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Bringing Tire Technology to the Ag Industry

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Written by Vanessa Hargrave |

TPMS is an acronym that in the last decade has risen from a basically unknown term to a household name. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the mass majority really understands what TPMS means, how the technology works, and the benefits it can provide to users. Possibly even more unknown is the wide-use applications that TPMS can be utilized on to add those benefits; including uses in the agriculture market. Luckily, Valley® Irrigation and PressurePro™ have teamed up to help growers better understand what TPMS is, how it works and how you can put it to work for your operations. 

Bringing Tire Technology to the Ag Industry
Almost half of U.S. drivers don't recognize tire-pressure warning light.

First, what is TPMS? TPMS traditionally stands for Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems. Typically, a TPMS unit consists of two main components; Sensors, which fit either to a valve stem or in a tire, and a Monitor, which fits in-cab or at a central location. Sensors use RF signals to send low-pressure alerts to the Monitor, so a driver or operator is aware of the problem. Today; however, PressurePro has helped morph this definition, through expanded technology capabilities, to Tire Performance Management Solutions. 

No longer are TPMS units simply providing low-pressure warnings. Today, leading units can give users complete performance information, including real-time readings, high- and low-pressure and temperature alerts, data-logged information, remote-monitoring capabilities, and more. Essentially, these small units can provide users with a complete view of tire performance, both real time and historically, so users can better analyze, diagnose, remedy, and even predict tire problems before they become costly. 

In the transportation market, this is helping fleets of all types and sizes revolutionize tire maintenance programs while adding significant savings and efficiencies. Tires run at optimal pressure save fuel, experience extended life and decreased downtime, and create safer driving conditions through improved handling and braking, and more. But that’s in trucking, how can TPMS assist me with my operation or on my Ag equipment?
Bringing Tire Technology to the Ag Industry

The parallels between the transportation market and ag market are many. Just as with transportation, up-time, efficiency, and yield are top priorities for growers. A tractor, combine, crop hauler, or center pivot experiencing equipment downtime due to a tire problem cripples work. In the case of a center pivot, experiencing low tire pressure not only decreases yield, it can literally rip up your profits by plowing through crops and causing costly damage to tires, rims, and gearboxes. To help growers combat these losses of efficiency and yield, PressurePro and Valley partnered to create Valley TPMS – a custom solution for center pivots.

Valley TPMS not only allows users of Valley Pro2 control panels the ability to receive real-time tire performance information directly on their control panel, it also brings remote-monitoring capabilities to Valley BaseStation™ users; literally putting tire performance at their fingertips. Used by Navajo Agricultural Products Industry (NAPI) in New Mexico, Valley TPMS has helped NAPI bring real-time monitoring to an operation that includes more than 10,000 tires.NAPI Irrigation Manager Anthony Valdez said that detecting a low tire before it fails has decreased pivot downtime during the peak irrigation season, when irrigating is critical to maximizing yields. 

"The ability to identify low-pressure warnings in the tires also has really helped to reduce service costs," Valdez said. "With the tire pressure monitoring system, we can now preempt labor and fuel costs, as well as time, by knowing when a tire is low."  

To learn more about Valley TPMS or how TPMS can be put to work for your operations, contact your local Valley dealer.

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