Since Firestone first introduced their 23° tread design in 1950, the company has promoted their tires as having better traction than their competitors’ 45° lug angle. Fast-forward to September 2019: Firestone introduced the Maxi Traction tire—a premium tire with a steeper, multi-angle lug design that will replace their longstanding 23° tread in select applications.
The New Maxi Traction Tread Design
The new Maxi Traction tire features a steeper and deeper, variable-angle tread design which starts at a 23° angle and transitions to a 45° taper. This change and other improvements should provide:
- Improved traction in the field. The R-1W lug of the Maxi Traction tire features a 25 percent deeper tread than an R-1 tread. The actual tread bar face is multi-angled from the top extending down into the base of the tread providing the tire with better contact area and clean out properties. This will improve traction in a variety of soil conditions (especially wet field conditions).
- Reduced/more even wear. The deeper R-1W lug provides more wearable volume, and the Maxi Traction’s curved, steeper bar resists irregular wear. Firestone’s testing has demonstrated that the Maxi Traction tire has an improved wear rate and more even wear compared to the Radial All Traction DT tire, leading to longer overall tire life.
- Excellent comfort on the road. Comfort and roadability is a crucial feature for modern farm tires. The Maxi Traction tire is designed to give an outstanding ride as you travel between fields.
- Reduced soil compaction (on select tires). Select sizes feature Firestone’s AD2 technology (IF/VF technology) which requires a lower inflation pressure than standard radial tires to deliver a wide, flat footprint. Additionally, the dual-angle technology reduces soil disturbance which cuts down on yield-robbing soil compaction.
- A 9-year product warranty. Firestone is known for extensively testing their tires at their Farm Tire Test Center in Columbiana, Ohio. You can expect many years of dependable performance out of a new set of Maxi Traction tires.
In a nutshell, we see Firestone’s new Maxi Traction tire lineup filling the large gap that their 23° tires had left unaddressed for years. This tire will compete with the 45° tread design that companies such as Michelin have focused on producing for years.
The Maxi Traction tire lineup is designed for a variety of field applications including:
- High horsepower tractor
Choosing Between the New Maxi Traction Tire and the 23° Tread Design
The 23° R-1 tread is designed for maximum pull in moderate to dry soil conditions. But when things start to get muddy, the 45° R-1W tread design pulls ahead. With the development of the new Maxi Traction tire lineup, it seems that Firestone has realized what other tire manufacturers have been saying for years: there are certain applications where a 45° tread design is better.
Best Uses for the Maxi Traction Tire
As a general guide, the Maxi Traction tire lineup should perform well in:
- Most combine applications. Traction usually isn’t a concern for combines, except when soil conditions turn to mud. In that case, the last tire you want is the 23° tread design with its poor clean-out capabilities. The deeper R-1W lug and steeper lug angle of the Maxi Traction tire will help push you through wet soil conditions. Additionally, the Maxi Traction tire lineup features select sizes with VF and CFO designations which provide higher load carrying capacities at lower tire air pressures.
- Sprayer applications. The ability to run lower air pressure with the Maxi Traction’s VF tire technology and dual-angle tread design will reduce compaction, provide a more comfortable ride on the road, and more even wear to deliver a longer tire life in sprayer applications.
- Moderate to wet soil conditions. The R-1W tread and steeper lug angle offers better clean-out and traction capabilities than the 23° tread design in wet soil conditions.
- Hilly/steep field conditions. The 23° tread design lends itself to more side-to-side slippage on steep slopes making it difficult to stay on the row. The steeper lug angle of the Maxi Traction tire should provide better traction and handling in hilly field conditions.
Best Uses for the 23° Tread Design
The Maxi Traction tire lineup is not meant to replace Firestone’s hallmark 23° tread design. Rather, it is designed to fill the gap where a 45° lug angle is a better option. For example, in moderate to dry soil conditions, the 23° tread design is still a traction leader. Ideal applications for the 23° tread design may include:
- Planting tractors.
- Hard pulling applications where soil conditions are generally dry to moderately dry.
You may also like: 23° vs. 45° Lug Angle: A Guide for Choosing the Right Tread Design
Available Tire Sizes
Firestone will be releasing more tire sizes in the Maxi Traction lineup in 2020. The available sizes as of October 1, 2019 are:
- 620/70R46 (Also available as a VF tire)
- 710/70R42 (Also available in IF and VF + CFO designations)
- 800/70R38 (Also available in IF and VF + CFO designations)
- VF900/60R32 CFO
- VF1100/50R32 CFO
Other Tire Brands to Consider
Several other tire manufacturers have years of experience engineering premium farm tires that will compete directly with Firestone’s Maxi Traction tire lineup. Below are a couple of tire brands and models worth comparing:
Michelin Agricultural Tires
Michelin is known as a leader in the premium agricultural tire market, but they're also known for being higher priced than other tire companies. Over the last few years, however, their pricing has become more competitive with Firestone tires making them a feasible choice. Below are Michelin’s top tires by application:
- Tractor: AgriBib 2, AxioBib 2
- Sprayer: SprayBib
- Combine/Harvester: CereXBib 2
Alliance Agriflex+ Tires
We feel that Alliance’s development in the premium agricultural tire market deserves their mentioning amongst the big name tire companies. The Agriflex+ tire lineup offers a wide range of sizes for tractors, combines, sprayers, and farm implements. Agriflex+ tires are all VF-rated and come with an industry-leading 10-year warranty.
Choosing the Right Farm Tire
Order a set of new Firestone Maxi Traction tires today from NTS Tire Supply. Or explore more options from every major farm tire brand. We have the experience to help you identify the best farm tires for every application and budget. Simply call us at (888) 787-3559 or send us a message from our contact page.