Truck- and trailer-mounted spreaders are essential for producers who need to move large quantities of manure, silage, poultry litter, compost—you name it—quickly and efficiently. Among the critical decisions you face with maintaining these machines are the tires on which they ride. Below are the 16 best high-speed flotation spreader truck and trailer tires for delivering solid in-field performance and high-speed road travel.

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Are high-speed flotation tires for a spreader truck or trailer a wise investment?

Traditional truck tires, even when recapped with more aggressive field-friendly tread, are an easy choice for producers who need to travel at highway speed between their farms and fields that may be many miles apart. However, high-pressure truck tires can cause significant compaction and traction problems in the field. 

On the other end of the spectrum, traditional implement tires will provide superior performance in the field, but make fast highway travel dangerous. Being sidelined on the shoulder with a blowout beneath a fully loaded truck is no way to move manure efficiently. 

Today’s high-speed flotation tires offer the best of both worlds: the ability to travel between farm and fields at speeds up to 62 miles per hour PLUS the traction and compaction-fighting capabilities of an implement flotation tire to make field operations as smooth as possible. 

Since the high-speed flotation tire category covers a wide range of applications and equipment, the best tire for the job is unique to each situation. This article provides some of the most popular options to outfit your truck-mounted spreader or trailer and share some of the unique design characteristics of these tires.

Always Read Tire Ratings Carefully!

Ever since wheels have been round, people have been tempted to overload them. The temptation is no different for flotation tires for spreader trucks and trailers. It can’t hurt to heap those extra five bucketfuls of manure into the spreader, can it? Well, because the demands placed on high-speed flotation tires are fairly high—combining high-speed road travel with premium field performance—you have to be careful not to overload them. Radials are generally the best for heavy load applications, but even with radials, it’s best to stick to the load/speed ratings for any given tire. Ignore them and you risk a time-consuming and expensive blowout!

Follow these tire speed rating guidelines for safe road travel with spreader truck flotation tires:

  • A8 - 25 mph
  • B - 31 mph
  • C - 37 mph
  • D - 40 mph
  • E - 43 mph
  • F - 50 mph
  • G - 56 mph
  • J - 62 mph

Common Flotation Tire Sizes

While flotation tires come in many different sizes, these are a couple of the most common: 

550/45R22.5 and 560/45R22.5

These two sizes often work best for truck changeovers because it is approximately the same diameter (42”) as low-profile 295/75R22.5 and 11R22.5 truck tires. 

600/50R22.5

This size offers more radial tire options and provides better flotation than the 550/45R22.5 size, but you need around 46 inches of clearance to mount these on a truck, so for many, they may not be an option.

What are the Best Flotation Tire Options?

We’ve compiled a list of our favorite (and not-so-favorite) flotation tire options below. For the most extensive range of options, look no further than Alliance. At NTS Tire Supply, we have over 9 years of positive experience with Alliance tires. And, as you can see, they have a number of options to consider.

Alliance 328 / 328 HS

With a self-cleaning tread design and high load capacity at low inflation pressures, the 328 bias ply tire will carry heavy loads through harsh conditions. This durable tire is constructed with steel belted fabrics and heavy duty variants. The 328 performs best in free-rolling applications, but can be used as drive wheels when light field traction is needed. It offers increased stability over dual-tire setups while also offering low rolling resistance both on and off the road. 

Alliance 328 flotation tire

Alliance 328

  • Bias ply tire
  • A8 or B speed rating (up to 31 mph)
  • Available in 550/45-22.5 and 600/50-22.5 + 23 other sizes
  • 7 year warranty

Alliance 328 HS high-speed flotation tire

Alliance 328 HS

The Alliance 328 is also available in a high-speed version—the Alliance 328 HS—which handles speeds up to 43 miles per hour.

  • Bias ply tire
  • B or E speed rating (up to 43 mph)
  • Available in 550/45-22.5 and 600/50-22.5 + 10 other sizes
  • 7 year warranty


Alliance 331 / 331 Radial

Found on vehicles ranging from dump trucks to sprayers, the Alliance 331 heavy duty flotation tire favors field traction over roadability with its traditional traction tread profile. It features excellent self-cleaning and a strong nylon construction to ensure long life under demanding conditions. Additional steel belts and special rubber compounds come standard on certain sizes and load capacities. The 331 bias ply has been around for many years and is available in a wide variety of sizes. However, the radial version of this tire—the Alliance 331 Radial—only comes in a few sizes.

Alliance 331 traction flotation tire

Alliance 331

  • Bias ply tire
  • A8 or B speed rating (up to 31 mph)
  • Available in 550/45-22.5 and 600/50R22.5 + 24 other sizes
  • 7 year warranty

Alliance 331 Radial

The Alliance 331 Radial features the same tread pattern as its bias counterpart while delivering the benefits of a radial tire. However, it is only available in 2 sizes.

