Vredestein Launches Traxion85
Vredestein has launched a new agricultural tyre, which it describes as “the new standard for modern medium-class tractors.” The Traxion85 represents the latest stage of development of the company’s Traxion+ series, which has been on the market since 1997. The new tyre is available in 14 sizes.
Like other products in Vredestein’s agricultural range the Traxion85 is characterised by its cleated curve design. The product’s unique cleat spacing in the shoulder area is designed to ensure good self-cleaning properties, improving the tyre’s traction power. At the same time the arrangement of cleats in the middle of the tread area faces the tractor’s driving direction, a feature which is designed to improve ride comfort when the tractor is operating at relatively high speeds.
Perhaps the most useful development in the design of the Traxion85 is its updated carcase construction. As a result the load capacity of the Traxion85 is over 8 per cent greater than “old generation standard tyres.” Furthermore, the load index for 50 km/h is the same as for 40 km/h.
According to Vredestein, the tyre’s wide belt package ensures a flat tread contour so pressure is distributed evenly. This means that soil quality can be maintained and also paves the way for road performance characteristics, such as low rolling resistance, comfort and long life.
During the new tyre’s launch at Vredestein’s Enschede facility company chief executive, Rob Oudshoorn, described how the manufacturer came to be in its current strong position: “At the end of the nineties, we were confronted with very high raw material prices and a depressed agricultural market that could not absorb the needed price increases. Our agricultural department could not make the required margins so something serious had to be done.”
In response, the company made a literal U-turn in terms of manufacturing thinking. “We simply had to stop the production of low margin tyres and went out to look for a reliable manufacturer to outsource the less complicated cross ply tyres. In Endschede we needed to focus on the development of high-tech radial agricultural tyres,” Mr Oudshoorn explained.
That’s why, after a selection process, the company opted to outsource to Mumbai-based BKT. “Obviously it took a while before BKT was able to make tyres to our strict specifications,” Mr Oudshoorns added.
Vredestein currently produces tyres in three main places Enschede, Holland (passenger car, truck and agricultural); India, through BKT (the company’s older agricultural products); and Indonesia, through Elangperdana (heavy machinery tyres). However, following the formation of Amter-Vredestein, is the company about to start production in Russia too?
As far as passenger car tyres are concerned, this is already happening. Amtel’s Kirov plant, for example, already produces Vredestein branded tyres. And these are manufactured to at least the same quality level as they elsewhere, the company says. The agricultural side of the business, however, may take a little longer to capitalise on the synergy opportunities available. While this department confirmed that the idea of producing agricultural tyres in Russia had been considered, company representatives were reluctant to give any specific details or timeframe.
According to the Vredestein CEO there are a number of obstacles that have to be overcome before the respective companies can take full advantage of their newfound “win, win, win” situation. “Russia has developed from a communist to a ‘wild capitalist’ economic environment,” Rob Oudshoorn observed.
Amtel and Vredestein recently jointly produced a new Amtel-Vredestein logo, although the Dutch company maintains that Amtel products will remain Amtel branded and Vredestein products will also retain their original label. Meanwhile, the company has raised a 190×10 metre banner in Moscow’s Red Square aiming to raise awareness of the Vredestein brand and its recently forged links with Amtel.
In amongst all that the company is preparing a comprehensive information package that will help take Amtel Vredestein AV to the London stock exchange in November.