When thinking about irrigation systems, tires might not be the first thing you think about, but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t important. In fact, tyres are a vital part of a well-functioning pivot. This is because it needs to assist the structure in gracefully moving across the track without getting stuck in the mud.
The tyres of an irrigation system such as a centre pivot or lateral movement irrigation need to prevent the structure from getting stuck while using as little power as possible to drive it forward. Therefore, you want to consider traction and flotation. Traction means how tyres help propel the structure forward. Flotation means how easily the tyre remains on top of the soil, not sinking into it as this results in deep ruts.
What is the solution to airless tyres?
The Shark Wheel SWIFT (Sine Wave Innovative and Flotation Traction Wheel) is an award-winning invention that uses flexible paddles instead of rubber lugs. The wing-shaped paddles are modular and arranged horizontally over the hot dip galvanised rim to ensure maximum traction. Since these paddles are flexible, they absorb the load, spreading it over a larger area, and decreasing the stress on the drive train. They are made of spring steel that has rubber moulded over it.
Thanks to the alignment of the tyres, soil is pushed towards the middle of the track, leaving a double-helix footprint. Due to soil being displaced towards the centre, the tyres have shown that in some instances, deep ruts have even been repaired.
The proof is in the airless tyre tracks!
To understand the effectiveness of these tyres, one only needs to look at the numbers. For instance, should a paddle break at any point, it will only take the farmer approximately 60 seconds to replace it. Since it has no air, it also means a 100% less flat tyre rate, meaning less downtime for repairs too.
With the unique paddle design that improves flotation, farmers will also spend less time removing a tyre that fell into a muddy mess.
Studies conducted over the past four years have shown that there is also a 55% decrease in ruts. In some cases, compared to standard tyres, a Shark Wheel SWIFT leaves a shallower track. Shallower tracks mean less soil compaction.
Suitable for most soil types and won’t let you down over uneven terrain in your field. Where soil is prone to be difficult, such as sandier or heavy clay soils, a high traction wheel option is available.
The Shark Wave airless tyre fits on any centre-pivot wheelbase, but in Africa, the brand has exclusive arrangements with Reinke to distribute this product.
A five-year warranty is standard on all tyres.
For more information, visit the Reinke website.