  • A8 or B speed rating (up to 31 mph)
  • Available in 600/45R22.5 and 710/50R30.5
  • 7 year warranty


Alliance 885

A new-generation offering from Alliance, the 885 is engineered for light-duty applications such as fast-moving agricultural trailers and wagons. The large lugs in the center of the tire allow for excellent road performance, while rounded shoulders minimize the damage to plants and soil in the field. Boasting a strong nylon/polyester casing and tread compound, the 885 delivers long tread life with low rolling resistance, which can help tame your fuel bills. A strong bead bundle and reinforced sidewalls give the 885 good load-carrying capacity while protecting the tire from stubble and other field damage.

Alliance 885 flotation tire

Alliance 885

  • D speed rating (up to 40 mph)
  • Available in 550/45R22.5 and 600/50R22.5 + 12 other sizes
  • 10 year warranty


Alliance 380 / 380 HD / 380 HS

The Alliance 380 tire delivers total soil protection in the field with high-speed capabilities, thanks to steel-belted radial construction utilizing a special rubber compound. A deep, non-directional lug pattern promotes solid traction as well as good mobility in the field. The 380 is also designed to provide smooth travel down the road—just what you need when fields are many miles apart. Within the 380 series are heavy duty (HD) and high speed (HS) versions for especially tough applications.

Alliance 380 flotation tire

Alliance 380

  • D or E speed rating (up to 43 mph, depending on size). 
  • Available in 550/45R22.5 (E speed rating) and 600/50R22.5 (D speed rating) + 15 other sizes.
  • 10 year warranty.

Alliance 380 HD heavy duty flotation tire

Alliance 380 HD

  • D speed rating (up to 40 mph).
  • Available in size 560/45R22.5 and 600/50R22.5 + 9 other sizes
  • 10 year warranty.

Alliance 380 HS high-speed flotation tire

Alliance 380 HS

  • J speed rating (up to 62 mph).
  • Only available in size 600/50R22.5.
  • 7 year warranty.

A quick note about the 380 HS: to safely drive at the higher maximum travel speed, you have to increase the tires’ inflation to 94 PSI (up from the standard 58). Here you’re gaining significant efficiency for road travel, but you will increase the amount of compaction in the field. 


Alliance 398 MPT

This innovative tire grabbed an Agritechnica Silver Innovation Award in 2019 as the world’s first agricultural tire to run at a speed of 62 mph on the road while maintaining incredible load carrying capabilities—over 11,000 lbs. per tire! The Alliance 398 MPT is designed to transition seamlessly from high-speed road travel to top performance in the field, even under heavy loads and grueling conditions. 

To achieve these results, the 398 MPT utilizes all-steel construction and an advanced tread pattern that achieves both maximum grip in the field (with minimal compaction) and smooth, reliable handling on the road at highway speeds.

The 398 MPT is currently available in only a few sizes, 600/50R22.5 being one.

As with the 380 HS, you must inflate the 398 MPT to 94 PSI in order to safely travel at its maximum speed of 62 mph (J speed rating). This could also cause more compaction while in the field. As with any tire, you must balance your desire for road speed with the degree of compaction resistance you need due to field conditions. 

Alliance 398 MPT high-speed flotation tire

Alliance 398 MPT

  • J speed rating (62 mph)
  • Available in 600/50R22.5 + 3 other sizes


Mitas Agriterra 02

Among the various makes and models of flotation tires we sell at NTS Tire Supply, we believe the Mitas Agriterra 02 radial brings together some of the best features in one tire. Its D speed rating (up to 40 mph) allows for moderately fast road travel, while its unique footprint cuts noise emissions and provides decent fuel economy. Rounded shoulders help protect the soil (especially on grasslands). Its self-cleaning properties and hexa-bead construction, which offers solid performance at low tire pressures, delivers confident traction and flotation in the field.

Mitas Agriterra 02 high-speed flotation tire

Mitas Agriterra 02

  • D speed rating (40 mph)
  • Available in 560/45R22.5 and 600/50R22.5 + 10 other sizes


Michelin CargoXBib / CargoXBib Heavy Duty / CargoXBib High Flotation / CargoXBib 2

Michelin promises shallower ruts and less rolling resistance when promoting its CargoXBib tire lineup. The CargoXBib features a non-directional tread pattern, while the CargoXBib 2 wears a directional tread pattern. The central tripod blocks on the CargoXBib 2, exclusive to Michelin, give the tire excellent grip on slopes. They also help the tire transfer more of the vehicle’s power to the ground when fitted on the drive axle. Like the CargoXBib 2, the CargoXBib Heavy Duty tire features central tripod blocks, but in a non-directional tread pattern. The CargoXBib High Flotation tire lineup has select sizes that are very increased flex (VF) rated which enables them to carry the same load as a standard radial tire at 40% less pressure or carry 40% more load at the same pressure as a standard radial.

