Tyremakers Get Earthy at Agritechnica
The Agritechnica exhibition, held in Hanover, Germany between November 13 and 17 provided a platform for European and international tyre manufacturers to display their latest products. In the home town of Continental Tyre the Conti brand name was prevalent at the show. These days, of course, all Continental brand tyres are produced under licence by the Czech Republic based company Mitas a.s., and Mitas promoted its premium Continental range extensively during the show, along with its Mitas brand and, to a lesser extent, Semperit. Products showcased included the Continental SuperVolumeTyre (SVT), a ‘D’ speed designation tyre that is approved for speeds up to 70 kilometres (43 miles) per hour. The tyre was designed for machines with an output of more than 180hp, and as the name suggests each tyre contains a very large volume of air – ensuring gentle ground handling with high load capacities and the lowest possible tyre pressure. The tyre’s large ground contact patch ensures a good level of traction.
“New generations of tractors constantly place increasing demands on agricultural tyres. By raising the approved speed to 70 kilometres per hour we are offering operators of high-end tractors the chance to utilise the full potential of their machines,” commented Andreas Schäfer, director of Research and Development Agricultural Tyres for CGS Reifen Deutschland, the German sales arm of the Czech company. “Time-savings and lower operating costs are two of the benefits of the SuperVolumeTyre.”
The SVT can carry up to 12 per cent more load than competitors’ comparable products without a change in tyre pressure, reports CGS Reifen Deutschland. Furthermore, the high proportion of rubber in the tread centre ensures quiet running, thus low noise when driving on the road. Driving stability has been achieved through the geometry of the SVT’s lugs (they are wider and taller) as well as advances in bead structure. Recent additions to the SVT range means that nine sizes are currently available, with a 1050/50 R32 size becoming available in 2008.
Finnish manufacturer Nokian presented two new size additions to its Nokian Heavy Tyres agricultural range. These were the Country King 600/50 R22.5 and 650/65 R26.5 sizes suitable for trailer use. The manufacturer recommends these low-profile, round-shoulder flotation tyres for a variety of uses, including earthmoving, forage carts and slurry tanks. Nokian reports that the Country King’s reinforced steel belt structure allows the tyre’s contact area to expand as the load increases, improving traction. The block-tread pattern tyre is also ‘D’ speed rated, and the manufacturer highlights its low rolling resistance as a feature. The Nokian Country King range is now available in eight sizes.
For India’s Balkrishna Tyres Europe is a highly important market. Some 70 per cent of the company’s export sales, which in turn make up 95 per cent of BKT production, are sold on the European market. A broad range of BKT off road tyres are sold here; agricultural, turf, industrial, earthmover and ATV, and the company’s operations throughout the continent are directed by BKT Europe, formed in 2006 and headquartered in Italy. New at Agritechnica was the BKT AgrimaxForce, a 60 series tyre developed to meet the needs of those operating very high power agricultural vehicles of 250hp and above. BKT reports that the new tyre is the result of its R&D efforts in engineering and manufacturing a tyre employing high flex “IF” technology, and the AgrimaxForce features the IF marking. The tyre can be operated at a pressure of 1.6 bar and even when in use at this pressure a greater number of lugs are in contact with the ground, allowing superior traction. Flat-spotting, a hazard of prolonged high load, low pressure use, are eliminated in the AgrimaxForce, BKT reports. Currently the BKT AgrimaxForce is available in an IF 900/60 R42 rear wheel size and IF 710/60 R34 front wheel size.