Low sidewall technology interest also has increased.
"I believe producers are realizing the advantages to the technology relative to their operation compared to other technologies like IF and VF to make them more productive," Sloan said.
He added that he believes the ag sector will come back; it is just a matter of when.
Small tires, strong results
One section of the market that has fared better is small dimension tires for the 40-plus horsepower tractor market.
The small horsepower tractor segment drove the 2016 OE tractor market, Le Dortz said, which was up more than 8 percent. He said the 100-plus horsepower and four-wheel-drive markets went down, 4.2 and 22.7 percent, respectively.
The influx of smaller producers may be the cause of this segment's growth.
"The increase in this market is attributed to the gain of hobby farmers, or people who have relocated to rural areas and need this machinery to maintain their property," Durbin said.
Sloan said Donald Trump's presidency also may influence the small tractor segment.
"The smaller tractor segment (less than 100 horsepower) seems strong," he said. "There is some enthusiasm in the construction market due to the election of Donald Trump and the outlook toward infrastructure projects."
While the agriculture market overall is lagging, some manufacturers believe it's coming back around.
"Agriculture equipment sales usually follow a four-year life cycle," Durbin said. "Even though the market is experiencing an elongated cycle, it appears that an uptick in agricultural tire sales is on the near horizon. Using this downtime for development and research will position BKT for a favorable future."