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March 8, 2024

The Benefits of IF/VF Tires

Some of the most valuable things on earth (diamonds, rubies, emeralds, to name a few) are created under great pressure. But when it comes to the real gems in the ground — the crops that keep our bodies and economy moving — pressure isn’t all that good. Soil compaction, which is caused by repeated pressure from machinery or even human or animal foot traffic, leads to “densification,” a fancy way of saying the air between soil grains is being squeezed out. And over time, without space for air and water in the soil, plant life suffers and agricultural yields drop. Enter IF/VF tires. Before we jump into all the benefits of these revolutionary tires, let’s first break down what they are and how they work.

What are IF and VF tires?

IF, or increased flexion, tires and VF, very high flexion, tires reduce pressure on soil while also increasing load capacity. IF tires can carry the same load as standard radial tires, only with 20% less air pressure required. With VF tires, that number jumps up to an astounding 40%.

How does IF and VF tire technology work?

IF and VF technology distributes weight to the sidewalls of tires, requiring less dependence on air pressure alone, unlike standard tires which use air pressure to carry the entire weight of machinery. Plus, these taller, wider, and more flexible tires increase the contact surface area with the soil without diminishing horsepower. All of these unique elements work together to prevent soil compaction, leading to more efficient fuel use, greater productivity, and healthier soil. But that’s not all. Let’s see what other benefits IF/VF technology creates.  

Increased Operational Efficiency

Not only are IF/VF tires a gentler option for your soil, they can also boost your operation’s efficiency. The unique engineering we described above means big machines can do bigger work with less air pressure. 

IF tires require 20% less air pressure to carry the same load as standard radial tires. Not only that, but IF tires can carry 20% more at the same pressure of radial tires. It’s a similar, but even better scenario with VF tires. VF tires can carry the same load as radial tires but at 40% less air pressure. And in an apples-to-apples scenario where VF tires and radial tires are using the same air pressure, VF tires can carry 40% more.  

Reduced Soil Compaction 

What drove the development of IF/VF tires was a need to decrease soil compaction. Heavy machinery, as it rolls through fields, pushes the air out of the space between soil particles, which in turn makes it more difficult for:

  • Plant roots to drive through the hardened soil.
  • Nutrients and water to flow or be absorbed by crops.
  • Soil to reach a stable temperature. 

Soil compaction can have a huge, negative impact on your bottom line. The damage increases exponentially, leaving your operation vulnerable to decreasing yields season over season. IF/VF tires decrease soil compaction for happier, healthier crops and improved profitability.

Using IF/VF tires, with their increased size and ability to transfer pressure into the sidewalls, means fewer and lighter passes in your fields. This leads to easier and more efficient tillage, putting more time, money and energy back in your hands.

Reduced Cost on Fuel

Looking to save money on fuel? You’re in luck because another benefit of IF/VF tires is their increased fuel efficiency compared to standard radial tires. In fact, when you make the switch, you could see a 4% boost in efficiency. The larger contact area of each tire decreases slippage by increasing traction, saving you time and fuel. Plus, the ability to carry between 20-40% more load decreases the amount of time machinery needs to run (and gets you done with work sooner).

Easy Transition to Surfaces

Chances are pretty good that you have machinery that needs to go from field to road and back again. Not all surfaces are created equal though. With IF/VF tires, transitions from one surface to another can go a lot smoother. The tires’ larger contact area provides more stability, increased traction, and more lugs on a surface at one time. This increased footprint also allows IF/VF tires to dissipate heat more quickly than standard tires.

Longer Lifespan

Larger tread bars mean a greater distribution of weight and pressure across multiple bars at one time rather than concentrated pressure across individual bars. Their flexible sidewalls, rubber compound formula, and steel belts give your equipment extended durability and are more resistant to damage.

Less Downtime

Unplanned downtime due to the sharp puncture of corn stalks and stubble can throw your day and budget off course. The flexibility of the sidewalls, the increased footprint of each tire, and advanced rubber compounds create added layers of protection against any crops that want to stop you in your tracks.

Overall Smoother Ride

Because of their unique design and ability to do more with less air pressure, IF/VF tires can provide you and your operators with a smoother ride. Expect less bumps and jolts and wear and tear to your shocks, resulting in greater efficiency and productivity.

Are IF and VF Tires Worth It?

There’s no doubt about it: If you want to avoid soil compaction, increase efficiency and profitability, and make life and work a lot easier for yourself, invest in IF/VF tires. The technology is second to none. But you don’t have to navigate all your options alone. Call or visit East Bay Tire to get started. We offer one of the country’s largest inventories of major brand agricultural tires, including Alliance, BKT, Dawg Pound Tires, Maxam, Michelin, and more, and can’t wait to help you find exactly what you need.