Are there times when it makes sense to switch from a traditional dual-tire setup to low sidewall super single tires (LSWs)? Absolutely. These massive tires can increase the performance of your combine and your 4WD or row-crop tractor. And LSWs may even bring a yield boost to your operation when you plant into their tracks (versus between the tracks of duals).
BIG Tires with a Bigger Benefit: Increased Profitability
At NTS Tire Supply, we’ve been selling Goodyear LSW super singles since 2017. Customers who buy them tend to love them, especially for planting and combine applications. We’ve seen them bring real results, such as:
- Higher yields.
- Better traction in stubborn mud.
- Less compaction.
- Fewer problems with cracked/damaged rims & hardware.
- No power hop and road lope.
These benefits add up to increased profitability for your farm.
Learn more: How LSWs and your planting tractor are a perfect fit.
1. LSWs and Combines: Experience a Smoother Harvest
There’s always something threatening to derail harvest: A breakdown. The weather. The hired hand that won’t get out of bed. LSWs provide big benefits when you’re looking to keep harvest rolling as smoothly as possible:
- Improve handling.
- Reduce compaction.
- Float through mud.
- Cleaner, smoother road travel.
- Eliminate cracked rim/hardware issues.
Let’s look at the difference in footprint size between some common combine tire setups:
- A standard 650/85R38 dual setup has approximately 1,960 sq in of total tire contact.
- An LSW1250/35R46 single setup has 2,242 sq in of total tire contact.
- An LSW1400/30R46 single setup has 2,454 sq in of total tire contact.
By choosing LSW singles, these farmers have improved their combines’ footprint size by 300–500 sq in. At the same time, you can enjoy a decrease in overall machine width. One farmer we’ve worked with switched his combine from 800/70R38 duals to 1250/35R46 LSWs and narrowed his combine’s width from 251 inches to 185 inches—a decrease of over 5 feet. This can mean fewer white-knuckle moments on narrow township roads.
Farmer Feedback: More Flotation, Shallower Ruts & No Cracked Rims
What does this larger tire footprint size actually do? Here’s what we’ve heard from farmers:
“We don't get as much rutting or as deep of ruts.”
Customers have told us that, when running on LSW singles during a wet harvest, they were able to harvest wetter field areas than they could with duals.
“We were running two John Deere S690s side-by-side. If he is having trouble with the one with the duals on it, more often than not, this one [with the 1400s] will come right beside it . . . it’ll take out all the wetter areas of the field . . . .”
You know that mud plugging between duals can make a huge mess in the field and on the road. With LSW singles, on the other hand, these issues are minimized.
“The combine handles extremely well whether it's in the field or on the road.”
One farmer, who previously had aftermarket 710 duals on his 9870 John Deere combine, said his auto-steer struggled to steer with his duals. He would have to use his brakes to keep it on the row. With the 1400 LSWs, he simply slows down 1 mph and the combine holds right to the row.
Another farmer, who runs two John Deere combines—one with 800/70R38 duals and another with 1250/35R46 LSWs—told us that he felt hillside stability was slightly better with the duals. However, when he took into account the narrower combine width for safer, smoother road travel and other performance improvements, he felt that he’d rather have the LSW setup.
Large combines with huge grain tanks are notorious for cracking rims and hardware. Why? Well, it has to do with how the tires transfer the weight of the machine through the rims. (You’ll find a complete explanation of this issue in the video we’ve linked to this article.) Farmers who have switched their combines from duals to LSWs have seen this issue disappear.
Farmer Feedback: “A Wall of Mud”
To be fair, we have heard of one drawback when switching to LSWs:
"These 1400s create a wall of mud in front of the tire.”
Here’s what we think is happening, based on our experience: We believe that the farmer’s traditional dual setup is knifing through the mud and reaching the hardpan, which will provide stability and traction to get through stubborn wet areas. But at what cost?
Learn more: Discover how compaction can deliver a financial hit that lasts for a decade.
