The demands placed upon tractor tyres are evolving. In addition to field work, the volume of transport tasks and time spent on the road has increased significantly in recent years. This trend presents a challenge for tyre designers as field and road applications are very different by nature. Nokian Tyres approached this challenge with a new kind of hybrid pattern technology that aims to offer the best of both worlds, combining a field-ready lug pattern with a block pattern to improve on-road properties. But does it work in practice? The Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Engineering at Germany’s Kiel University put the Nokian Ground King tyre through its paces to find out.
Ever since Indian tyre maker Ceat established its Ceat Specialty Tyres Ltd. off-highway subsidiary in 2015, it has sought to raise its profile and boost business within the agricultural sector. But what products does the Mumbai-headquartered flagship company of RPG Enterprises, a company that produces over 15 million tyres annually, have under development to help farmers boost productivity? Dyutiman Chattopadhyay, vice president of R&D and Technology at Ceat Specialty, outlines the company’s plans.
Although a number of UK-based agricultural shows have been postponed during the COVID-19 outbreak, Goodyear Farm Tires has found an innovative solution to keep the wheels turning on one traditional show highlight for the farming community. The brand, which returned to the UK and European markets in 2019, has staged its own virtual vintage tractor show during lockdown.
Saracens Tyres has put any plans to celebrate its 50th anniversary on hold to focus its efforts on helping its customers stay fully operational throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The Michelin Quality Centre-approved dealer is keeping its doors open during the UK’s lockdown period to support key workers in the transport and agricultural industries who are working around the clock to help keep essential supplies, including food, moving.
The next SIMA agricultural trade show will take place in February 2021 rather than in November 2020, as originally planned. The organisers rescheduled the Paris-based fair to 21-25 February 2021 “at the request of a large number of exhibitors and organisations from the agricultural machinery industry whose production and distribution activities have been hit hard by today’s public health and economic crisis.”
Fresh figures from the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA) show the extent to which COVID-19 control measures have impacted upon Europe’s tyre markets. The year-on-year slowdown in tyre replacements and sales in the first quarter of 2020 has been “dramatic”, the ETRMA reports.
Agility and rapid responsiveness are important for GRI, and the company believes these qualities set it apart within the specialty tyre manufacturing industry. It shares that the firm has “been ahead of other companies in the industry” facing the current COVID-19 situation thanks to the very proactive and far-sighted actions of its senior management.
It’s almost two years since the reign of the Nokian Tractor King began, and this regally-titled agricultural tyre range has more than doubled in size since coming to market. It is growing again in 2020 with the addition of a dimension that Nokian Heavy Tyres says expands the tyre family’s potential even further.
Apollo Vredestein says it has increased its stock holding of Vredestein agricultural tyres in the UK in order to meet strong demand. The company’s sales functions remain in operation and its distribution channel, ATL, continues to deliver the agricultural tyres which are considered an essential element for the country’s food chain supply.
At the end of February, Trelleborg invited key dealers to the company’s Swedish homeland in order to further develop connections with its UK distributors and share the details of recent developments at the well-known agricultural and off-road tyre and wheel manufacturer. Tyres & Accessories spoke with Trelleborg’s Agricultural Segment Leader – EMEA, Bruce Lauder in order to find out more.
In February, Trelleborg Wheel Systems announced its ‘Tractor Driver of the Year’ at an event held in Italy. After four key challenges, the winner from the 40 participants was Mirko Fontana. Runner-up was last year’s winner, Alberto Alegretti.
Titan International, Inc., manufacturer of the Titan tyre brands as well as the Goodyear agricultural tyre lines sold in the UK, Europe and North America, says its plants are operating as normal during the COVID-19 crisis. The company describes its decision to maintain production as a “commitment to keeping its US manufacturing facilities operating as normal in order to support the food and agriculture industry.”
Apollo Vredestein is scaling back production at its European plants in Hungary and the Netherlands in addition to “taking measures to protect our workforce in line with government health advisory and measures” against coronavirus/Covid-19.
Trelleborg Wheel Systems reports that it has moved to general remote working in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Writing in a letter to customers sent by email, the company affirmed that employees will still be available by phone and email and that “availability of agricultural tyres is still assured”.