Ag Contractor “Boosts Productivity” with Michelin’s XeoBib
General agricultural contractor ACS has reported improved productivity as a result of replacing standard 540/65R28 and 650/65R38 tyres with 600/60 R28 and 710/60 R38 XeoBib tyres, which contain Michelin’s Ultraflex technology. The tyre reduces tractor downtime imposed by changing pressures for varied workloads and on and off-road conditions. Since tractor tyres are predominantly intended for use off-road they are designed to generate low ground pressure to reduce soil compaction. Their use on road requires higher tyre pressures; a factor that becomes more critical as modern farming requires higher road speeds and increased distances travelled.
For a general agricultural contractor like ACS, working up to 20 miles from its base at Buddington Farm, near Midhurst in West Sussex, tyre pressure is a particular problem, potentially requiring several time-consuming pressure changes in a single working day. The Michelin XeoBib tyres being used by ACS incorporate the unique patented Ultraflex technology which means that with a single pressure of maximum 1 bar (14.5 psi) they can operate in the field with minimal compaction and on the road, at speeds of up to 65 kph. The Ultraflex technology used in the XeoBib tyres allows for an increased sidewall flexion area, meaning the tyres can flex more than normal tyres without affecting endurance or durability. They can carry the same load at a lower pressure than normal – or a heavier load at the same pressure.
ACS owner Keith Parks was introduced to the tyres by Julian Southey of John Deere dealer Farol Limited. Farol Tyre Limited is a specialist agricultural tyre dealer and part of the Michelin Exelagri network, offering expert advice on the best tyres for a customer’s application. Parks bought a new John Deere 6930 in March and agreed to try the new tyres (with new wheels supplied by D&S Factors) instead of the standard fit 65 series.
“First impressions were encouraging,” said Parks. “They offered an immediate improvement in ride comfort and better stability through corners. When another tractor was following on the road the driver just couldn’t maintain the same speed as the XeoBib-equipped machine.
“In terms of performance in the field, the same comfort levels were apparent, with the machine seeming to float over the ground when compared to other makes and types of tyre. When preparing seed beds for potatoes, we ran the machine with a 4 m cultivator, 16” deep with 1” tines, and it just pulled through the ground with minimum slip, which was very impressive.”
ACS is also monitoring reduced fuel consumption – something that will be validated when the machine will straight-pull a 5-metre Varderstad carrier on stubble and ploughed ground later in the year.
In addition to general agricultural work ACS maintains sports grounds (including the famous Cowdray Park polo field). The company has six full time and three part time employees, 10 tractors, a combine, a self-propelled forage harvester, a loading shovel, a telescopic handler and six trailers. Pulling down potato ground and silage carting are core activities.