BKT advises against water ballasting tractor tyres

BKT claims that this practice is a safety risk since latest-generation tyres already provide high and specific performance. Consequently, the old practice of ballasting agricultural vehicles by filling the tyres with liquid is increasingly far from reality, according to the tyre company.

Over the last two decades, we have seen giant leaps forward in terms of innovation in agriculture, especially since digitalization came up. Farmers and contractors believe that the practice of using water in tyres as means of ballasting is not an effective solution for ballasting operating equipment.

BKT is dispelling this habit, which definitely it believes belongs to the past, above all because a certain type of tyre belongs to the past, which has been replaced with sophisticated products with innovative technology.


What drives farmers to water ballast their equipment?

The idea is that the weight of the water provides the tyres with greater traction, more grip, and helps prevent slippage. BKT believes that the practice of water ballasting tyres can seriously compromise operator safety.

This is because each tractor is checked and registered with air-inflated tyres only. These are the basis of calculations relating to the inertial forces while running and to the transmission of vibrations, particularly on the road.

If tyres are water ballasted, especially high-powered tractors traveling at speeds even exceeding 50/60 km/hr, all safety parameters regarding driving dynamics (such as lane changes, under- and oversteering bends, etc.) and the transmission of vibrations are completely ignored. This can, according to BKT cause serious problems. These negative effects on driving dynamics and on vibrations can cause serious issues for both equipment and operator.

As a result of research and sensitivity towards its reference market, BKT, a global leader in the Off-Highway tire sector, advises against hydroflating – not only because this technique affects safety, but to put it in much simpler words: there is definitely no need anymore.

Thanks to a new generation of tyres that BKT claims are able to completely satisfy the needs of agricultural operators, without the risk of compromising safety. Specific products for every situation, terrain and purpose are designed to offer maximum traction in all operating conditions.

Latest-generation tyres, include VF (very high flexion) tyres enabling agricultural machinery to carry heavier loads at reduced inflation pressure. VF technology is also designed to offer greater traction and to prevent tyre slippage.

Water ballasting tires is a no-go practice for these products. If inflated with water, tires are much stiffer, and all performance is compromised. Flotation, a specific feature of VF tires, will no longer be possible, and hence the main advantage of using these products would be lost.

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