Aberdeenshire farm trial demonstrates benefits of central tyre inflation systems with high flotation tyres
Michelin has conducted field trials at Maxwell Farms, near Turriff in Aberdeenshire, to demonstrate the benefits of using a Central Tyre Inflation System with its Ultraflex technology tractor and trailer tyres.
The trials compared the differences between a Fendt 939 tractor and the latest generation Stewart Trailers tri-axle tipper when operating at conventional pressures – compared with the ultra-low pressures possible for field operation with Michelin’s AxioBib and CargoXBib High Flotation tyres.
When optimised for field operation, these tyres enable pressures to be reduced from 20psi on the front and rear of the tractor and 35psi on the trailer, to 12psi, 15psi and 13psi respectively. In testing this saw the tractor and trailer combination make five passes at each of the two pressure settings, whilst operating fully laden at 10kph on heavy blue clay in a gentle uphill direction.
The lower pressures reduced rut depth by an average of 35.9 per cent, whilst also reducing pass times by 3.7 per cent, fuel usage by 9 per cent and wheel slip by 29.2 per cent. A 290 per cent improvement in water infiltration was also recorded by soils and cultivations advisor, Philip Wright, Director of Wright Resolutions.
Analysing the difference between soil samples taken from both runs, Philip said: “Comparing a section of soil taken from the low pressure run, we found a very open structure with plenty of vertical fissures. The porosity hadn’t been compromised so there would be good water, air and root movement down through the soil. In contrast, a soil sample taken from the conventional pressure run showed a much higher stress and lower porosity in the surface zone which would be more restrictive to roots, air and particularly to water.”
Gordon Brookes, Customer Engineering Support Manager at Michelin, explains: “To optimise the performance of CargoXBib High Flotation tyres, you need to use them at the lowest possible pressure at all times. As the trial showed, this enhances the agronomic benefits in the field, and ensures appropriate vehicle dynamics on the road.”
Commenting on the improvements seen by running the Michelin Ultraflex technology tyres at the optimum pressures, Gary Jamieson, Farm Manager at Maxwell Farms, says: “We spec’d eight new tri-axle trailers with CargoXBib High Flotation tyres to try and reduce compaction and spread the weight of the load over the widest possible area. We’ve been very impressed with the results; the tyres allow us to operate at pressures lower than anything we have seen before and the lack of compaction is tremendous.”
The Fendt was fitted with Michelin IF650/65 R 34 and IF710/75 R42 AxioBib tyres, with 600/55 R26.5 CargoXBib High Flotation tyres on the trailer. Both tyres use Michelin’s patented Ultraflex technology to offer the largest possible footprint to minimise soil compaction and increase traction.
For more information about the range of Michelin farm tyres available visit http://agricultural.michelin.co.uk or tweet @MichelinAgriUK.
Michelin, the leading tyre company, is dedicated to sustainably improving the mobility of goods and people by manufacturing, distributing and marketing tyres for every type of vehicle. It also offers innovative business support services, digital mobility services and publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France, Michelin is present in 170 countries, has 112,300 employees and operates 68 production plants in 17 countries. The Group also has a Technology Centre, responsible for research and development, with operations in Europe, North America and Asia. (www.michelin.com)