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The factors of tractors

Soil compaction is a huge problem for UK agriculture. There are many published reports on the why’s and wherefores some of which can be traced back to the early 1980’s.


Such work centred around understanding the relative importance of several wheel factors. The factors considered were tyre load, inflation pressure, wheel slip, vehicle speed, presence or absence of the front wheel and combinations of these factors.


Results showed that tyre load is a dominant factor; that wheel slip is important, particularly with ballasted rear tyres; that the front wheel plays an important role, particularly with un-ballasted rear tyres; and that within their usual working ranges, speed and inflation pressure are relatively less important.


The tractor used in some of these experiments a Massey Ferguson 590, 55 kW two‑wheel drive tractor. I wonder how those results compare to what will be in the field autumn 21?