Flotation Tires and Subsurface Compaction,
NATIONAL TILLAGE MACHINERY LAB AUBURN AL
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Theoretical and applied research has shown that the pressure at a point in the subsurface soil is a function of both the surface unit pressure and the extent of the area over which it is applied total load. Thirty years ago, most of the soil compaction from vehicle traffic was in the plow layer and was removed by normal cultural practices. As equipment has increased in size and mass, machine designers have increased tire sizes to keep the soil surface unit pressure relatively constant. However, the increase in total axle loads is believed to have caused an increase in compaction at any given depth in the soil profile, resulting in significant compaction in the subsoil.