Michelin has launched its latest agricultural tyre technology in the UK. Zen@Terra connects directly into the tractor’s ISOBUS system. It allows farmers to switch between low pressures, for maximum soil protection, and higher pressures, to maximise performance on the road. The system is designed for fitment in combination with a central tyre inflation system (CTIS) and Michelin’s Ultraflex tyre range – although it can be used with any Michelin agricultural tyre. Michelin adds that the process takes a matter of minutes and can be operated via an easy-to-use, integrated in-cab touch-screen display.
AGCO has named Alliance Tire Group, Ltd North American Direct Materials Supplier of the Year during its 2020 online North America Supplier Event. Alliance was recognized by AGCO for “performance in cost, collaboration, innovation, account management, coordination and flexibility”. AGCO officials noted that Alliance – the only tyre supplier recognized during the event – exhibited strong coordination and alignment with AGCO and improved factory efficiency.
The biggest tractor in the world, the 1,100hp Big Bud 16V-747 has taken advantage of Goodyear Farm Tires’ low sidewall (LSW) technology, after it was given its first tyre change since 1977. The Titan International agricultural tyre brand supplied Big Bud with 1400/30R46 tyres, fitting eight new rims and tyres. The giant tractor is housed at the Heartland Museum in Clarion, Iowa, its home for the last seven years.
Having made its CombineMaster tyre available in a VF version, Continental has added 10 new sizes to extend the range. The first VF CombineMaster tyre in size 500/85R24 became available in July. Both versions of the CombineMaster feature the patented N.flex and d.fine lug technology for “flexibility with low vibration on the carcass and high resistance to wear and tear”.
Trelleborg Group has reported “satisfactory” second quarter 2020 financial results “under the circumstances”, the company stated in its second quarter results. Specifically, Trelleborg Group organic sales declined 19 per cent, albeit with an improvement in the latter part of the quarter. As a result, net sales for the second quarter declined 18 per cent to 7,689 million Swedish krone. Pre-tax profits (EBIT) declined 29 per cent, corresponding to an operating margin of 12.3 per cent. At the same time, operating cash flow was strengthened “significantly”, according to the company.
Over the past 12 months, Continental upgraded its agricultural tyre range with very high flexion (VF) tyres and other technological improvements, such as the single filament bead core on its CombineMaster. These improvements have made the manufacturer’s agri range more versatile, safer on the road, and more efficiencient in the field; VF tyres help to reduce soil compaction, which helps to promote increased yields. Conti re-entered the high-value agricultural tyre market in 2017 with the radial Tractor70 and Tractor85 ranges, with portfolio expansions following in the years since. This year has yielded many significant challenges for the tyre sector – but agricultural tyres have provided a much less gloomy segment outlook than others. Tyrepress asked Ivonne Bierwirth, global head of marketing Commercial Specialty Tyres, about the Continental business unit’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and how it has affected both its agricultural tyre activities and those of other commercial specialist tyre segments.
The second quarter of 2020 provided the worst quarterly sales results in recorded memory, the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA) states. Publishing its members’ replacement tyre sales for the Covid-19 pandemic stricken quarter, ETRMA secretary general Fazilet Cinaralp said: “The tyre sector’s full recovery is still far away. For the moment, we can only hope for the market to stabilise in the second half of the year. Our outlook for 2020 remains bleak with a double-digit drop in sales expected across all segments.”
FG Pryor & Son has chosen to fit a new set of Michelin YieldBib tyres on its Bateman RB35 sprayer. The tyre in size VF 380/85 R34 149A8/B TL was the original equipment fitment for the sprayer, primarily used to support potato and cereal crops on Colwyn Farm, in Truro, Cornwall. Michelin Exelagri dealer Geoffrey Harris Tyres supplies and fits the replacement tyres. “We have found the YieldBibs to perform really well for us and we had no hesitation in going back for another set,” says Warwick Pryor, driver and farmhand at FG Pryor & Son.
Titan International has been manufacturing Goodyear Farm Tires in USA for more than a decade. It returned to the European and UK markets last year after Titan purchased the licence. It has also made a significant investment in new plant and equipment to manufacture tyres specifically for the UK and European markets. Lindsay Hart, tyre sales director at Titan Europe and Goodyear Farm Tires, gave Tyres & Accessories an insight into demand for agricultural tyres during the Covid-19 crisis.
Michelin has urged farmers to pay close attention to the condition of their tyres as they head into the harvest season. Gordon Brookes, customer engineering support manager at Michelin, explains: “We would always recommend a thorough inspection of your harvester tyres before you get the machine out into the field, but this year it’s probably more important than ever.
Continental has announced the reorganisation of various global specialist tyre activities into a single ‘Specialty Tyres’ business unit. Formed on 1 July, the company has combined its ‘Commercial Specialty Tires’, ‘Two Wheel Tires’ and ‘Hoosier Racing Tire’ business areas under the new umbrella unit. The result of the reorganisation means the entire Continental speciality tyre business will be developed, manufactured and distributed worldwide under the new unit. It brings together tyres for material handling, the agricultural, port, and construction sectors, bicycle and motorcycle tyres, and tyres for racing. The move continues the evolution of various specialist tyre segments within the company, begun at the start of 2013, when Conti renamed its industrial tyres business ‘Commercial Specialty Tires’.
Apollo Vredestein tells Tyres & Accessories that it has focused strongly on the agricultural sector of the market during the Covid-19 lockdown. Although some of the wider company’s employees were “placed on furlough leave,” its agricultural team was kept functional with some home working facilities provided by the company. Just prior to UK entering lock down, Apollo Vredestein’s UK team, anticipating what had already happened in other European countries, doubled UK stock levels of agricultural products, as reported by Tyres & Accessories. This was also supported by transfer of resources in manufacturing and administration to allow continued agricultural tyre production in the factories.
ATG has extended its leading range of Galaxy brand radial tyres for small tractors used in gardening, orchards and vineyards. The Galaxy Garden Pro offers nearly 50 per cent greater tread depth than typical R3 tyres – Galaxy calls it an R3+ tyre – with a solid-to-void tread ratio of 49:51 to promote self-cleaning. It is available in 23 sizes for rim sizes between 12 and 30, including five newly launched sizes. ATG says Galaxy now covers the segment of smaller and medium utility tractors in the segment.