As a farmer or agricultural professional, having working equipment that lasts is vital for long-term success. Your profession may have you wearing many hats and having an eye on every aspect of your operation is a full-time job. However, when facing big-picture aspects of the day-to-day, small details may slip through the cracks and lead to costly issues down the road.
Tires are the third most expensive wear component on agricultural equipment, so having a solid understanding of your tires health and value is pertinent. Knowing how to measure tread depth and address potential issues can help you keep business moving and save you from costly headaches.
With the right tools in hand, as well as modern updates to classic techniques, you can have a better understanding of your tires actual value. Continue reading to learn more about how you can measure the tread depth of your agricultural vehicles.
How to Use an Ag Tire Tread Depth Gauge
When you first started driving a vehicle, you may have learned the fast and easy method of checking your tire’s tread using a penny. However, due to agriculture tire sizes and cost, they require a bit more knowledge for measuring wear and tear. The larger tires and deeper treads can be misleading when it comes to taking consideration of tire wear and deterioration by sight alone.
In order to measure your tire tread depth properly, it is important to utilize the proper tools. An Ag Tire Tread Depth Gauge can help you take accurate measurements of your tire tread, give you guidance on when to replace your tires, and determine their remaining value.
Here is a short step-by-step process to properly use a tire tread depth gauge:
1.) Remove the probe/gauge from its metal barrel and insert it perpendicularly back through the bored hole in the barrel with the 0/32nds // 0mm side down.
2.) Push the probe 50-75% of the way through the barrel. The amount below the barrel should be greater than the depth of your tire lugs
3.) Center the “0” end of the probe between 2 lugs on your tire, ensuring you do not place on a rib (high point), as this will give the appearance of less tread remaining than what actually is.
4.) Slowly slide the metal barrel down the probe until it rests atop 2 separate lugs on the tire.
5.) Hold the gauge in place, and turn the top of the probe until the measurement (32nds or mm’s) lines up even with the side of the barrel.
6.) Slide the rubber locking ring against the probe to hold it in place.
7.) Note the measurement reading at the BOTTOM of the metal barrel, not the arc of the bore hole. If the rubber ring is holding the probe in place you can carefully lift the whole gauge off the tire, and bring to eye level for a more accurate reading.
8.) Make note of any uneven tire wear between the inside and outside set of lugs, measure both sides separately if this is a concern.
9.) Repeat these steps several times in various areas around the tire as discussed in the next section.