It’s simple: Buy from a trusted seller. There are several common pitfalls with used tractor tires that can leave you flat when you can least afford the downtime. After all, a tire almost never fails when it’s convenient for you—in front of your shop on a sunny 72-degree day. Here, we’re going to share with you the best way to buy used tires so you can save money upfront and keep your farm rolling.
Why You Should Steer Clear of Sketchy Used Tractor Tires
Because the wrong used farm tire can leave your operation at a standstill. The hard part is, a seller who’s trying to offload a couple used tires might not even know they’re bad—especially if he or she doesn’t have extensive experience in tire sales. Farming is a hard business, and it’s also hard on equipment. That’s why every used farm tire should undergo an expert inspection before it’s sold. There are several ways a tire can be damaged during its life:
- Mishandled: If you’re moving a tire with forks (on a skid steer, for example), slide the forks under the tire, not through it. A bouncy ride on the forks across a farm yard can be enough to stress and damage the bead.
- Overloaded: Cracks or sidewall deformation can be OK, or they can signal catastrophic damage. Unless you buy from a trusted seller, you probably won’t know which one you’re dealing with until the tire fails.
- Pushed to the Limit: It takes a seasoned tire inspector to spot tires that were repeatedly pushed hard in high-torque applications—to the point where they’re ready to fail at the next hint of a tough day’s work. This might show up as small cracks at the base of the tread and flaking on the lugs.
- Improperly stored: If not mounted, tires should be stored upright in a cool, dry place away from the sun and sources of ozone (a welder, transformer, etc.). If a tire has 80% tread remaining but it was stored in someone’s grove for several months or on the shop floor on top of an oil spill, it would be safer to spend your money on another option.
- Soaked in fuel or solvents: Chemicals and tires don’t mix very well. Any damage to a tire’s rubber compounds can contribute to a tire failure.
An expert inspection is the only way to be confident that you’re buying a used farm tire without a troubled history.
How to Identify a Trusted Seller of Used Tractor Tires
Where should you look for used tires? The newspaper classifieds? Craigslist? A guy who knows a guy you know? Truth is, any time you buy a used tire you also run the chance of buying a huge headache for your farm. At NTS Tire Supply, we’ve sold more than 20,000 used tires—not to mention used tracks and hardware. So we know a thing or two about passing along gently used rubber.
In addition to thousands of used tires in stock at any given time, there are several reasons it pays to shop NTS Tire Supply first:
1. Warranty Coverage
We warranty every used tractor tire sold at NTS Tire Supply. Get 2-year prorated coverage plus free replacement, repair, or the full purchase price back within 30 days of installation or 6 months after purchase. In the event a used tire does fail, NTS removes the risk to your business.
2. Expert Inspections
Every used tire, track, or piece of hardware we sell undergoes a complete expert inspection. In fact, we evaluate 4 aspects of each used tractor tire that will affect its performance:
- Tread Remaining: We measure three times—left, center, and right face—to get the most accurate tread depth measurements you’ll find.
- Casing Condition: Does a one-time seller know the difference between cosmetic and catastrophic? Probably not. We do. Stubble damage, blemishes, weathering, and casing cracks can all affect a tire’s performance. We’re always on the lookout for damage that can cause a tire to fail when you need it to perform.
- Wear Condition: Mounting a tire with odd wear can slash your machine’s efficiency. But odd wear can also indicate a more sinister problem: Maybe the tire’s been repeatedly overheated from overloading, which could damage the actual rubber compounds and cause a complete failure.
- Repairs: From expert vulcanized repairs to a patch that someone applied by flashlight, you have to be careful with repaired tires. Used tractor tires with repairs aren’t suitable for mounting in all conditions. NTS Tire Supply notes any damage or repair information with every used tire we sell.
3. Pictures, Pictures, Pictures
Browse several pictures of any used tire in our inventory. Pictures are important, as they back up condition claims and allow you to easily judge the trustworthiness of a seller. At NTS Tire Supply, we point out any damage (cuts, weathering, etc.) in detail.
Do you feel confident buying a used tractor tire without a warranty, inspection, or decent pictures?
When it’s Smart to Buy a Used Farm Tire
At NTS Tire Supply we keep a huge stock of used tires on hand, and our inventory of used products is constantly in flux. What makes used tires, tracks, and hardware popular with farmers and other businesses that use off-road tires? You save money. In fact, there are three situations where buying a used tire makes more sense than investing in a new one.
1. When tires are too worn on leased equipment.
Watch out for hefty tire-wear penalties on leased equipment. When it comes time to turn in your machine at the end of your lease, you can bet that the dealer is going to inspect the tires. If the rubber is more worn than the lease allows, you’re going to owe some money. Avoid this problem and trade those worn tires for a set of used tires that meets the lease’s tread specifications. You might be able to find replacements for a lot less than the hefty penalty at the dealership, and you may receive a little credit for the used tires you trade.
2. When a single tire bites the dust.
Let’s say a corn stalk spears a tire on your 4WD. If the machine’s other tires are at 70% tread, a quick call to a used farm tire dealer, like NTS Tire Supply, could connect you with a used tire that will be a close match to the rest of your set. This way, you can avoid paying top dollar for a new tire that won’t match the tread level of the other tires on its axle. In reality, NTS Tire Supply might also be able to fix the tire in this example with a vulcanized repair.
3. When a potential buyer loves your used equipment but hates the tires.
If you’re reading this from an equipment dealership, you may be able to relate: You have a mint used tractor on your lot with the plastic still on the seat. But if the tires aren’t what your buyer is looking for, the tractor may be sitting on your lot a while longer than necessary. If you find the right used tires, you could make the deal happen. NTS Tire Supply makes this easy with thousands of used tires in stock—from low-tread all the way up to new take-offs. Outfit the tractor with a new-used set of rubber, and turn a “no deal” into a sale.
Save Money & Shop Smart for Used Tractor Tires
Not sure if a used tire is right for your application? Contact one of our tire experts and we’ll review your options. NTS Tire Supply stocks everything from low-tread used tires suitable for a chore tractor to factory seconds with 100% tread and minor blemishes that won’t affect their performance. With input costs up across the board for farmers, it might be smart to drive your farm forward with quality used tires this year.