Compaction is a problem for famers and growers and has an impact on vehicles using fields and field tracks. This is why modern farming techniques use set lanes through crops. Compaction in fields is inevitable it can be managed but not eliminated. Compression affects soil structure and fertility which is why it is essential to set and use specific lanes.
Controlling the use of large vehicles improves planting, spraying, harvesting and minimises potential yield losses from compaction. Surprisingly using specific lanes through crops means the compacted soil under wheel tracks provides better flotation and improves traction for vehicles when fields are wet.
The majority of tractors weigh less than 10 tons per axle, but newer 4WD tractors can weigh almost as much as a loaded combine. Field tracks have to cope with these and larger heavier equipment such as combines, grain carts and liquid manure tankers. These have enormous and axle loads and can be as high as 40 tons.
Total axle load, as well as contact pressure between tyres and soil increases as tyre size increases. This avoids large increases in contact pressure (pounds per square inch) by the tyre on the soil surface. To improve tractor efficiency it is essential to use the proper tyres and tyre inflation pressure. This can also reduce the force of the compaction from the tyres.