The “big boys” take the field
Here are some of the latest news in a constantly growing sector, where tires are viewed as key elements to increase productivity and sustainability
Given the current scenario of uncertainty and economic downturn linked to the ongoing global pandemic, it may come as a surprise to know that the agriculture sector knows no crisis. According to FAO estimates global demand for cereals has reached record levels in 2020, and a further significant increase in winter production is expected. Moreover, the total production of agricultural products witnessed, only in the 2000-2018 period, an increase of 50%, thanks to greater mechanization and the use of increasingly sophisticated technologies. Consequently, farmers need to optimize the yield of the land, protecting it from possible damage, and the overall efficiency of agricultural operations, saving time, reducing consumption and optimizing resources. This calls for better machines, and tires represent an element of crucial importance in combining sustainability and efficiency. This is why the tire industry continues to expand its offer for the sector, introducing new models and hi-tech innovations to the market.
The AGRIMAX V-FLECTO range, dedicated to high-power tractors, is expanding with four new sizes: the VF 710/70 R 42 already launched on the market will soon be joined by the VF 750/70 R 44, VF 710/75 R 38 and VF 710/55 R 38, bringing the range to twenty-two sizes.
All the new sizes feature VF (Very High Flexion) technology, which maximizes loads without changing inflation pressure, regardless of speed, able to carry 40% more than a standard tire of the same size and with the same recommended rim. At the same time, soil compaction is reduced, thanks to a larger footprint and a 10% wider tread profile. Another feature of the AGRIMAX V-FLECTO range is durability, which offers farmer a consistent productivity over longer periods. The ultra-resistant casing and the special reinforced bead allow AGRIMAX V-FLECTO to exploit the potential of the tractor both in the field and on the road, able, as it is, to travel at relatively high speeds.
Furthermore, AGRIMAX V-FLECTO is the first BKT tire to make use of NRO Technology (Narrow Rim Option), which complies with the standards registered by E.T.R.T.O. This marking allows the use of standard rims rather than specific rims designed for VF tires of the same dimensions.
Another addition to the BKT range is V-FLEXA, which will soon be available in three new sizes: VF 600/65 R 26.5, VF 650/55 R 26.5 and VF 560/60 R 22.5. These represent new radial solutions designed for agricultural trailers. The V-FLEXA line uses VF technology, which allows the tire to carry loads 40% heavier given the same air pressure as a standard tire.
A state-of-the-art Flotation product, V-FLEXA features a tread with three layers of HD (Heavy Duty) steel belts for increased strength and greater resistance to aggressive terrains. The extra-large footprint makes it possible to optimize load distribution while working gently on the soil where it is necessary to avoid compaction and preserving crop value. The V-FLEXA line has also been designed to offer greater durability, low rolling resistance and superior self-cleaning capabilities.
The new solutions VF 600/65 R 26.5, VF 650/55 R 26.5 and VF 560/60 R 22.5 take their place alongside the already available VF 600/55 R 26.5.
The new products introduced by Continental are the VF (high flexion) versions of three models already on the market: CombineMaster, TractorMaster and TractorMaster Hybrid. VF CombineMaster is a tire designed for the steering axle of combine harvesters in CFO (cyclic field operation) applications, and like all Continental VF products can carry 40% higher load than a standard tire at the same pressure, or the same load with 40% less pressure. For example, they can be used at full load at 0.8 bar in the field and on the road - with reduced soil compaction, and without the need to change pressure to make the transition and without compromising mileage. VF technology carries higher loads at higher speeds on the road.
The nylon casing of the VF CombineMaster, built with N.flex technology, uses its flexibility to offer maximum roughness absorption and cushioning in all applications, which makes the ride rather comfortable, while the lugs have been designed to offer higher traction.
VF CombineMaster is available in sizes: VF 500/85 R24 CFO (167A8/167B), VF 600/65 R28 CFO NRO (163A8/163B), and VF 500/85 R 30 CFO (170A8/170B).
VF TractorMaster is a highly flexible product dedicated to tractors and was designed to offer maximum traction on clay, hard and dry soils. In addition, the VF technology guarantees a smooth transition from road to field, with or without load, without the need to adjust pressure. Soil compaction is reduced while productivity thanks to its ability to transport higher loads, which translates into fewer transport cycles.
