With each new year, we try to look back and reflect on the specialty tire industry and also try to look ahead for some of the changes we are seeing. As the last two years have been anything but normal for most industries, the tire industry is no exception…So what are the general issues facing tire dealers and also specialty tire buyers this year?
- Supply problems: this will come to no surprise to anyone as virtually all industries are facing supply/demand issues
- Price Increases: again, the price of everything from a gallon of gas to a gallon of milk is increasing at an alarming rate, and this costs of goods is also affecting the specialty tire market.
- Shipping costs increase: huge increase in shipping costs from shipping container cost increasing from $2k to now $20K, as well as transportation/fuel costs for shipping products to retail customers.
- Inventory issues: Lead time used to be 60-90 days now 6 to 9 months.
- Industry consolidation: (both manufacturers, distributors and retail stores)-big guys getting bigger…more pressure on the little guy to succeed and manufacturers are taking care of the big orders…less supply available for the little guys. …Means less choices for consumer!
- Labor shortages: affects all stages of our industry and especially customer service.
What’s New in 2022 for Farm & Tractor Tires?
While the above trends are seen in all of the divisions the specialty tire industry serves, let’s take a look at some tractor tire trends for 2022.
Larger Volume Tires for Heavier Equipment
As farm equipment gets heavier and heavier, the demand for larger volume tires increases. Until 2009, the largest size category in the replacement tire market was Group 48 (rolling circumference of 243 inches and an overall diameter of 81 inches – 6’8″ tall. In 2022 tire manufacturers are starting to produce even bigger tires categorized as Group 49, 50, etc…
Wider Tires- Flotation
Wide section tires are also in demand as farmers are switching out their narrow row-crop sizes for wider tires that provide better flotation. Wide-section or flotation tires can range anywhere from 2 to 4 ft. wide and distribute the weight of the load across a larger contact area. This reduces ground pressure and minimizes soil compaction.
More Farm Tires Designed for Specific Soil Types
There was a time when a standard R-1 tractor lug and rib implement tire were your only choices. Today, farm tires are designed and optimized for specific soil types, applications, road use and more.
Farm Tire BrandsThe top manufacturers in the tractor and farm tire market are no surprise, as many of these brands have been the leaders in ag tires throughout history with some new after market players that have built a reputation for quality, replacement tire options.
- Continental AG
- The Goodyear Tire & Rubber
- Mitas Tires
- TBC Corp
- Titan International
- Trelleborg AB