John Deere and Michelin to showcase how best practice and understanding of technology improve tract


On April 30, 2015, seven tractor operators from seven European countries will compete to win the European Drivers Challenge title.

Each representing their home country (France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and UK) the seven finalists have been invited for a once-in-a-lifetime two-day trip to the ‘Michelin Technical Innovation Centre Test Circuit’ in Ladoux, France. Located close to Michelin’s headquarters, it is one of the world’s largest vehicle test facilities, made up of 19 tracks totalling more than 41km – typically the exclusive preserve of Michelin research and development engineers testing future generations of tyres.

Each participant will get his own John Deere 6215R AutoPowr tractor, pulling a heavy 20t Joskin two axle trailer. The tractors will be equipped with Michelin MachXBib tyres, with trailers featuring Michelin CargoXBib High Flotation tyres.

Participants will be challenged to select their own strategy of tractor settings and tyre inflation pressures.

Unlike traditional motor racing, it’s not the tractor operator with the fastest lap who will make it onto the podium. The winner will be the contestant with the best overall strategy to achieve a fast transport time, combined with the lowest possible fuel consumption and the least soil compaction in the field. Furthermore, they will need to complete a handling course along the way too, and ensure they succeed in all objectives without any failures.

The above range of tasks represents the typical daily challenges that today’s contractors constantly face. Time and money matter: that’s why it is essential that farmers and contractors use the latest technologies available in order to win the battle of speed, fuel efficiency and soil protection.

The European Drivers Challenge has been organised jointly by John Deere and Michelin to demonstrate how the proper understanding of technology by users influences performance both on the road and in the field, even when using highly automated equipment. The event is designed to showcase the key role tyres play in managing difficult terrain with different levels of grip and traction, whilst protecting the soil from compaction and saving on fuel.

Get all the news and follow the action directly from


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. (