The pressure to produce higher yields at lower prices is a theme common to most aspects of the agricultural industry; dealing with that pressure is, both literally and figuratively, the task of tyres fitted to the larger, more powerful machinery designed to deliver on this goal. For tyre manufacturers, field tests and demonstrations with the farmers’ and contractors’ own equipment provide the best opportunity to show how their particular products and solutions can help them to achieve increased productivity. It also allows those brands who work most closely with original equipment manufacturers to demonstrate their tyres’ interaction with agricultural machinery and components such as central tyre inflation systems. Tyres & Accessories recently visited Maxwell Farms, near Turriff in Aberdeenshire, to see Michelin conduct such a demonstration.
A farming contractor in Leicestershire reports he has developed “the optimum set-up for a self-propelled sprayer”, using two different sets of Michelin Ultraflex Technology tyres to reduce soil compaction year-round.
Steve Heard Contracting’s tyre choice means the firm’s 12-tonne Agrifac sprayer can operate at lower tyre pressures than conventional farm tyres permit, and without the need to adjust pressures between the road and the field.
Now would be a good time to bin any romantic stereotypes of bucolic rural idyll. Agriculture has always been a serious business for those engaged in the sector, and the deployment of technology and new practices to maximise land productivity is nothing new. And while British farmers haven’t more recently experienced the pressure to ‘get big or get out’ as much as their peers in some markets, the drive for greater efficiency has however meant a trend towards larger-sized agricultural equipment. But larger also means heavier, and the extent to which yield is affected by vehicles traversing fields has thus gained a new significance. And this is where our protagonist enters the story.
Trelleborg has announced the upcoming introduction of its new TM150 tyre for self-propelled sprayers, a range that features the company’s ‘BlueTire’ technology. The range will be presented in February at the SIMA Show 2015 in Paris and at the World Ag Expo in the US, and will initially be available in size VF 380/90R46 173D. The very high flexion tyre is capable of carrying up to 6,500 kilogrammes at 65 kilometres per hour.