Video: Is this the safest way to change a tractor tyre?

A farm accident a number of years ago inspired an invention which aims to take the danger out of changing a tractor tyre.

Phil Gorringe, a farmer in the UK, suffered a broken and dislocated shoulder – as well as a grazed head and hip – when he had an accident with a tractor wheel in his farmyard.

The farmer ended up being trapped under a wheel weighing 500kg when he was swapping from ‘standard’ rear tractor wheels to row-crop wheels.

The accident occurred when he lost his footing and tripped, as he was ‘wheeling’ the rear wheel across the yard.

This painful experience led to the birth of the ‘WeelySafe’, an invention which aims to “revolutionise wheel handling and radically reduce the risks that this essential regular task poses in the yard and field”.

After developing a prototype of the tool, the farmer approached AW Trailers to collaborate with on the project.

Tractor Tyre Farm Safety
Image source: WeelySafe

One operator is able to pick up a wheel – stored flat on the floor – using the WeelySafe wheel handler, which is operated using a front-end loader, telehandler or loading shovel.

The wheel can then be put onto a tractor and the nuts aligned, without safety being compromised, the manufacturer claims.

The wheel is always attached to either the loader or the tractor – eliminating the risk of it falling onto the operator. At the same time, it makes the task much less labour intensive and saves time.

Through the invention’s design, the operator is able to manually align wheel nuts by rotating the wheel – it can spin freely on the device – and moving it from one side to another (whilst still attached to the wheel handling tool at all times).

Because this is a loader-based attachment, it works just as well in the field as the yard – meaning difficult procedures can be carried out by one operator all over the farm, the manufacturer explained.

The WheelySafe wheel handler can remove, carry, store and refit most large tractor or combine wheels/tyres up to 2m in diameter.