What’s the deal with Michelin’s low-pressure ag tires?
In an industry where vehicles get bigger and heavier every year, Michelin says its Ultraflex low-pressure agricultural tires can increase famers’ yields through high-flexing technology. So how do they work?
Tires that flex
One of the most effective ways farmers can improve yield is to minimize soil compaction by using tire fitments that are designed to operate at lower air pressures compared to standard radial tires. In 2004 Michelin introduced the XEOBIB tire — the first tire to use its patented Ultraflex Technology and the first high-flexing tire in North America.
Michelin has just released three new Ultraflex tire sizes designed for tractors, telescopic handlers — the AXIOBIBTM IF 750/75R46 and 650/65R38, and the BIBLOAD Hard Surface 440/80R24. The AXIOBIBTM is aimed at promoting soil protection, increasing fuel savings, and improving service life and endurance. It does this, Michelin says, through an innovative tire and casing design and IF (Increased Flexion) technology.
IF tires have the same rolling circumference as an industry-standard radial tire, but can handle the same weight at up to 20 percent lower air pressure or allow for 20 percent more load at the same pressure. In the ag world, running at a lower air pressure reduces the cost of production by improving traction and fuel economy, while reducing slip and soil compaction, therefore theoretically increasing yield.
The BIBLOAD Hard Surface tire is designed for asphalt and similar surfaces. It has a hard surface tire with radial construction, steel belts and a reinforced casing for puncture resistance. The 96 multi-directional diamond-shaped tread block design and robust sidewalls are designed to increase traction, evacuate mud and carry out lateral, longitudinal and transversal movements with ease, reducing hourly costs.
“Best investment” for farmers
Michelin demonstrated its Ultraflex tires at Western Canada’s outdoor farm expo, the Ag in Motion Show. Michelin Agriculture tires customer engineering support Mike Pantaleo said it was a “great opportunity for us to showcase why farmers should think about their tires and what loads they can carry, because that makes a big difference to their equipment performance, their soil, their crop yield and ultimately their bottom lines.”
Michelin Ultraflex Technology was one of the “best investments” farmers could make to help maximize equipment efficiency and increase crop yields, he said.
The new AXIOBIBTM IF and BIBLOAD Hard Surface tires are available across North America now. For more details visit Michelin’s website.