction Torques) seemed tough, but hard to find.

The rubber of almost all the BFG tires I've used or owned stays very shiny and black, even with the pounding the sun gives them. The rubber cuts very nice. Some pairs I've owned were incredibly old, still maintaining their good appearance. They do wear faster than some. The 30degree tread tends to crack in a major way between the bars on almost every one I've owned. I've had tube eventually creep out of some cracks and fixed with a good boot job. Very similar to Co-op Agri-Power (not the cheaper built Agri-Master).

These are the cheapies but take a good top cut, pull agressively, and usually don't weigh much. They are prone to huge cracking, and I've even seen rubber start peeling off in layers from the case and on the sides of the bars. I love em, some hate em. Moderate quality but good diggers. Titan and Maxi-Trac are newer versions.

Firestone by far has been the most robust all around tire. Especially the older ones. They will have huge cracks, beat up beads, and keep on going. The "gum dipped" label on the side means something. These include the 45 degree style, ricers, All Traction Field & Road F151, and the mighty Deep Treads (these were nearly indestructable and logged long hours before replacement. Some 23deg tread, Deep treads being the worst offender, wear down in the middle pretty easy (rim width is a factor). But, the thick casing allows for good cuts anyway. Later variations included the lighter plain Field & Road, Traction Field & Road, Heavy Duty Field & Road, and Super All Traction tires with 23 degree tread. They seem to be good quality, but less of a sidewall and more prone to wear or puncture.

Co-op (usually BFG)
US Royal
Wards Riverside

I'd love to hear what other rubber geeks have seen, repaired, swore at, burned, popped, pulled, ground, and used.

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Dave from SC NE.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Tire Companies and Rubber Quality Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Ethan, I have a set of coop agri powers 13.6 x38 uncut on 11" rims that I have pulled for years on a MM Rtu and then on a Zau. Nothing could beat them. Ran about 5 to 6 lbs of air. They seem to be holding up very well. Also pull a set of Firestone field and road 13.6 x38 on a Massey 33. Will be installing them on a MM 445 I am building with 13.5 rims. They are also a good pulling tire with no issues.
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Long Time User

Joined: 09 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Tire Companies and Rubber Quality Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Ethan your observations are spot on. I have an Oliver Super 99 with BFG silverton 18.4x34s and even though they may be the original tires the sidewalls are shiny black and even sitting for years outside before I bought it they tires are still in good shape. On the other hand we have Goodyear traction torques(I call them slip torques) 18.4x38 on our 2-105 White we bought new and even though the duals were always shedded except in spring and fall they developed cracks everywhere and the tread has worn much quicker than our Firestone tractors of the same vintage. I"m a big believer in the Deep Treads, they take a beating and wear like iron.
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Long Time User

Joined: 13 Oct 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Tire Companies and Rubber Quality Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Some Co-ops are Goodyear... I have a set full cut and a love-hate relationship with them.

You didn't mention Safemark tires. Don't know who made em, but hold up and pull pretty well.

On the new tires Firestone has the toughest rubber by far. I see alot of tires and they have the least damage to them of any of the brands. Goodyear has had some serious side wall/bead issues in the past.
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Joined: 09 Mar 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:13 am    Post subject: Re: Tire Companies and Rubber Quality Reply to specific post Reply with quote

love my deep threads. Wards were the best tires I ever hooked into a track with.
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