Fixing flat tires on irrigation pivots during the growing season can be a miserable task. Shark Wheel manufactures an air-free tire designed to eliminate the headache of tire changes and maintenance on center pivot and lateral move irrigation rigs. The company’s SWIFT tire will soon be available through Firestone Ag dealers.
Anti-Rut Sine Wave Pattern
SWIFT stands for Sine Wave Innovative Flotation and Traction. The non-pneumatic tire features a sine wave shaped tread design to minimize rutting. This exclusive tread design creates a helical, DNA-shaped travel path between two out-of-phase wheels on the irrigation tower. The trailing wheel can fill in the ruts created by the leading wheel by pushing soil back toward the center. A bidirectional tread pattern enables the same function when the rig travels in the opposite direction.
SWIFT tire composition
The tire’s tread paddles are made of spring steel with overmolded rubber.
The paddles were modeled after a seagull’s wings in flight. The flexing of the paddles increases the tires surface area, reducing dress on the drivetrain.
The tire’s modular design enables quick repairs and customizations.
A high traction option with elevated paddles is available for fields with difficult or gumbo soil.
The Shark Wheel’s rolling circumference is 140 inches.
Research and testing
Shark Wheel boasts test data indicating a reduction in rutting from 14 inches with a pneumatic tire to one inch with SWIFT.
“Firestone Ag is committed to delivering best-in-class performance to farmers, and rutting is a major pain point for farmers with irrigation systems. The Shark Wheel SWIFT provides an inventive, proven solution that can deliver results,” says Tony Orlando of Bridgestone.
Shark Wheel has been testing the SWIFT tire in the agricultural industry for four years. The company is a 3-time government grant recipient through the National Science Foundation.
Testing has not been thoroughly conducted for swing arm performance. The SWIFT tire warranty does not cover swing arm installation.
Shark Wheels is working on reducing soil compaction with a solution for sprayers. “Although there are differences in the required performance such as on road use and higher speeds, much of the SWIFT’s geometry is expected to be used for sprayer vehicles,” Shark Wheel product literature says.
Pricing and availability
Firestone will display more information about their partnership with Shark Wheel at the 2023 Commodity Classic in Orlando, Florida.
“This partnership with Firestone Ag will strengthen our ability to reach farmers and match the power of air-free technology with Firestone’s world-class service and quality control,” says Zack Fleishman of Shark Wheel.
Shark Wheel is taking product reservations now for March 2023 shipment on their website. Wheels are $20 each.