WITH tractors becoming bigger and faster, the choice of what to do about replacement tyres has become a big issue for those making the decision.

Often, it comes down to seeking and getting good advice – and that’s what happened with Alan Thow, who farms 2500 acres in partnership with his brother, Norman, with their sons heavily involved too.

The brothers took on Denside Farm, near Auchenblae, from their father at a young age. It is a mixed unit and they farm across a 20-mile radius, with stocking that includes 400 beef cows, 1400 breeding ewes, 2000 finishing cattle and 6000 lambs, 600 acres of cereals and 100 acres of turnips and fodder beet are grown for feed.

Alan runs nine tractors – eight John Deeres and one Massey Ferguson. He said: “We’ve had a long run of John Deere tractors, they do the job well and over the years we have had most of the series.” Amongst the fleet is a 6150R: “It does a lot of road work, but we also use it for baling, fertiliser spreading and breaking in land. It’s a good all-rounder.”

The premium brand tyres specified on the 6150R needed to be replaced, so Alan started looking for an alternative. “Because of the amount of road work we do I wanted tyres to be quiet and comfortable on the road, but I also expected premium brand tyres to wear well and to get all the tread wear without cracks and punctures.”

Alan had sourced tyres from Bob Anderson, of Soltyre’s Brechin branch, for 35 years and he advised that Continental were making tyres in a new factory, and that sales manager, Richard Hutchins, could explain how the new tyres would suit the Thows’ road use.

“It was refreshing to talk to someone who really knew his stuff. Richard was able to explain how Continental’s Tractormaster tyres had been designed for road use. He has a long history in the industry and clearly understands how tyres on agricultural machinery need to work. When the tyres were fitted, he even came to the farm to weigh the tractor and offer advice on running pressures,” said Alan.

In the past, Alan had experienced loud road noise and tyres flexing on the side walls, so it was important that the new tyres for his 6150R would provide a better driving experience. “We’ve had the tyres on for almost a year now and done about 1800 hours. The tyres are quieter, better on the road and were cheaper than many other premium brand tyres.”

Safety is important too, as some employees had expressed concerns over tyres in the past. “I want my workers to feel confident in their kit and be safe. Tractors are getting bigger and faster, so it’s important for the tyres to be able to keep up.”

Alan had Continental Tractormaster 650/65R38 tyres fitted to the rear and 540/65R28 to the front in November, 2018. He concluded: “The tyres are wearing well and give us what we need, so I’m happy with that.”