The lugs feature d.fine technology, which includes several measures aimed at maximizing performance: smooth linkage between block and base enhance the stress and damage resistance and ensure a good self-cleaning capability and therefore traction, while the deep overlap of the lugs ensure a comfortable ride and less vibrations on the road; in addition, 5% more lug surface ensure a high traction in the field and better mileage on the road. Casing strength and flexibility are the result of using N.flex technology and nylon construction.
VF TractorMaster is available in sizes: VF 600/60 R30 NRO (162D/159E), VF 600/70 R30 NRO (168D/165E), VF 710/60 R42 NRO (176D/173E), and VF 710/70 R42 (182D/179E).
VF TractorMaster Hybrid
VF TractorMaster Hybrid is a new tire developed specifically for agricultural contracting work, and the innovative tread design makes it particularly suitable for on-road use thanks to its ability to maximize mileage and comfort. At the same time, the Hybrid offers suitable traction and fuel efficiency in the field, on hard and normal terrain. Such performance is made possible by 30% wider lugs compared to conventional models, while the central band with dissected blocks ensures good surface adaption and lower rolling noise and vibration, particularly useful on long road trips. In addition, rounded lugs reduce the possibility of shearing roots in lawn applications and minimize skidding on sandy soils - for lower fuel consumption.
The tire features an integrated tire sensor informs you constantly about the pressure and temperature and ensures the maximum tire life with the right pressure.
VF TractorMaster Hybrid is available in sizes: VF 600/79 R30 NRO (168D/165E), and VF 710/70 R42 (182D/179E).
With the TM1000 ProgressiveTraction, Trelleborg Wheel Systems expands the TM1000 tire range designed for high-power tractors, enhancing the tread with ProgressiveTraction technology, which releases more power to the ground, reduces soil compaction and improves performance for on-road applications.
The ProgressiveTraction tread pattern, featuring Very High Flexion (VF) technology, is designed to address the needs of modern farming machines increasing the efficiency of power transmission from the engine to the ground. The "wing effect" maximizes tread width, ensuring a wider footprint, while the dual angle lug shape increases traction and comfort, ensuring excellent self-cleaning capabilities. These features, plus superior sidewall flexibility, minimize soil compaction, vibration and fuel consumption without compromising tire strength. Depending on tire size and tractor range, says Trelleborg, ProgressiveTraction has shown up to a 10 percent increase in traction capability, a 3 percent reduction in fuel consumption and up to 5 percent longer tire life compared to standard treads.
With the recent introduction of the new VF 650/75R42 (180D/177E) size, the TM1000 ProgressiveTraction range now boasts 12 sizes, ranging from VF 600/70 R30 (170D/167E) to VF 480/80 R50 (166D).
Vredestein's Traxion 65 range has witnessed a major expansion after 15 new sizes were introduced for a total of 19 products ranging from 16inches (with the 320/65 R16 117D) to 42inches (650/65 R42 158D). The Traxion 65 series is Vredestein's evolution of the popular Traxion+ and has been redesigned using the latest technologies developed for Vredestein's Traxion Optimall VF. One of the distinguishing features of the Traxion 65 is its traction, achieved by Vredestein's characteristic curved tread block positioned almost perpendicular to the direction of travel, and the high self-cleaning capability of the design. The combination of this profile with the tread compound guarantees high mileage, says Vredestein.
Another strength of the Traxion 65 is its acoustic comfort: the large contact patch in the central area of the tread, according to data released by the manufacturer, makes it possible to reduce noise levels in the cabin during road driving by 22% compared to the main competing products.
Traxion Optimall VF
Vredestein's Traxion Optimall VF tire range has been expanded with the introduction of three new sizes that are particularly suitable for ploughing: the VF650/85R42 and VF650/85R38 models have a maximum width of 65 cm and fit perfectly on a furrower, along with the front size of the VF600/70R34 model.
Through the use of F+ technology, the tire is able to carry higher loads at very low pressures, and maintain stable shoulders even at low pressures during high-speed hauling activities. The flexible shoulder allows for an evenly distributed footprint, preventing peak loads on the shoulders at low pressure. The resulting soil protection and high traction are further enhanced by a curved tread pattern, with transversal side lugs. High traction results in less slippage and lower fuel consumption, while the tire's self-cleaning property is enhanced by the distance between the blocks which increases from the centre toward the side.
The 65 cm tire’s width and ability to carry high loads at low pressure make the new Traxion Optimall suitable for self-propelled and towed sprayers.