We all know that deep ruts, which potentially lie beyond the reach of tillage, are yield killers. We think you can get similar results without compaction issues by switching to LSWs. Farmers who have had success with 1400 singles say that they slow down 1 mph when crossing wet areas, which helps the mud “flow around the tires” and avoid the dreaded mud wall.
“I'll always have floats on my combine from now on.”
Our customers have us convinced: Goodyear LSW singles will become a common replacement for duals on combines.
2. LSWs and Pulling: Say Goodbye to Handling Problems
When it comes to top traction with 4WD and row-crop tractors, a good dual setup wins, especially when your tractor is wearing IF/VF-rated radials that maximize your traction.
You may like: The Top 10 Tires to Maximize Traction in 2022.
We’ve heard from growers that they’ve had to add more weight to their 4WDs with LSWs to get the same amount of traction as duals. However, LSWs were created with more benefits in mind than mountain-goat grip:
- Reduce power hop.
- Reduce road lope.
- Narrower than wide duals/triples for road transport.
- Reduce compaction.
- Increase flotation.
- Suitable traction, depending on your needs.
Incorrect ballasting, dry soils, and implements can all cause power hop. LSW tires make removing power hop very easy. Dual/triple-tire setups typically require a little bit more air pressure babysitting, depending on the particular application on the to-do list. The low tire sidewall limits the amount of flex and buckling that occur in the tire, which in turn limits the opportunities for power hop.
As with combines, LSW tires give your tractors a wider footprint for less compaction and rutting in the field. And, often, a narrower total machine width for cruising through those tight spots. Together with reduced power hop, it’s clear that LSWs offer comparable pulling power to traditional duals, especially when you consider the long-term benefits of reducing compaction: higher yields and more revenue.
3. LSWs for Planting: More Bushels & More Revenue
A 2016 Iowa study, conducted by Titan International, reached a startling (at the time) conclusion: planting into the tracks of 1100 LSWs has the potential to deliver more bushels per acre than planting with a traditional dual setup.
In the study’s corn test plot, ground planted with a tractor wearing Goodyear LSW super singles yielded 5 bushels more per acre compared to ground planted with duals. In the study’s soybean plot, ground planted with the LSW tractor yielded 6 bushels more per acre compared to the dual setup. At the time, this resulted in a $16 per acre net revenue increase on corn, and a $60 per acre net revenue increase on soybeans. (These amounts would obviously fluctuate with commodity prices.)
With these test results, the farmer who performed the study believed that he could pay off his LSW super single upgrade in less than 1 year.
Learn more: Click here for details about the 2016 Iowa Study.
In 2018, NTS Tire Supply partnered with AgRevival Research, located in Gibbon, Minnesota, and 2 local farmers to study the impacts of planting with Goodyear LSW super singles as it relates to crop emergence, final stand establishment, compaction, plant and root development, and yield. The results from this study shed a massive amount of light on planting with Goodyear LSW super singles.
Watch our video to see the results!
Goodyear LSW Super Single Models
The Optitrac features Goodyear's latest generation of rubber compound and construction technology. Its lugs are shaped for improved traction, better stability, and a comfortable ride for roading. Deep tread helps with additional grip in the field and promotes longer tire life. Goodyear even boasts of the tire's "distinctive look and decoration," so there's style points for you too.
Available LSW Optitrac Sizes:
Goodyear Custom Flo Grip
With deep, R-2 tread, the Flo Grip is especially welcome during wet years. However, the deep tread will help prolong the tire's life in any conditions. Increased lug bracing provides durability even under heavy loads.
Available LSW Custom Flo Grip Sizes:
Available right now only in the 1100/45R46 size, the DT930 features a lug angle that's optimized for both traction and cleanout in muddy conditions. As with Goodyear's other LSW models, the DT930 provides a comfortable ride and good flotation in the field.
Available LSW DT930 Sizes:
Will LSWs Perform for Your Farm?
Goodyear LSW super singles have certainly made a BIG impact for NTS Tire Supply customers since we began selling them in 2017. As with any traction technology, they’re not for every situation. Your 4WD may be better off with a VF dual setup, for example. The best way to discover whether LSWs will drive your farm forward is to speak with one of our traction experts.