Monday, January 16, 2017

Michelin: Farm trial shows benefits of central tyre inflation systems with high flotation tyres

By WniF editors

Michelin has conducted field trials 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, while operating fully laden at 10km/hr 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 adviser Philip Wright, Director of Wright Resolutions.

The trailer tyres were operated at 13psi versus 35psi with conventional types.

Analysing the difference between soil samples taken from both runs, Mr Wright said comparing a section of soil taken from the low pressure run, he 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,” he added. “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.”

The customer engineering support manager at Michelin, Gordon Brookes, said that 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 enhanced the agronomic benefits in the field, and ensures appropriate vehicle dynamics on the road,” he added.

Commenting on the improvements seen by running the Michelin Ultraflex technology tyres at the optimum pressures, the farm manager at Maxwell Farms, where the trial was conducted, Gary Jamieson, said eight new tri-axle trailers with CargoXBib High Flotation tyres had been bought 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,” he added.

The Fendt was fitted with Michelin IF650/65R34 and IF710/75R42 AxioBib tyres, with 600/55R26.5 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 visit: http://agricultural.michelin.co.uk.

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