28 October 2021

Tyres (I). Michelin Ultraflex

Some few weeks ago we visited the "Tracks & Tires Farming Tour" event Michelin is holding across Europe. This time, we travelled to the New Holland Campus (Peñarubias del Pirón - Segovia), where we spent a very pleasant afternoon and we were able to learn a lot about different agricultural solutions such as tyres with MICHELIN Ultraflex Technology, PTG tele-inflation systems or CAMSO rubber tracks solutions. 

Many factors besides price have to be taken into account when buying agricultural tyres, which in many cases will tip the balance in favour of one tyre or another. Factors such as load and speed coefficients, dimensions (width, rim, etc.) allowed on the tractor as well as non-technical conditions such as the work to be carried out (pulling tasks, transport tasks, etc.), soil conditions and orography, etc. are fundamental factors to be taken into account when choosing the right tyres. 

At the workshop with Michelin, we were able to see Michelin's wide range of agricultural tyres and we were able to see the VF (Ultraflex) range in action, which allows working pressures ranging from 0.6 bar to 2.5 bar. One of the tests executed was the performance of the AXIOBIB 2 VF tyre depending on the different pressures. The test was carried out with two different pressure configurations, as follows: 

  1. VF tyres front at 1.2 bar and rear at 1.5 bar. 
  2. VF tyres front at 0.6 bar and rear at 0.9 bar. 

It was easy to see that with the first configuration, traction and speed varied by zones depending on slip and also the time to complete the route and the fuel consumption was higher than with the second pressure configuration, where we saw more traction with less slip and better fuel consumption. 

The tyre pressure change is made possible by the TPG tele-inflation system. It is connected to the tractor as an ISOBUS implement and allows you to change tyre pressures very easily and safely. According to Michelin specialists, correct tyre inflation results in fuel savings of 10%, 4% more productivity due to less slippage and 30% more traction. If we extrapolate these figures to a high number of working hours, the tele-inflation system is really interesting for medium and high power tractors (even though the system costs around €30,000). If you don't have a tele-inflation system on your tractor, the ideal situation is to have a pressure of 1.3 bar for the front tyres and 1.5 bar for the rear tyres... it's an inefficient solution, but in the worst circumstances this is the best solution. 

Finally, we looked at the options CAMSO company offers in terms of rubber tracks. These tracks can be fitted to any tractor, and are designed for tractors working in extreme traction conditions (muddy terrain, heavy pulling work, etc.), practically eliminating skidding, as well as eliminating the need for pressure checks and possible punctures. 

Versión en español.

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