June 1, 2017 << Back to Blog

Soil Compaction: Proving a Pressing Point

01 Jun

June 1, 2017

It’s one thing to hear about soil compaction and imagine what it’s doing to yield potential, dragging it down as much as 70 percent in some crops, but it’s another thing to actually see it.


That’s why we dug a soil pit at the recent North American Manure Expo, filled it with alternating layers of soil and sawdust, and rolled a 7,250-gallon Diller manure tanker over it. On one side of the tanker, two conventional, bias-ply R-3 tires were inflated to the 40 pounds per square inch (psi) recommended for that 50,000-pound load at 25 mph. On the other side, Alliance A-380 radial flotation tires were running at the recommended 26 psi.

Then we trenched the pit and there it was, large as life. On the bias-ply side, the layers of light-colored sawdust and dark soil bowed under the weight of the load to a depth of 12 to 16 inches. On the radial side, compaction slightly distorted the first layer of soil, about 6 inches deep. Same load, same soil, same moment in time.

Watching our soil compaction demo, you can imagine the water, air and life being squeezed out of the soil deep into the ground—too deep for tillage or even frost heaves to repair for years to come. You can understand how a radial flotation tire could reduce soil compaction by spreading a load evenly, over a larger, flatter footprint.

Heavier equipment is a fact of modern farming. So is the need to make every acre as productive as it can be as farmers race to feed, clothe and fuel a growing population. That’s why we put so much effort into designing radial flotation tires with huge, flat footprints to minimize compaction, as well as tread designs that optimize performance in different conditions and for different jobs.

Want more information on soil compaction and how you can minimize it? Download our free soil compaction white paper.

Most important, remember that soil compaction is truly a pressing issue—and that’s no joke.