Contractor favours all-terrain tyres on skid steer loader
A Somerset-based farming contractor has become one of the first UK customers to fit Michelin’s new BibSteel All-Terrain tyres on one of its skid steer loaders, following advice from its local Michelin Exelagri dealer North Devon Tyres.
Tone Valley Services, based in Taunton, owns five skid steer loaders which it uses on local farms. The machines, which are used predominantly to scrape and clean out chicken sheds, have been fitted with Michelin Stabil’X tyres for the last three years.
Exelagri dealers are uniquely positioned to advise on tyre issues as they undertake extensive training as part of their accreditation. To gain Exelagri status, dealers must also provide aftersales support and offer a fitting and breakdown service on-farm.
Tone Valley Services’ company director, Nigel Howe, says: “It is still early days, but North Devon Tyres promised us a tough, stable tyre with excellent traction and the BibSteel hasn’t disappointed. The early signs are that the tread wear is minimal, so we’re very optimistic.
“Prior to our relationship with Michelin, we’d often fit a cheaper cross-ply tyre as it seemed like value for money – but we found ourselves replacing the tyres roughly every four months. So not only did we end up paying for three pairs of new tyres, but also someone to fit them.
“We then made the decision to trial Michelin radial tyres and we’ve seen tyre life treble. If the BibSteel All-Terrain can mimic this while offering even better traction, it will be more than worth the investment.”
The conditions inside the chicken sheds makes a tyre with excellent traction vital, as high levels of condensation cause the floors to become very slippery, on occasions. However, thanks to the Bibsteel All-Terrain’s deep open tread, grip is not a problem as the tyre offers 12 per cent more traction*.
Steel bracing plies and reinforced sidewalls ensure outstanding puncture resistance compared with the less-durable cross-ply tyres used by more than 90 per cent of the machines in this market.
Tone Valley Services uses the skid steers and other necessary equipment to clean out and wash chicken houses for a number of customers in the south west. They also offer a range of other services including welding, tractor restoration, hydraulic repairs and air-conditioning servicing.
North Devon Tyres’ commercial manager, Simon Veysey, says: “A key principle of the Exelagri network is a strong emphasis on aftersales support. We knew Nigel was fitting Stabil’X tyres and saw the opportunity to improve traction by switching to BibSteels - we’re delighted with the results.”
Michelin BibSteel All-Terrain tyres are designed for compact machines requiring maximum traction and durability off-road. Michelin also offers the BibSteel Hard-Surface tyre, designed for use on asphalt and other hard, abrasive surfaces.
*According to an internal Michelin source, when compared to a main competitor in the market.