Buying New Tires For Old Tractors

6/7/2017 10:01:26 AM by Carissa Shaul

Whether you collect old tractors, inherited grandpa’s trusty Minneapolis Moline, or are a vegetable farmer and can’t see life without your Farmall, you have probably run into the same issues as everyone else: Where do I get parts—particularly tires—for these old fellows?

Tractor tires, and standard tire sizes, have changed a bit over the years, so sometimes finding the right tire size for the right tractor can be a chore. Here are some steps you should take when looking to replace, patch, tube or acquire tires for an old tractor.

Determine If You Need New Tires

New tractor tires can be prohibitively expensive, so if it’s just a small puncture you’re dealing with, you may want to consider buying a patch kit—a smart thing for any farmer to have—or having a local dealer patch it for you. If you blow a sidewall—the tall side of the tire—there’s not much you can do to save the tire except for tubing it. Patching or tubing your tire, if you can get away with it, will always be the most cost-effective way to keep an old tire in use.

Measure Your Tires

If the tire is completely shot and you determine that you need a new one, the first step is to find the tire size. This should be printed on the tire’s sidewall, somewhere above the rim—you might have to scrape away some dirt to find it. Look for either two or three numbers, separated by a backslash or a hyphen.

In a two-number figure, the first number is the width of the tire in inches, and the second should be the rim size in inches. For example, if the size reads 4.00-15, the width is 4 inches and the rim size is 15 inches. If there are three numbers—such as 23×8.5-12—the first number is the width (23 inches), the second is the height (8.5 inches), and the third is the rim size (12 inches). If there’s a decimal point, it is simply a more exact measurement, not another measurement altogether. These numbers aren’t always in the same order, but there will always be a width and rim size. If you can locate those you should be able to have enough info for your tire source.

Shop Online For Tires

If you’ve determined you need or want a new tire—or at least want to price it out—the first place you should go is your online. At you can browse through a wide array of dealers and should be able to track down just about any size and shape tire for the best price.