Written by John Swire
A new hybrid tractor tyre from Continental is now available in the UK and Ireland to help with the demanding road to field transitions of silage work. The very high flexion (VF) tyre is fitted with a pressure monitoring sensor and has a tread pattern that offers comfort and durability on the road, whilst protecting the sward in the field.
“Hybrid tyres are safer, more efficient and offer better comfort to the operator. Pressure sensor technology is the future of tyre functionality because tyres can run at the optimum pressure on the road and in the field.” says Continental’s agricultural tyre specialist, Richard Hutchins.
The Continental VF TractorMaster Hybrid tyre tread is designed to be comfortable on the road and offer excellent grip in the field. The sensor in the tyre communicates pressure and temperature to a terminal in the cab which helps the operator decide on the optimum running pressure. When coupled with onboard inflation technology, tyre pressure can also be adjusted without leaving the tractor.
“Underinflated tyres on the road increase fuel consumption, whilst overinflated tyres in the field lead to increased soil compaction. The ContiPressureCheck™ sensor in the hybrid tyre helps the operator to monitor and choose the correct pressure to make the vehicle kinder to the soil and more efficient on the road,” says Mr Hutchins.
The tyre was developed using computer modelling in the research and development department at Continental’s agricultural manufacturing facility in Lousado, Portugal. “This tyre has been specifically designed for users frequently transitioning from field to road. It is perfect for silage making and tractors travelling long distances on the road,” he says.
Heavier, more powerful tractors are increasingly being used on the road. The need to reduce wear through road use has inspired the design of the new hybrid tyre. “Heat build-up through heavy road use causes conventional tyre rubber to soften and wear more quickly. However, the tread design of our new hybrid tyre helps to reduce the temperature of the tyre which reduces the wear rate,” he says.
VF tyres can carry forty percent more load than a standard tyre at the same pressure. Alternatively, in the field, the pressure can be lowered by forty percent, even when carrying the same load. The structure of the VF tyre carcass is more resistant than standard tyres so the tyre can operate at lower pressures in the field and at higher speeds on the road. “This will make hybrid tyres a popular choice for silage and harvest work where large loads need to be transported long distances,” concludes Mr Hutchins.
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