Know Your Tractor Tires Before You Buy

Farmers are as foundational to the U.S. economy as truck drivers. In light of that, we are extremely proud to be able to offer a range of farming supplies for agricultural operations. This includes hay tarps, fencing materials, and tires for both wagons and tractors. This blog post will focus squarely on wagon and tractor tires.

If there is one piece of advice we would give to a farmer looking for tires, then it would be to make sure he or she knows the purpose behind each tire design before making a purchase. There are lots of different tire designs out there, three of which we carry at Mytee Products.

 

The four major categories of tractor and wagon tires are:

• Turf
• Industrial
• Field
• Ribbed

Turf Tires

Turf tires look a lot like standard truck and car tires. They may have a straight, zig-zag, or crisscross tread built on a wide tire surface. These are the tires you want to use if your tractor will be doing most of its work on grassy areas. The wide tire surface and multi-tread pattern provide adequate traction while minimizing damage to turf. Needless to say, these tires are not suitable in muddy conditions or out in the field.

Industrial Tires

Industrial tires occupy the middle ground between turf tires and the heavy-duty tires you would use in the field. Traction is provided by a tread design featuring a series of bars the start at the sidewall, descend diagonally for short distance, and then run horizontally across two-thirds of the tire surface. These tires are ideal for heavy-duty operations when you still want to minimize damage to underlying soil.

Field Tires

Field tires are the granddaddy of them all. These are the biggest, baddest, most heavy-duty tires you will find on the average American farm. They feature a very distinctive and aggressive tread pattern that consists of a series of bars that run diagonally from the sidewall to the center of the tire surface. The bars are offset from one another to provide continual traction.

These are the tires the farmer uses in the field. They work well whether the soil is soft and muddy or hard and frozen. It is not wise to use field tires on grassy areas though, as damage to the underlying turf can be significant.

Ribbed Tires

Finally, ribbed tires are those tires you generally use on the front axle of a 2WD tractor – with either one or two wheels. Ribbed tires are unusual in that they do not have a tread. Rather, they have either 1, 3, or 4 ribs that run parallel with the sidewall. Mytee Products only carries a 3-ribbed tire as it is the most commonly used.

These are the tires you want on the front of your tractor while out in the field. They provide excellent control in muddy and cultivated soil by digging into the soil and holding firm.

Note that ribbed tires are inappropriate for 4WD tractors in that they do not offer any amount of pulling traction. Owners of 4WD tractors will use either industrial or field tires on the front instead.

Get Your Tractor and Wagon Tires Here

Mytee Products is happy to be able to supply farmers with the tires they need for their tractors and wagons. Feel free to browse the entire inventory here on our website, or visit our Aurora warehouse and see them in person. We are confident you will be more than pleased with the quality and price. Our tires come from trusted manufacturers who have been serving the agricultural sector for years.


Bulkheads: A Better Choice than Penalty Straps

Every professional truck driver knows that he or she is responsible for making sure cargo is properly secured at every step of transport. Both federal and state laws require it. As such, drivers use everything from chains to ratchet straps to blocks to keep cargo in place. Even bulkheads are an important part of cargo control.

The bulkhead is something federal regulations refer to as a front-end structure. Where a headache rack is usually affixed to the rear of a truck’s cab, the bulkhead is affixed to the front end of a flatbed trailer to prevent forward movement of cargo. In the absence of a bulkhead, some other means of preventing forward movement is required on flatbed trailers.

CFR Part 300 Regulations

Federal regulations cover all cargo control for trucks that cross state lines. The particular portion of the federal regulations we are interested in for the purposes of this post is CFR Part 300. It contains regulations dealing with cargo control.

The regulations state in Part 393, section 10 that “when an article is not blocked or positioned to prevent movement in the forward direction by a headerboard, bulkhead, other cargo that is positioned to prevent movement, or other appropriate blocking devices, it must be secured by at least [one or two tiedowns]” depending on the cargo and its configuration.”

The regulations go on to stipulate the number of tie-downs (a.k.a., penalty straps) that must be used per foot and per pound. They are very explicit in this regard. Not using the right number of tiedowns can lead to a truck being taken out of service following a roadside inspection by a police officer or DOT official.

Bulkheads Eliminate Tiedowns

After reading what the federal regulations say, it should be fairly obvious where we are going with this. We believe bulkheads are the better choice because they eliminate the need for penalty straps. Keep this in mind: flatbed truck drivers are normally not paid for the time they spend securing cargo. If it takes an extra 15 minutes to apply a couple of tiedowns in the absence of a bulkhead, that is 15 minutes the wheels are not turning.

