Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Tractor wheel width

I've always been slightly troubled about the amount of waste associated with tractors' wheels trampling perfectly good crops - it took me a while to accept that the benefits of pesticide, herbicide and fertiliser application would outweigh the cost of trampled crops.

But there remains an opportunity to reduce the level of trampling and thus increase harvests. I've previously written about the possibility of drone helicopters applying the pesticide, herbicide and fertiliser, but I also think there is something that could be done with tractors: namely having narrower wheels.

The downside of narrower wheels is of course that they sink into the mud. But this is less of a problem for a wider diameter wheel, where the extent of sinking relative to the size of the wheel is lower. Are tractor wheel diameters at their upper maximum? I don't think so, so maybe this would work.

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