Fastest tractor rolls on Nokian winter tires

April 7, 2015

The new world record for fastest tractor was achieved with a partnership of Nokian Tyres plc and Valtra, a Finnish brand of tractors. The tractor drove a speed of 130.165 km/h, or 80.88 mph.

The  record was set on a snowy and icy road in Finnish Lapland with multiple world Rally Champion Juha Kankkunen behind the wheel of the Valtra T234, which was outfitted with Nokian Hakkapeliitta TRI tires (440/80R28 151D & 540/80R38 167D).

Kankkunen says, "I have done top speed tests earlier with several cars. This was the first time with a tractor, and we immediately got a world record! The tires and tractor worked really well, even though the weather was challenging."

In 2013 Nokian achieved a world record for the fastest car on ice, as test driver Janne Laitinen from Nokian Tyres drove at a speed of 335.713 km/h (208.602 mph) on the ice of the Gulf of Bothnia.

Nokian says it expanded its winter tire selection to tractors when the Nokian Hakkapeliitta TRI was launched in the spring of 2014. The Hakkapeliitta TRI’s tread pattern, winter rubber compound and siping maximize grip and traction. The diagonal siping creates grooves on the tread blocks, increasing the number of edges that grip the driving surface and improving longitudinal and lateral grip. The world’s northernmost tire manufacturer says it was the first to introduce block pattern tyres for tractors over 10 years ago.

"Testing at the extremes is at the core of activities and it requires unique skill," says Tero Saari, project manager for research and development at Nokian. "We wanted to show the true performance of the new Nokian Hakkapeliitta TRI. It is quite a remarkable sight when you see a 7.7-ton machine flying past at over 130 km/h with a quadruple world Rally champion behind the wheel! When a tractor is driven that fast on a winter road, it requires great grip, stability and handling properties. These have been our targets during the development of the Nokian Hakkapeliitta TRI."

The record took place Feb. 19, 2015, on the emergency airfield of Vuojärvi, Finland, approximately 20 kilometers from the city of Sodankylä toward Rovaniemi. The total length of the packed snow strip was approx. 2,300 meters, and a 50-meter speed trap was set at the middle of the strip.

The Guinness World Records organization defines specific rules for the world record for fastest tractor. The time for the tractor to travel through the 50-meter speed trap is measured in both directions. The world record is an average of these two measurements.

View a video here.

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