A bulkhead is always there. It is affixed to the front end of the trailer prior to load pickup; some drivers leave their bulkheads permanently attached. In either case, no extra time is spent on tiedowns when a bulkhead is involved. This reduces load times and gets the truck driver on the road more quickly.

For our money, bulkheads are also more secure. The reality is that penalty straps can fail in the event of an especially violent accident. Bulkheads can too, but they are less likely to fail than tiedowns. We think bulkheads are a better option just from a safety standpoint alone.

We’ve Got You Covered

One of our goals at Mytee Products is to make sure truck drivers have the necessary equipment to stay safe. Yes, we carry a full line of truck tarps and cargo control supplies to meet the needs of any driver. But we also carry safety equipment like headache racks and bulkheads. We have you covered regardless of your need.

We invite you to take a look at our 102-inch aluminum alloy bulkhead that is both DOT-rated and manufactured to the highest industry standards. The bulkhead is 4 feet high with a 10-foot return. If our standard bulkhead is not suitable for your trailer, please contact us and ask about custom sizes. One of our experienced representatives will help you find exactly what you need.

Sources:

e-CFR — https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=1&ty=HTML&h=L&mc=true&=PART&n=pt49.5.393#_top


Applying Hay Tarps in Colder Weather

If old man winter were an actual person, he might be nice enough to warn you of what he has planned over the next several months. He might ask farmers if they have enough hay tarps to protect what they plan to store. In truth, old man winter cannot ask questions, but we can. So, how are you looking for hay tarps?

The thing about hay tarps is that getting them in place as early as possible works to your advantage. It is a lot easier to properly deploy a tarp in warmer, drier weather than it is in the middle of that first winter storm. Therefore, it also works to your advantage to recognize the signs of the weather to come early enough to get those tarps in place.

Life in the Old Days

Long before there was an internet, cellphones, and all the other comforts of modern life, farmers looked for natural signs that winter was coming. They paid attention to the thickness of the coats of their livestock, knowing that those coats would fluff out as winter weather approached. They paid attention to migrating birds and foraging animals like squirrels who were busy stockpiling their winter food.

At the earliest signs of the approaching winter, farmers knew they had to get their hay in from the field. Out came the wagons and horses for a multi-day marathon of bailing, transporting, and stacking. Then all that hay had to be covered with some sort of protection.

Today, life is a lot easier. We have tractors to bring hay in from the field. We have advanced weather equipment that more accurately predicts when winter weather is coming. And, of course, there is the internet. Farmers can order their hay tarps online and have them delivered right to their doors. The convenience of modern life makes it a lot easier to protect a crop from moisture, mold, and pests.

Cover That Hay Now

The calendar has turned to November and the holiday season is fast approaching. That means the time for planning has long since passed. Now is the time to put those plans in motion and the time to get that hay covered.

Remember that the biggest enemies of hay at this time of year are pests and precipitation. Hay tarps alone may not be enough to keep the pests out, so you will have to look at other solutions for that. But well-deployed tarps held down with strong ropes and anchor points should be enough to keep the precipitation away from your crop.

There are lots of different methods for stacking hay prior to being covered. One of the more common methods is the A-frame. An A-frame stack is usually 3 to 4 bales high with a single row at the top to create a peak. You then throw your hay tarps over the stack and secure them to anchor points that you have driven into the ground. The resulting frame helps snow and rain run off rather than pooling.

Regardless of your stacking method, make sure your hay tarps extend over the edge of the stack far enough to allow moisture to fall away from the hay. If you run your tarps right down the side of the stack, you are inviting precipitation to pool at the base, which is to defeat the purpose of tarping.

Old man winter is knocking. If you are a farmer, he’s asking whether your hay tarps are ready. If you are not ready for winter, don’t delay. Order your hay tarps from Mytee Products today.


A Reminder about Those Ratchet Straps

The holiday season that time of year when truck drivers are under more pressure than they deal with the rest of the year. As such, there might be instances when attention to cargo control equipment is not as it should be. We strongly encourage our customers to prevent such instances from taking place in their cargo control routine. Being diligent about cargo control this time of year as you are any other time always pays off.

A recent accident in Minnesota underscores what we are referring to in this blog post. In early November, a woman driving on I-494 in Maple Grove found her car struck by a piece of metal that broke loose from a nearby truck. The piece of metal bounced off the pavement and went through the windshield of her vehicle.

Fortunately, the woman walked away with just a few minor cuts. Things could have been worse. As for the truck from which the metal piece dislodged, it has not been located. That did not stop the Minnesota State Patrol from using social media to post a reminder to drivers to make sure any non-contained cargo is properly secured during transport. The post specifically mentioned using toe or ratchet straps. Whether intended or not, the post speaks directly to truck drivers.

