BKT Shows Off 5 New Lines
During last November’s Agritechnica 2009 show in Germany, off-road tyre specialist BKT displayed no less than five new product lines. These additions to an agricultural range that began with the company’s first 85 series Agrimax tractor tyre some six years ago are the result of Balkrishna Tyres’ stated strategy of continually introducing products that cover all the needs of the agricultural market. Such a strategy is hardly surprising when considering that agricultural tyres currently account for around 60 per cent of BKT’s sales.
The first of this new tyre quintet, the AgrimaxTeris, is a radial specifically designed for modern, powerful harvesting machinery. BKT reports that this new tyre, initially available in sizes 900/60 R32 181A8/178B, 800/65 R32 178A8/175B and 750/65 R26 166A8/166B, offers excellent flotation capabilities when carrying heavy loads. The AgrimaxTeris also features a newly designed sidewall protector to reduce the risk of tyre damage, and a casing that BKT says delivers exceptional stability and vibration-free riding for improved operator comfort. The manufacturer adds that the range’s initial three sizes will shortly be complemented with the most important sizes for these applications.
Intended specifically for high power tractors is the new AgrimaxFortis. The first size to be introduced in this range is the 650/85R38, and BKT states that the range will “shortly” be completed and include all key category sizes, including 800/70R38. The AgrimaxFortis is promoted as an excellent product for soil preparation, planting and soil treatments due to a tread design that spreads loads evenly across the entire footprint and thus minimises soil compaction. BKT reports that the tyre’s wide and deep lug design facilitates the delivery of additional traction, while the strength of its casing offers comfort and smooth riding performance even at speeds of up to 65 km/h.
New product number three is the RoadMax. As the name suggests, this is a tyre designed for vehicles predominately used on the road. Specifically, the RoadMax is intended for sprayers and trailers that spend more than 75 per cent of their operational life on the road. Available in two patterns – the FL690 and FL693 – the RoadMax has been designed with a casing featuring reinforced beading and steel belts to provide extra high load carrying capacity and longer working life at high speed.
BKT’s MultiMax product range is designed to suit a wide variety of applications, such as telescopic handlers, compact loaders and several other utility tractor uses. The MultiMax MP513, initially released in size 405/70R20 136G, has been engineered with a nylon casing reinforced by steel belts – a combination BKT says allows the carrying of heavy loads and guarantees long life at high speeds. The manufacturer adds that the tyre’s construction provides high resistance to punctures and damage in tough operating conditions, which will be reflected in reduced downtime and operating costs.
Last but by no means least is the Forestech, a range intended for fitment to forestry harvesters and forwarders. According to BKT, load carrying capacity has been maximised through the design of the tyre’s casing, and durability enhanced through the combination of reinforced bead and shoulder areas and steel belts. The initial Forestech range will include six sizes.
Upon displaying these five new products, BKT commented that the ongoing expansion of its range – something it sees as vital to meeting customer requirements and offering users a high return on their tyre investment – is only possible because of its “incessant research and development tasks”. At present, investment in research and development accounts for between four and five per cent of BKT’s annual sales.
BKT Performs Well at WPC
A BKT-equipped tractor and plough took first prize in the 2009 World Ploughing Contest (WPC) reversible category. The 56th WPC, held in Slovenia last September, saw Belgian Roel Cuyvers, driving a Massey Ferguson tractor fitted with BKT Agrimax radials, crowned champion in the reversible category. Third prize winners – Liam O’Driscoll from Ireland in the reversible and Hardy Andersen from Denmark in the conventional category, also ploughed using tractors fitted with Agrimax tyres.
BKT notes that 16 of 59 WPC competitors selected Agrimax as their tyre of choice. The India based manufacturer, this year’s WPC Bronze sponsor, comments it is “proud to be associated with the event” and expresses its “gratitude towards all the competitors that chose BKT tyres on their tractors, trusting the excellent performance of BKT products for this tough and competitive event.”