To this end, IF and VF technologies are critical, Paulk said, pointing to the fact that IF tires carry about 20 percent more weight at the same air pressure of a standard ag tire. VF, meanwhile, will carry about 40 percent more weight.
But it's about more than handling the added weight. It's about weight distribution. And doing so in a way that minimizes the soil compaction because, again, that is essential to maximizing crop yield and quality.
You do that, he said, by increasing the contact patch.
"Increasing the contact area of tires reduces the pressure on the ground," Paulk said. "So, what you want tires to do—kind of like the EV tires—you want more contact patch. With these, you want to get as much contact as you can to spread out the weight of the tractors, the weight of the equipment. So you want a long footprint, you want a wide footprint."
Yes. In a lot of ways, Paulk said, the challenges facing the ag industry aren't unlike the challenges facing the P/LT market with the advent and adoption of EV technology.
Because remember those three farmers tending to all the land once owned by 200 families? Well, they have to get from field to field quickly and efficiently. And they do that, Paulk said, on the road.
"Agricultural tires are made—by and large—for the field," Paulk said. "But they are roaded so much and they are used on the highway so much now that one of the things that is tested now is ride comfort. On tractor tires.
"Noise levels are tested on tractors. If you hire somebody or you are in the tractor cab all day long and you have vibrations of a lot of noise or things like that it drives you crazy. So, testing for farm tires has went almost the way of consumer tires."