He Built His Own Adjustable Tire Pressure System

When Jake Kraayenbrink couldn't find an adjustable tire pressure system he liked, he built his own system. Kraayenbrink understood that deflating tire pressure in the field reduces compaction, saves fuel and reduces wear on tires, but existing retrofit systems worked too slow. The AgriBrink system he helped develop can deflate tires in 25 seconds.
"At the time I was looking, European companies weren't prepared to service the Canadian market," says Kraayenbrink. "We looked at a truck inflation system from western Canada, but truck tires are high pressure, low volume. Ag tires are low pressure, high volume."
Maurice Veldhuis, an engineer in the area, suggested building a system just for ag. With his help and that of truck mechanic Steve Bailey, the three of them designed a new system from scratch.
"We got deflation down to 20 sec., and we can inflate in 30 sec., about the time it takes to turn in or leave a field," says Kraayenbrink. "The European concept is to deflate from one central point. Ours deflates at the valve of each tire." 
The system includes a controller that is easily programmed to desired high, low and medium pressure. It tracks air pressure in the system's stainless steel pressure tank. If pressure to inflate is insufficient, the controller prevents deflation. The system for inflation and deflation is automated to the flick of a switch by the operator. However, should it fail, the operator can switch to a manual override.
"We built the system from the operator's perspective," says Kraayenbrink. "We know that the equipment can't break down. If something stops working in our system, the operator can keep going."
The AgriBrink system has been adopted by more than 80 customers, with a total of 50 sales expected this year alone.  Systems are being installed on self-propelled sprayers and spreaders, grain tanks, manure spreaders, and other heavy-duty equipment.  
The company has around 28 dealers in Ontario and is expanding with new dealerships in the western provinces as well as the Midwest. 
"We have 2 systems in Iowa and a couple in Ohio," says Kraayenbrink. "We hope to establish a dealer network, but we also sell direct. Nuhn Industries now offers installation as an option on new tanks."
A complete system for 4 tires has a base price of $20,000 (Canadian). Equipped with a quick-attach table, the tank and high-pressure pump can be quickly moved from one piece of equipment to another.
Kraayenbrink points out that farmers will pay a lot of money to outfit equipment with tracks. "If you outfit tires with adjustable pressure, it will compete well with tracks for reducing compaction," says Kraayenbrink. "We can't continue to go into fields with heavy pieces of equipment and lose yields and soil due to compaction. Big tires won't reduce compaction. You need to relieve pressure to do that. Ours is a high quality system that is made to do that and made to last."