Now is the time to address sprayer tire issues that could impact your farm’s productivity this spring and beyond. You obviously want to replace tires with worn tread, weather rot, and excessive stubble damage. But there are also several reasons why it might be smart to upgrade your sprayer rubber to flotation tires now, before spring is upon us.

Explore tire options to lighten your footprint - Contact NTS Tire Supply

Avoid Deep Soil Compaction

Deep soil compaction is the #1 problem to prevent when driving across your fields with equipment. Any machine on your farm can drive deep soil compaction by transferring too much weight to the ground over too small of an area. Eventually, compaction can thin your stands and slash your yields both this year and into the future. It can be hard or impossible to overcome the damage, even using the best tillage practices. 

Protect Your Bottom Line

Upgrade your sprayer with IF or VF flotation tires and you can avoid the costly mistake of applying deep-soil compaction along with your chemicals. Consider this example: A 380/90R46 Firestone 9000 Radial tire has a footprint of 260 square inches. A 650/65R38 (the most common flotation tire size) Firestone 9000 Radial provides a 390-square-inch footprint. That’s an extra 130 square inches of ground contact per tire to spread the machine’s weight more evenly over the ground. 

Float Through Wet Spots

When spring turns wet, flotation tires can mean the difference between spraying on time or having to wait to finish your fields later. If timely application is important to your operation, the best tires can help keep your plans on track.

Improve Machine Handling

Flotation tires will improve your sprayer’s handling and make it easier to drive straight for precision application in the field. And, our top tire picks will give you a more comfortable ride in the field and down the road.

Slash Fuel Expenses

Old-tech tires don’t trim your fuel budget. As your tires sink farther into the soil, you’re burning tons of fuel just to climb out of your own ruts all day. For the health of your wallet—and your sprayer’s drivetrain—it’s best to float over the ground instead of powering through it.

The Top Floater Tires for Your Sprayer

NTS Tire Supply stocks both new and used flotation tires and wheels for all major sprayer brands and models. Below are a few of our favorite sprayer tires based on customer and market feedback. We’ve included two overall top picks as well as our top picks for smaller (under 1,000 gallons) and larger (over 1,000 gallons) sprayers. Because of the demands that high-speed road travel and high weights put on sprayer tires, we recommend a load index of 160 or greater and a minimum B speed rating.

We’re Here to Help!

Not sure what you need? You can use our sprayer flotation tire configurator here or talk to an NTS Tire Supply tire expert. As with many supply chains across the world in the past few years, tire availability can be hit or miss. If we can’t source your first choice, we can work to find an alternative solution that fits your needs. And who knows, you might find a new favorite tire for your machine!

Overall Best Tire for Reducing Compaction

Alliance 365 VF Agristar Tire

Alliance 365 VF Agristar

With high ratings for both soil protection and roadability, the Agristar is our first choice for a 650/65R38 flotation tire option. This VF has an enormous weight capacity and can carry the load at a lower air pressure than a standard radial tire. 

Alliance 372 Agriflex+ Tire

Alliance 372 Agriflex+

If you’re looking to further minimize compaction with a slightly larger tire, look no further than the Alliance 372 Agriflex+. With a significantly larger footprint than a standard radial tire in the same size, you’ll experience less soil compaction and a more comfortable ride. An R-1W tread pattern delivers good grip in the field and a long wear life—even with miles of road travel between jobs.

Also Look At: Trelleborg TM1000 Progressive Traction & TM1000 High Power

The TM1000 line features Trelleborg’s “Blue Tire Technology,” which includes advanced rubber compounds and other premium design features to lower compaction and extend tire life. They are designed to provide a wide, stable footprint and low rolling resistance for lower compaction and better fuel economy. The Progressive Traction line includes Trelleborg’s most recent VF-rated tires, while the High Power line features IF-rated models. 

Best Value for Mid- to Large-Sized Sprayers (more than 1,000 gallons)

Goodyear Optitorque

This is one of our favorite recommendations, especially for customers looking for a floater set in the 650/65R38 size. These models' R-1 tread seems to tolerate road travel well—as opposed to some R-1W treads that wear much faster—and causes less soil disturbance once in the field.

Goodyear DT818 Optitrac Tire

Goodyear DT818 Optitrac

As its name suggests, the Optitrac aims to provide optimum traction and stability with its asymmetric lug shape, which is also curved for ride comfort on the road. Plus, you enjoy the security and familiarity of the Goodyear name and a price that puts this model solidly in the “good value for the money” category. It has sufficient load capacity for most sprayers.

