Keeping an eye on tractor tyre pressures is something we all know we should do, but invariably don't. It's usually only when the tyre looks a bit flat that you fetch the tyre gauge.
But technology used in the car sector could help tractor drivers ensure they know their tyre pressures all the time. Units are now widely used in premium cars (and will be mandatory on all new UK cars after November 2012) and are now filtering through to the ag sector.
Belgian company Comatra is one of the first firms offering specific units for tractors. There's no need to take off the tyre - you just need to push the bead in enough to get at the back of the valve. Then it's just a case of removing the existing valve and replacing it with a wireless one.
This measures pressure and sends the information wirelessly to a small display in the tractor cab. It will measure pressures from 0.4 bar to 6 bar (6-100psi) and an alarm sounds if tyre pressures drop by more than 10% from normal.
They can fit any 15.7mm rim hole and the battery life is five years. Sales are currently direct from Belgium, but Comatra says it is looking for a UK importer. Cost is €378 (£296) for a set of four valves plus display.