Balkrishna Industries Ltd. (BKT) provided a special tire for JCB's record-breaking Fastrac tractor, which recently achieved a speed of 153 miles per hour.
The specially enhanced version of the BKT Ridemax IT 696 that was shod on the tractor is capable of "withstanding high-speed runs in excess of 150 miles per hour," according to BKT officials.
"Compared to the classic Ridemax IT 696 tire on which it is based, this high-speed version underwent considerable changes to meet the demands of the challenge."
These include a reduction in tread blocks to improve stability and reduce unwanted movement, and a reshapement of the tire's carcass to make it smaller and narrower, which enhances aerodynamics and enabled two steel belts to be integrated into it. "This also prevented the tire from generating excessive heat and stopped tire growth at high rotational speeds," say BKT officials.
The tire also uses more natural rubber "to further improve its grip."
Dilip Vaidya, BKT president and director of technology, says the tiremaker's goal for the project "was to use a tire that already existed in our product range and apply our know-how to adapt it for the extreme operating conditions confronted by a five-ton tractor producing over 1,000 horsepower."
The BKT Ridemax IT 696 was ideal for the high-speed application, according to Vaidya.
"It is an ideal tire for industrial applications, with a tread pattern that is suited for paved roads.Without changing the tread design, we have focused on the casing structure and its compounds, so that the end product could withstand the enormous stresses imposed by ultra-high speeds achieved by JCB's record-breaking tractor."