Also Look At: Alliance Agristar II 470

The Agri Star II provides an excellent balance of performance and value for larger sprayers. With its “Stratified Layer” technology, the Agri Star is designed to offer secure road handling even after the tire is 40% worn. Each lug is made from two layers: a first layer with a multi-angle profile and a second layer with a single-angle profile. 

Alliance Super Power Drive 360 R-1+

The 360 features an overlapping center lug, which translates to a smooth ride down the road and in the field. The multi-angle lugs also have good self-cleaning properties, which comes in handy if the weather turns wet.

Best Value for Smaller Sprayers (less than 1,000 gallons)

Goodyear DT818 Optitrac Tire

Goodyear DT818 Optitrac

As its name suggests, the Optitrac aims to provide optimum traction and stability with its asymmetric lug shape, which is also curved for ride comfort on the road. Plus, you enjoy the security and familiarity of the Goodyear name and a price that puts this model solidly in the “good value for the money” category. It has sufficient load capacity for most sprayers. (See section above for available sizes.)

A Specialty Tire: Best for Long-Distance Roaders

Alliance 550 Multiuse Tire

Alliance 550 Multiuse

If you’re a co-op customer—or a farmer with long distances to travel between fields—the 550 Multiuse is a perfect (but pricey) choice for your sprayer. The tire’s center guide lugs provide excellent, secure handling on the road to help cut down on operator fatigue during those long days. In the field, the 550 Multiuse is easy on your soil and offers top-notch hillside stability. If you travel long road distances or have hilly fields, the 550 Multiuse may be the tire for your sprayer.

Your Other Sprayer Tire Options

In addition to our top picks, we’ve listed several other makes/models below that are available for the sprayer flotation tire market. What puts these tires in our “other” category? In some cases, we haven’t had the opportunity to evaluate or collect customer feedback on them. In other cases, the particular model may have very limited availability or be more expensive than our top picks.

MRL Farm XTreme 65

A solid bargain-priced tire.

BKT Agrimax V-Flecto

A VF radial tire to operate at 40% lower air pressure. We have had availability issues with this tire in the past. 

BKT Agrimax RT 765

Typically more expensive than other comparable options.

Cultor RD-03

Generally more expensive than other comparable tires.

Michelin AxioBib 2

These tires pack Michelin’s latest Ultraflex VF tire technology.

Michelin AxioBib

A more expensive option than our top picks. In the past, we have seen some sidewall bulging issues with this tire.

Michelin MachXBib

Great tire, but it is generally more expensive than our top picks.

Mitas AC65

This tire is generally more expensive than comparable options.

Trelleborg TM800 High Speed

Great tire, but generally more expensive than other comparable tires.

CTIS is Your Best Strategy to Conquer Sprayer Compaction

If you want to give your soil—and your bottom line—the best protection against compaction, you should consider another option: equip your sprayer with a PTG central tire inflation system. Even with a set of floaters, you're still facing one big problem: Sprayer tires live in two worlds: the road and the field. For the road, you need high air pressure to handle the heat from long distances at high speeds. In the field, though, high tire pressures will cause a frightening amount of compaction and poor handling. But without a CTIS, you’re left with no good choice except to run your tires at high, road-friendly pressures everywhere, even if this damages your soil.

If you try to compromise and choose a pressure somewhere between the correct road and field pressures, you’ll still cause compaction in the field. Plus, you’ll wear your tires faster, burn more fuel, and have to contend with poor handling while running down the road.

Learn More: Why a central tire inflation system is the ultimate strategy to optimize your sprayer's performance.

Only with a PTG central tire inflation system are you able to control your sprayer’s tire pressures at the touch of a button from the driver’s seat. This gives you complete control over your tire pressures: Set them high to safely handle miles of high-speed road travel, and then drop them to the ideal pressures for field work. Remember: at the optimum field pressures, your tires cause less yield-robbing soil compaction and you boost your fuel economy at the same time because your sprayer isn't sinking into the soil!

Fight Compaction in 2024 & Beyond

As you’re considering upgrades to your equipment before spring arrives, be sure to evaluate your sprayer’s tires. Are you running narrow tires when you could be running floaters? Would investing in a central tire inflation system and VF tires return precious ROI to your operation? It may be time to upgrade—especially if you want to steer clear of deep-soil compaction with your sprayer passes this year. Talk with an expert at NTS Tire Supply  to find the best sprayer flotation tires or inquire about CTIS for your farm and Drive Your Farm Forward.

January 31, 2023
Product Review


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