One of the most expensive parts of a tractor restoration project is the tires. Over more than two decades, Titan International has donated thousands of tires to National FFA and 4-H members who are undertaking a restoration task.
Titan’s 2019 application season is now open, and it’s first-come, first-served for qualifying applications for the Titan or Goodyear Farm branded antique tractor tires. This year, the plan is to give out 500 tires.
“Download the application. The sooner the better. Because you don’t know how quickly those tires are going to go,” said Scott Sloan, Titan’s ag product manager.
The program has been around since 1996, and it had long been as simple as filling out an application and sending some before and after pics back to Titan. There were no limitations on the application, so basically everyone who applied would get accepted. A few years ago, that was scaled back somewhat to giving away 2,000 tires annually, and this year, it’ll be 500 tires. Also, a change is that if your group has been given tires in previous years, you’re not eligible this time around. The hope, of course, is to spread the giving to more and more groups.
Currently, most of the applications are from Iowa, where Titan is based. Wisconsin and Texas, too, have a good number of applicants. But it’s a nationwide program, so all are encouraged to apply.
This program helps to encourage the understanding of farm machinery — so many young people are in mechanics programs where they’ll tear down grandpa’s old Farmall M or John Deere 60 to see how it works, and then put it back together with new parts. It’s a learning experience for the students — and that includes learning about costs.
Tyler Schimke of the Paso Robles FFA chapter in California is one of the students to benefit from the program. He restored a 1956 Farmall 300 LP tractor in 2018.
“It was my first tractor and a great learning experience,” Schimke said. “I could not have completed the project without the help of Titan and many others. I appreciate their support of students interested in agriculture and tractor restorations all over the U.S.”