Tyres that Never Tire
A Cornish farmer owns what he believes to be the oldest set of original tyres on a working tractor. John Sweet, from St Austell, uses his 1957 Ferguson FE35 daily on his 20-acre market garden, which sports the original Firestone ‘Champion Ground Grip’ tyres it came from the dealers with half a century ago. The tyres have never been punctured and the air used to inflate them when new is still inside.
Commenting on the longevity of Mr Sweet’s Ground Champion Grip tyres, Barry Coleman, marketing manager at Firestone said “These tyres were manufactured at the old Brentford plant by a process known as ‘gum dipping’ which strengthened the nylon cord. They were about 90% rubber. These days, tyres are much more complex to meet the more demanding and varied needs of farmers. The fact is that modern tractors are more powerful and all that extra horsepower is transmitted to the ground via the tyres. They will also work longer days and be exposed to more roadwork. Tyres like our R9000 Evolution tyres are specially constructed to give longer life for use on roads whilst still giving excellent field performance.”
Please don’t rush to place an order for a set to fit your own tractor. Much to the relief of today’s OTR tyre manufacturers, Champion Ground Grip tyres have not been available since 1961.