You may also like: IF/VF Tractor Tires: What Sets Them Apart from Standard Radial Tires?

Michelin CargoXBib high-speed flotation tire

Michelin CargoXBib

  • D speed rating (up to 40 mph)
  • Available in 600/50R22.5 + 6 other sizes

Michelin CargoXBib Heavy Duty high-speed flotation tire

Michelin CargoXBib Heavy Duty

  • D speed rating (up to 40 mph)
  • Available in 560/45R22.5 + 2 other sizes

The Michelin CargoXBib Heavy Duty high-speed flotation tire features a central tripod block for improved stability on slopes
The Michelin CargoXBib Heavy Duty high-speed flotation tire features a central tripod block for improved stability on slopes. This same tripod block is also found on the Michelin CargoXBib High Flotation and CargoXBib 2.

Michelin CargoXBib High Flotation high-speed flotation tire

Michelin CargoXBib High Flotation

  • D speed rating (up to 40 mph)
  • Available 10 sizes
  • Select sizes are VF (very increased flexion) rated.

Michelin CargoXBib 2 high-speed flotation tire

Michelin CargoXBib 2

  • D speed rating (up to 40 mph)
  • Available in 600/50R22.5


Titan Super Flot

Titan’s Super Flot wears a “hockey stick” tread pattern as the Alliance 328 does. Designed for free-rolling or light traction applications, this radial tire has typically been found on liquid fertilizer tanks and hay applications. The downside to this tire is that it currently has very few sizes available—600/50R22.5 being one.

Titan Super Flot flotation tire

Titan Super Flot

  • B speed rating (up to 31 mph)
  • Available in 600/50R22.5 + 1 other size


Trelleborg Twin Radial

Trelleborg highlights its Twin Radial’s excellent self-cleaning capabilities, superior traction in the field, and lower road noise than its competitors. With a D speed rating, the Twin Radial can travel at speeds up to 40 mph. It has very similar specs to the Alliance 380, except with a directional lug pattern.

Trellleborg Twin Radial high-speed flotation tire

Trelleborg Twin Radial

  • D speed rating (up to 40 mph)
  • Available in 560/45R22.5 and 600/50R22.5 + 7 other sizes


BKT

We’ll cut to the chase: we’ve had some poor experiences with the tires. We’ve seen casings blow out and wire come out of the tires’ beads—not the performance you want to see when you need to move heavy loads at high speeds from farm to fields. If we start to see better results from these tires in the future, we’ll let you know.

How do these high-speed flotation tires stack up against each other?

Choosing the best tire to meet your needs depends on a number of factors. Two of the most important factors are the tire's maximum travel speed and load carrying capacity. Below are two charts to help you see how the tires discussed in this article stack up against each other.

Note: Some tires with higher speed ratings appear to have a lower load index than tires with lower speed ratings. However, as you decrease the travel speed of these high-speed tires, their load index increases to levels similar to those tires which have slower speed ratings. For exact tire specifications, refer to the tire manufacture's data or contact NTS Tire Supply.

Load index and speed rating comparison of 550/45R22.5 and 560/45R22.5 high-speed flotation tires
Load index and speed rating comparison of 600/50R22.5 high-speed flotation tires


Here’s the Most Important Step You Can Take to Maximize the Performance of These High-Performance Tires: 

In the tire business, you have to choose the right tire—and the correct tire pressure—for the job at hand. Set the pressure too low and you risk a blowout during road travel and premature wear. Set it too high and your fields will suffer from deeper ruts and greater compaction because a tire loses its flotation ability as pressure increases. 

In order to get the most benefit out of these high-tech tires, you may want to invest in a central tire inflation system (CTIS). With a CTIS you can easily increase inflation pressure for road travel and decrease pressure for field work. According to Precision Inflation, a supplier of central tire inflation systems, such a system may:

  • Increase yields up to 6% by decreasing compaction
  • Boost fuel efficiency up to 10%
  • Churn out 20% more traction
  • Extend tire life up to 20%.

Because high-speed flotation tires are designed to operate both at highway speeds and in tough field conditions, they are ideal candidates for a CTIS. 

If you have questions about any of the tires we’ve reviewed here, or would like NTS Tire Supply to recommend one or more tires that may be suitable for your unique needs, feel free to drop us a line or give us a call.

Are there any tires you would like to see included in this article that we haven’t reviewed? Let us know by leaving a comment below. 

Posted 
January 1, 2020
 in 
Product Review
 category.

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