When You Should Use Bias Tires for Farm & RanchEric Johnson
In This Article:
When Are Bias Ply Tires Superior to Radial Ply Tires for Farm and Ranch?
First, What’s the Difference Between Bias Ply and Radial Ply?
Concerned about Puncture Resistance? Go with Bias Ply Tires
Bias Ply Tires Have a Load-Carrying Capacity Advantage
Don’t Dismiss the Lower Price Point of Bias Ply Tires
Farm and Ranch Situations Where Bias Ply Agriculture Tires Excel
There Is No “Winner” in the Bias vs. Radial Debate
When You Need Agriculture Tires, Count on Treadworld
You probably know that radial ply tires are often touted as superior when it comes to the vehicles you drive on the highway. For good reason because they tend to provide a smoother ride, better traction, and they also tend to run cooler than bias ply tires. But that’s passenger vehicles. It’s not that cut and dried when it comes to the investment you make in tires for equipment you use on farm and ranch. (Well, it kind of is, from an investment standpoint, because radial tires are definitely more expensive than bias tires.) But really, the point is, no matter what your tires cost, you want to choose the tires that will give you the best performance for the situation. For the multiple tasks you need done around the farm, you want the tires that will give you the best bang for your buck. And in many situations, that means you want bias ply tires rather than radial ply. How could that be? The tire experts at Treadworld are here to provide you with a few tips on when bias tires will be your best bet.
Agriculture tires are constructed in one of two ways…bias ply or radial ply. The difference lies in the belt construction. With bias ply tires, the cords of polyester, nylon or steel plies extend diagonally from bead to bead. They cross the tire at a 30-45 degree angle to the direction of travel, with successive plies laid in a crisscross pattern. With radial tires, the cord plies are arranged at 90 degree angles to the direction of travel, and the under-tread area is wrapped around the circumference of the tire by steel or fabric radial belts.
What that all means is that, while both constructions retain the same functionality, how they roll is different. Radial ply tires typically are more flexible, and the tread and sidewalls function as two independent features of the tire because sidewall flex is not transferred to the tread; bias ply tires tend to have less flex and stiffer, stronger sidewalls, which work in tandem with the tread as a single unit.
Though radial tires are available with different numbers of plies, generally bias tires set the standards in puncture resistance thanks to the construction featuring multiple rubber layers overlapping each other that make the tires rugged and durable, with strong sidewalls. Radial tires, on the other hand, have sidewalls that are more vulnerable to being perforated by rocks, sticks and the like. What’s more, with radial tires, there’s a higher likelihood that the site of the puncture will expand as torque and load is applied, resulting in an enlarged tear that will rapidly make the tire unusable. A puncture with a bias ply tire will most likely stay small, so it can be temporarily repaired with plugs giving you enough time to make a proper repair.
Because they are constructed with crisscrossed plies and multiple layers of overlapping rubber, bias ply tires tyically have an advantage in load-carrying capacity, and are generally better for heavy equipment and hauling heavy loads. Radials are available with high load ratings, but the weight-carrying capacity requires adding many more plies to a radial tire, making them very stiff.
Bias ply tires are cheaper than radial ply tires, and since equipping your farm implements with tires can be a significant investment, saving some dough is a factor you want to consider. If you have equipment that you don’t use daily, lower price point bias tires make even more sense. You may want bias tires on equipment you use for mowing ditches, cutting and transporting hay, tilling and performing chores around livestock sites.
As mentioned, bias construction creates a rugged, durable tire with stiff, strong sidewalls, which gives them superior puncture-resistance, which is extremely helpful in challenging, rugged conditions and on rough terrain, allowing them to fight off damage from stumps, sticks, rocks and the like. Plus, not every piece of land is flat, and bias construction provides excellent no-sway stability, which makes bias ply tires ideal for work negotiating slopes on hillsides. On the other hand, the flexibility of radial tires can result in some uncomfortable shifting on slopes.
In fact, it’s less of a debate, than it is a discussion. When it comes to bias ply tires and radial ply tires, There is no “best”—rather there’s only “best for the job.” While it’s true that a radial is generally a better choice for a vehicle that spends most of its time on the pavement, as we’ve seen here, there are some compelling reasons to make your farm implement tires bias ply. After all, you’re not farming on pavement.
When you’re looking for the best agricultural tires, Treadworld has you covered, in a wide range of RubberMaster styles and sizes—lug and rib treads, in sizes 23×10.50-12, 23×8.50-12, 4.00/4.80-8, 16×6.50-8, 3.50-6, 11L-15, 12.5L-15 and 9.5L-15—for your hay wagons, tillers, tractors, agricultural implements, wagons, tanks, carts, wheelbarrows and more. We also have the tough, long-lasting RubberMaster Agriculture Tubes you want—extreme service tubes, implement tubes, and tractor tire tubes for both bias and radial tires in a huge range of sizes.
All our RubberMaster Agricultural Tires are manufactured to exacting specs then triple-checked and X-rayed for dependable quality. You can count on easy ordering and fast shipping, plus your satisfaction is always guaranteed with our no-hassle Ultimate Advantage Warranty. Don’t hesitate to contact our tire experts via live chat, or email with any questions you may have, and to get the farm tires and implement tires and tubes you want—or the ideal trailer tires, ATV tires, UTV tires, golf cart tires, lawn and garden tires, snow blower tires and many others, and inner tubes—from our extensive selection.