Change of tyres and lower air pressure cuts fuel usage 40%

Reducing the air pressure in their Ultraflex Technology tyres cut the fuel cost for drilling 100 hectares by £400 (555) in a new UK trial conducted recently by Michelin.

Their XeoBib tyres were fitted to a Massey Ferguson 6616 with a Kuhn power harrow drill combination.

With front tyre pressures set at 20 psi and rear pressures set to 30 psi — the pressures required for a conventional agri-tyre — it cost £978 in fuel to drill the field, leaving an average rut depth of 133mm.

When pressures were dropped to 7 psi (front) and 13 psi (rear) — which the Ultraflex tyre is designed to handle — the fuel cost fell to just £578, a saving of £400.

Rut depth was also reduced, averaging 88mm, and sub-soil compaction was significantly reduced.

Meanwhile, Michelin has unveiled what it believes will be the next generation of agricultural tyres.

The concept tyre has a tread pattern shaped like an ear of wheat — distinctly different to the conventional V-shaped or herringbone design that farmers know so well.

It features a central rigid rubber block formed by the wheat “grains”, with side tapering for maximum precision, guidance and traction.

Its development springs from the more than €600 million Michelin spends annually on research and development.


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