Given that tractors are hulking vehicles that weigh at least 19,000 pounds, you’d have to expect that a tractor’s four tires would have to be substantial as well. Now that you’re thinking about it, you’re curious. Exactly how heavy are tractor tires?
The average large tractor tire is 400 to 600 pounds each. When you take those numbers and add up all four tires, your tractor tires alone may weigh 800 to 2,400 pounds!
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about your tractor tires. We’ll discuss tractor tire sizes and weights in more detail as well as how to determine the weight of your own tires. We’ll even share some tips for prolonging tractor tire life. Keep reading!
How Much Does the Average Tractor Tire Weigh?
Believe it or not, tractor enthusiasts aren’t the only ones who are passionate about tractor tires and their weights. Athletes and weightlifters seek these tires because they’re hefty and pushing the tire around is a great form of exercise.
Your tractor tires can be one of four sizes. Depending on how large they are, they’re either more lightweight or heavyweight. Here’s a closer look at tractor weights based on size.
Small Size Tractor Tires
The smallest tractor tires are 17.5 by 25 feet. At max, these weigh 300 pounds. That’s by no means light, as the average car tire is 25 pounds. Even if you look at a heavy-duty vehicle that’s more comparable to a tractor, such as a pickup truck, those tires weigh around 200 pounds each. Your tractor tire will still outweigh a pickup tire by 100 pounds or so!
Medium or Mid-Sized Tractor Tires
Next is a tractor tire that’s 20.5 by 25 feet. This mid-sized tire isn’t that much bigger than a small, so you don’t get a lot of extra weight, either. Medium-sized tractor tires may weigh 400 pounds or slightly more.
Large Tractor Tires
Now we’re getting into some truly sizable tires. Tractor tires that are 23.5 by 25 feet are large. Per the information in the intro, they could weigh 400 to 800 pounds each. Some large tractor tires are a little lighter at 550 to 650 pounds. The weight of a tractor tire at this size is dictated by its wear patterns and how much metal is included within.
Extra Large Tractor Tires
Yes, you can go a step up to an extra large tire that’s 26.5 by 25 feet. These are also by far the heaviest, with each tire weighing 1,000 pounds on average. That would mean your tires contribute 4,000 pounds to the load of your tractor. That’s extraordinary!
How Do You Determine How Much Your Tractor Tires Weigh?
You’d love to know more about your own tire tractors and how much they weigh, but how do you even start? It’s not like you can just detach your tires from your tractor, put the tire on a household scale, and see what the reading is. The average tractor tire is far too heavy for that.
Fortunately, you don’t have to do any heavy lifting. Instead, find the sidewall of your tire. There, you should see a five-digit number. The first two digits are separated by a period. A dash should be between the third and fourth numbers.
Here’s an example of what that five-digit number looks like: 16.9-30.
These digits are not there arbitrarily, by the way. The 16.9 in this example, or the first numbers, refer to the width of your tractor tire from one sidewall to the other. This is represented in inches. The 30 is the diameter of your tire’s rim, also in inches.
It would be nice if that’s all there was to it, but it’s not. Your tires can be metric, radial, or standard sizes. Here’s an explanation of all three types.
Metric Tractor Tires
A metric tire may also be referred to as a European tire based on its measurement system. You can tell your tractor tire is measured in metric size because it will have an R in there somewhere and a slash or two. An example is 280/85R20 or 420/85R24.
How do you make sense of these numbers and letters? Look at the first number and start there, as that’s the tractor tire’s width when it’s appropriately inflated and mounted. If that number seems small, that’s because instead of inches, it’s represented in millimeters.
The next number on metric tractor tires is the aspect ratio. The ratio includes the tire width in a percentage to its height when appropriately inflated and mounted. Again, this number is in millimeters, so it will be smaller.
What about the R? That means the tire has radial construction, common in metric tractor tires. The number after the R is the wheel diameter for mounting.
Radial Tractor Tires
Speaking of the R for radial construction, you’ll definitely see that on the sidewall of radial tractor tires. Radial construction, by the way, means the tires have 90-degree cord piles that move the same direction your tires travel. Most tires are radial, but not all.
A radial tractor tire will have two numbers separated by a period, then one number, the letter R, and two numbers following that. For example, 11.2R20 or 18.4R26.
Standard Tractor Tires
The first example of tractor tire sizes we discussed earlier in this section is standard. Besides the way the sizing was represented in that example, you may see an alternate expression that looks like 11.2X20 or 16.9X28. The numbers don’t mean anything different; they’re just printed in another way on the sidewall.
It’s possible to convert from one type of tractor size to another. You can also look at this handy conversion chart courtesy of Ken Jones Tires. If you see a blank spot, that means there’s no applicable conversion for that tire size.
Tips for Caring for Tractor Tires
It wasn’t easy to figure out the size of your tractor tires, especially if you had to convert from metric to standard or radial, but you did it. You’d like to hold onto the tractor tires you do have for the next several years if possible so you don’t have to do any tricky conversions again for a while.
By following these handy maintenance and care tips for tractor tires, you can keep your tires in tip-top shape.
Clean Your Tractor Tires
Your day-to-day operations accumulate dirt on and underneath your tractor, especially the tires. When you retire your farming duties for the afternoon, treat your tires to a bath if they’re especially filthy.
Use water, soap, and a quality tire brush. Get in the grooves of your tires and clean all the way to the bottom. Then, let the tires take their time air drying. Clean tires drive better, which could help you enjoy them longer.
Avoid Driving on Pavement Often
Your farm tractor can handle a bit of pavement driving, but not much. Remember that tractor tires are not car or truck tires. They’re better for traversing softer terrain like dirt, grass, or hay. Limit your pavement driving as much as you can.
Another reason that should incentivize you to keep the tractor on the farm? In some states, such as Pennsylvania, you can’t drive your tractor on the street without titling the vehicle first.
Don’t Wait to Get Replacement Tires
The longer you go without replacing those old, worn-down tires, the more risk you’re at each time you drive your tractor. At any point, if you hit a pointy stone or some other debris, your tire can pop. Given the size and height of the tire, you’d surely feel it if you’re driving your tractor when this happens.
You’ll know your tires are on their last days if you feel like the wheels slip a lot more often than usual. If the conditions outside aren’t particularly wet, then your tires shouldn’t slip like this.
You might also notice that your tires can’t maintain air pressure anymore, even if you just filled them up yesterday.
It’s also possible for your tires to develop dry rot. Dry air and sun exposure sucks up the tire’s elasticity and causes the material to crack. Besides that, you may also notice tire fading, paleness, and brittleness. All are signs your tires shouldn’t be driven on again.
Buy Quality Tires
You may spend as much as several hundred dollars per tractor tire, but going the cheap route will come back to bite you. Sure, you get a good deal now, but when your tires pop or otherwise fall apart on you a month after your purchase, you’ll be upset.
It’s much better to pay more money upfront for better-quality tires that could last you several years.
Tractor tires are no less than 200 pounds, and the biggest ones may weigh around 1,000 pounds. You can calculate the size and weight of your tractor tires by looking at the sidewall. There, you’ll see a standard, radial, or metric series of numbers that should clue you into the tire’s width and diameter.
Best of luck sizing and weighing your tractor tires!