'Bigger, badder' ag machinery calls for innovative products

April 21, 2010

The trend in ag machinery is “bigger and badder,” according to Michael Burroughes, director of marketing, agricultural tires for Michelin North America Inc.  At the same time the equipment is bulking up, it also is getting more efficient, thanks in part to increasingly larger tires.

“We have a strong mantra: large volume tires,” says Burroughes. “There are a number of benefits associated with them, although less soil compaction is key. By virtue of the fact that you have a larger area of contact on the ground, you’re able to transfer the power generated by the engine better into the ground and improve mobility in the field — and improve fuel mileage.

“For highway vehicles, the issue is one of rolling resistance, the amount of energy required to make the machine roll,” Burroughes says. “In the agricultural environment, the concern is a productivity issue — how efficient the tire is and how much it can reduce the time spent in the field.

And, of course, that turns into dollars for the farmer.”

In the February issue we covered new ag products. Here are more.

Farm tires with Michelin’s new Ultraflex Technology can operate at inflation pressures as much as  20% lower than standard radials, or carry up to 20% more load at the same inflation pressures as standard radials. The first tire to feature Ultraflex Technology is the Michelin Axiobib radial. Key Ultraflex design features include a flat crown profile and a special rubber compound that helps deliver long service life and soil protection; reinforced shoulders that reduce casing distortion; and a new carcass profile that increases the deflection zone and enhances the tire’s capacity to absorb deformations.

[PAGEBREAK]The new Michelin Multibib radial, which replaces the XM108 tire, is a large-volume replacement tire for four-wheel-drive and mechanical-front-wheel-assist tractors and is a dual option for combines. It is engineered to deliver a larger footprint without the additional expense of larger wheel rims.

The bigger footprint provides better flotation and traction while reducing wheel slip, the company reports. The tire also enables growers to capitalize on lower inflation pressures, which helps reduce soil compaction for better yields and greater profits.

Now available from Greenball Corp. is the Petlas R1Radial TA-110 (in photo). A Greenball official reports, “All our customers have had great success with the product. And size 380/85R34 will soon be added to the current 34-inch radial line.” By mid-summer sizes 480/80R42, 520/85R42, 480/80R46 and 480/80R50 also will be available.

The company also offers Speedway tires from India. “We will be adding the Speedway tire line to our inventory at our new Fontana, Calif., location. Speedway has a complete line of bias rear farm, bias rear farm irrigation, front tractor, implement, and forklift tires — the list goes on and on — with older sizes that are getting hard to find.”   

East Bay Tire Co. has expanded its Dawg Pound tire program to include a new wider variety of Farm Dawg R-1 bias rear farm tires. These tires join the already present smaller sizes (from 5x12 to 9.5x16) to provide a larger and more complete selection to include 9.5x18 (available in July) up to 16.9x28 and 13.6x38, the company reports.   ■

About the Author

Bob Ulrich

Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000 and retired in January 2020. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and had been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993. He won numerous awards for editorial and feature writing, including five gold medals from the International Automotive Media Association. Bob earned a B.A. in English literature from Ohio Northern University and has a law degree from the University of Akron.