No Room for Error

Without locating the truck involved in this accident, there is no way to know what went wrong. What we do know is that there is no room for error when tying down cargo. Any non-contained cargo can pose a danger to other drivers if not properly secured. This is why every state includes specific legislation in its motor vehicle code requiring drivers to secure their cargo and fully control it throughout transport.

Where ratchet straps are concerned, the two biggest issues are related to working load limits and operational conditions. Both are things that should never be neglected by truck drivers.

Beginning with working load limits (WLLs), every ratchet strap should have its WLL printed on it. This number tells the truck driver how many tie-downs are needed based on the total weight of the load. Having said that, there are some important things to understand:

• If the WLL of a ratchet strap is either missing or illegible, the law requires assuming the lowest possible rating. If a driver assumes a higher rating which is then observed during a roadside inspection, the driver could be cited for a violation.
• Even if WLLs are clearly displayed on ratchet straps, drivers can still be cited if they don’t use enough tie-downs to accommodate the total weight of their loads.

The other area of concern is operational condition. In other words, a driver should never use ratchet straps that are frayed or demonstrate excessive wear and tear. Inspectors can downgrade a strap to zero if they observe any such issues that they believe compromise the integrity of the strap.

In short, truck drivers are required to use ratchet straps that are in good operational condition and appropriate to the load being transported. Drivers have to pay attention to working load limits, the operational condition of their ratchet straps, and the methods used to tie down cargo.

Make the Holidays Safe

The holiday season is supposed to be one of good cheer and happy times. Do your part to make the 2017 season safe by not slacking off on cargo control. Everyone else on the road is depending on you to make sure your straps and chains are in good condition and that you use appropriate methods to keep your cargo under control.


Gifts to Fill the Trucker’s Tool Boxes

The average 18-wheeler is equipped with multiple aluminum tool boxes packed full of equipment and supplies. This time of year, truck drivers appreciate receiving the kinds of gifts that can fill their tool boxes for the coming year. Below are some suggestions of items you can purchase here at Mytee Products.

Bear in mind that each of the items on our list is something a flatbed trucker needs on a regular basis. Unfortunately, truckers can get so busy at times that they forget to restock their supplies. If you have a trucker in your life that you are planning to buy for this holiday season, why not get some of the items he or she needs to keep his/her tool boxes fully stocked?

Sliding Winches

Sliding winches run across rails fixed below the bed of a flatbed trailer. Truckers use them to attach the winch straps they use to tie down cargo. Sliding winches do not break all that often, which is why a lot of truckers fail to keep a couple of spares on hand. You can save your favorite trucker hours of frustration by gifting a few sliding winches.

Chain Binders

Chain binders are another specialty item truckers don’t have to replace all that frequently. Having said that, there is a varierty of chain binders for different purposes. The trucker in your life might appreciate you asking if there is a specific binder he or she needs. You could then make the purchase and surprise your loved one on Christmas morning.

Tarp Repair Kits

A trucker’s aluminum tool boxes are likely to include a selection of truck tarps for all sorts of loads. What might be missing is a tarp repair kit. This may not seem like a big deal, but having a tarp repair kit on board could mean the difference between getting a load right away and having to wait until repairs can be made. Truck tarps are an important part of the trucker’s livelihood, so a good repair kit can be invaluable.

Corner and Edge Protectors

It might be hard to imagine that something so seemingly insignificant as a plastic corner protector is like gold to a truck driver. But it is. Truckers use corner and edge protectors of all shapes and sizes to keep cargo safe during transport. Furthermore, the truck driver can never have enough of these handy little devices lying around. Consider stocking your favorite trucker’s tool boxes with a good selection of corner and edge protectors.

Reflective Tape

Reflective tape is another seemingly insignificant item that people just don’t think about. Even truckers do not give reflective tape much thought until they actually need it. You can help your favorite trucker avoid unnecessary down time by throwing a roll or two of reflective tape in his/her stocking this Christmas.

Air Brake Hose

A failing air hose can mean big problems for truckers. That’s why it’s common for them to carry extra hose on board. At the first sign of a potential air brake failure, it doesn’t take much to swap a hose. Thus, gifting air brake hoses to your favorite trucker this holiday season means one less thing he or she needs to worry about on the road.

Bungee straps

If all else fails, the tried and true bungee strap is a fail safe gift for your favorite trucker. Truckers can never have too many bungee straps in their tool boxes. Bungee straps are used every day for a long list of purposes, but they wear out and break all the time. We are positive the trucker in your life would appreciate a bag of bungee straps.