Michelin Provides Update on BFGoodrich Ag Tire Program
Nearly one year ago, Michelin North America Inc. reintroduced its BFGoodrich brand to the North American ag tire market with the launch of the BFGoodrich Implement Control line.
At the time, David Graden, operational marketing manager, agriculture for Michelin, said, “This is just the start for BFGoodrich farm tires. We are hoping to be a total farm provider, so that not only includes your higher horsepower, higher technology machines, but also lower horsepower machines, in addition to implements. Everything that is needed on the farm — we hope to fill that gap.”
MTD recently caught up with Graden to get an update on the program.
MTD: Why did Michelin introduce a secondary ag tire brand in North America? Why BFGoodrich and not another brand?
Graden: Michelin Agriculture has always targeted a very specific customer. We appeal to customers that want to achieve lower total cost of ownership - mindful of soil compaction and fuel consumption, high torque and tractive capacity, etc. This type of customer only covers a small percentage of the market.
Under the BFGoodrich name, we can offer solutions to farmers who are more price-sensitive, but need a quality product that gets the task done. In North America, BFGoodrich has already earned the reputation of being an affordable, hardworking tire.
MTD: Why is Michelin targeting the implement segment with the BFGoodrich brand? What specific implement applications is the Implement Control designed for? Are there plans to extend the brand to tractor applications?
Graden: As mentioned above, the BFGoodrich product already has a reputation for being affordable and hard working. Specifically, customers tend to relate the BFGoodrich products with off-road activities due to our All-Terrain KO2 and Mud Terrain KM3 light truck tires. We felt this brand would be a great fit in the pull-behind, tillage and planter markets. In the near future, we plan to launch additional BFGoodrich Implement Control sizes.
MTD: Increased flexion (IF) technology is normally associated with non-implement applications. Why has Michelin extended this technology to implement tires? What are the advantages to this for both end users and ag tire dealers?
Graden: As tractors get bigger and faster, so will the implements they pull. A neat fact most people don’t think about is (that) rubber tires/tracks will touch up to 95% of the field soil surface within a given year. Two different independent studies have been conducted (Harper Adams University and University of Illinois) where they each found a greater than 4% yield gain when using Michelin Ultraflex tires. With those test results, reducing soil compaction should be the target for any crop farmer. We offer our IF BFGoodrich Implement Control tires today and even took it a step further by testing, approving and stamping the sidewall with ‘Air Systems Ready.’
MTD: The BFGoodrich Implement Control product was first announced this past January. How has the tire been received by both dealers and end users?
Graden: The BFGoodrich Implement Control tire is very well-received by both dealers and end users. I think our target audience has been looking and waiting for a tire that could stand up to the demands at a fair price. The BFGoodrich Implement Control does just that.
MTD: Do you have plans to extend the BFGoodrich Implement Control line by adding either products or sizes, or possibly both?
Graden: We currently have plans to extend the BFGoodrich Implement Control into several popular bias sizes, and after that, we plan to extend the BFGoodrich Ag tire line into additional tractor sizes.