Tyres replace tracks for Essex farmer
Hinckford Farming has praised Michelin’s “excellent support” after replacing a rubber tracked crawler with a Claas Xerion 5000 fitted with a set of the manufacturer’s Ultraflex high volume AxioBib tyres. The arable farm had been using tracks for many years for its heavy cultivations but had recently struggled with grip in wet conditions, and suffered damage to the soil structure on headlands when turning.
After taking on the 5000 series, specified with four IF 900/60 R42 AxioBibs, Michelin came on site to help optimise tyre pressures to ensure Hinckford Farming got the best out of its new tractor.
Tim Chadney, operations manager at Hinckford Farming, says: “The level of support we received from Michelin was fantastic. Our account manager Tom Saunders spent a day with us on the farm weighing the tractor, working out our ideal tyre pressures and gave a complete guide to perfecting the set up – it made all the difference to have his expertise available.”
Lower pressure thanks to Ultraflex technology
Saunders was able to recommend pressures as low as 15psi in the rear tyres because the tyres feature Michelin’s patented Ultraflex technology. This allows them to carry the same load at lower pressures, or heavier loads at the same pressure, in comparison with conventional agricultural fitments.
Each corner of the tractor was weighed during the optimisation session to establish the load per tyre and see if the ballast weight being carried was the right amount and in the right place.
The tractor has a maximum power of 530hp with about 450hp at the wheels when working intensively. In order to get the AxioBib casings to deflect and put down the footprint they are designed to give, the tractor needs to be tipping the scales at around 25,000kgs.
The larger footprint compared to standard technology tyres enables the AxioBibs to provide superior traction in the field, something Hinckford Farming found following this year’s autumn cultivation and drilling season.
Chadney adds: “It’s been a challenging year with varying weather conditions – with the unusually dry summer season, followed by seriously wet soil in the autumn – but this has been the perfect first experience with Michelin. We’ve really benefited from being able to operate at such low tyre pressures on this high draft machine and the tyres have shown exceptional traction compared to the previous tracks.”
Since coming into service in Spring, the tyres have so far delivered more than 900 hours of work on the high horsepower cultivation tractor, pulling a variety of equipment including a five-metre Simba SL cultivator, a twin leg mole plough, and an eight-metre 16 leg Rapid Lift cultivator paired with an eight-metre Vaderstad seed drill.
The tractor will be kept in service for up to 10 years, with replacement tyres to be provided by the farm’s chosen supplier, Treadfirst in Saffron Walden. Halstead-based Hinckford Farming is made up of three farms in Essex, operating across 2,500 acres and was established in 2010.