Friday, November 24, 2017

Michelin: Advanced technology sees tyres replace tracks

By WniF editors

Northumberland-based JO Straughan & Co has taken delivery of what’s believed to be the biggest-wheeled agricultural tractor operating in the north-east of England, specifying its new range-topping Fendt 1050 Vario on Michelin AxioBib IF 900/65R46 and IF 710/60R38 tyres.

The 500hp Vario replaces a 330hp Challenger, and will be used between March and June for drilling 1,000ha of vining peas with an 8m Vaderstad Rapid drill in the Scottish Borders. Between August and October, the focus switches to primary cultivation, as well as drilling, with most work carried out using both a Sumo Trio and a Great Plains SL cultivator.

The company’s operations manager, David Dickinson, said he specified a machine with tyres rather than tracks due to significant advances in tyre technology since the purchase of the Challenger nine years ago.

Operations manager David Dickinson specified a machine with tyres over tracks due to significant advances in tyre technology.

“These new Michelin tyres are on a par for traction with the best track systems available, even on very wet days,” he added. “And if you’re doing a lot of road work, they’re in a different league altogether when it comes to handling and ride comfort.”

Mr Dickinson acknowledged the company had a choice of tyre manufacturers, but had always favoured Michelin.”

It’s not just the tyres we’re buying, but access to the technical knowledge and support of our local Michelin account manager, Ian Whitwell,” he said. “Before we put the new tractor into service, he was on-site weighing the machine to help us get the ballast, balance and pressures set up perfectly.

“We’ll keep the Fendt 1050 Vario for about 10 years, so getting the set-up right from day one is critical. We find having direct access to manufacturer support is crucial, particularly with our bigger machines.”

Michelin account manager Ian Whitwell weighed the machine, to help JO Straughan & Co ballast, balance and set the correct pressures for the Michelin AxioBib IF 900/65R46 and IF 710/60R38 tyres.


Measuring 2.32m high and 0.9m wide, the AxioBib IF 900/65R46 is the largest tractor tyre manufactured by Michelin. It offers a per-tyre load capacity of 10,600kg and are rated for a maximum speed of up to 65km/hr. Manufactured with Michelin Ultraflex technology, it can operate at pressures as low as 0.8 bar, allowing farmers to benefit from the biggest possible footprint without compacting the soil.

The tyres also incorporate smart design features including deep lugs and a wide tread, which reduce wheel slip and help to make full use of the tractor’s power. They feature a reinforced bead construction, that can absorb the highest forces while keeping the tyre fixed on the rim. This helps the Fendt 1050 Vario to transmit all its engine torque without harming the soil.

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