Michelin expands CerexBib line-up
Two new sizes have joined Michelin’s CerexBib agricultural tyre range, and the French manufacturer says these additions will address the “emerging needs of entrepreneurs, farmers and grain producers.” The latest CerexBib fitments are IF 800/70 R 38 CFO and IF 900/60 R 38 CFO, and Michelin says these new large-diameter tyres give farmers the option to operate without investing in costly four-wheel-drive or caterpillar tread equipment. The two new sizes have already been approved by John Deere, Case, New Holland, Claas and Laverda and fitted on their harvesters for the new season.
Explaining the decision to expand the CerexBib range, Michelin notes that the current crop of combine harvesters, which deliver up to 600 horsepower, can harvest more than six hundredweight (cwt) of grain in one hour. By 2015-2020, even more powerful machines will be able to harvest up to 800 cwt an hour. Compare this with what was possible back in 1965 – the 80-horsepower machines in service then could harvest only 45 cwt of grain on one hectare of land per hour.
“Entrepreneurs, farmers and large-scale grain producers are pursuing the justifiable goal of increasing their productivity,” comments Michelin in a release announcing the new CerexBib sizes. “To accomplish this, they must nonetheless overcome ever-increasing difficulties. A successful harvest requires solving a complex equation. Today’s farmers must: Harvest mature grain in working periods that are increasingly short and threatened by a recent increase in unstable weather conditions; travel by road to reach plots of land that are further and further apart; and optimise harvesting speed and hourly crop yield.
“As a result, the capacity of combine harvesters must be increased if crops are to be secured,” the Michelin release continues. “Conveyor capacity, which averaged 8,000 litres in 2003, had risen to 11,000 litres by 2010 and today exceeds 14,500 litres. At the same time, the loads carried by farm equipment have also increased. Front axles must now be able to carry loads of more than 28 tonnes.” It is these rising demands that prompted the tyre maker to introduce the two new sizes.
Michelin reports that the CerexBib IF 800/70 R 38 CFO and IF 900/60 R 38 CFO deliver in two seemingly contradictory areas of tyre performance: they enable more intensive harvesting while also protecting the soil and the environment, thanks to Michelin’s Ultraflex technology. Ultraflex combines flexibility and rigidity in tyre sidewalls to optimise performance when operating at low pressure. Therefore, the tyres’ impact on the soil is kept to a minimum; Michelin says the footprint of the new CerexBib sizes is up to 22 per cent greater than that of tyres employing conventional technology.
Compared with standard-casing tyres inflated to the same pressure, tyres made with Ultraflex technology can carry loads that are up to 20 per cent heavier – and Michelin says they can do this while simultaneously having a longer working life. Inflated to 1.6 bar, the CerexBib can carry up to 24 tonnes per axle. As a result, the CerexBib IF 900/60 R 38 CFO has a load index of 184 A8. The other new addition, the CerexBib IF 800/70 R 38 CFO, is a compact size tyre that enables combine harvesters to remain below the 3.5-metre width threshold. This means they can be driven unaccompanied on public roads provided that they do not exceed the median strip.
Another area where Michelin says the new tyres shine is traction. The manufacturer states they can be used safely on slopes or difficult terrains as especially since their 38-inch (2,050mm) diameter gives greater ground clearance. Optimised traction also ensures better fuel efficiency by enabling more of the harvester’s power to be used for its hydraulic systems so that the equipment itself can be used for what it was intended to do, namely to harvest grain.