At this year’s Farm Progress show, the nation’s largest outdoor farm event, Aug. 29‒31, in Decatur, Ill., attendees will have a look at the future of MICHELIN agriculture tires. Following the innovations demonstrated during Movin’On, Michelin’s international mobility summit held recently in Montreal, several prototype tires will be showcased to demonstrate Michelin’s technical leadership and game-changing solutions for the challenges faced by today’s farmer.
“Tires are the only link between the ground and the machine,” said Laurent Le Dortz, director of marketing Michelin North America Agricultural and Compact product line. “Michelin is driving change through innovation. These prototype tires showcase our technical leadership in the agricultural industry and our commitment to customers to provide the best solutions for their challenges on and off the field.”
Michelin’s challenge is to equip today’s powerful, technically-advanced machines with tires that will improve useful power transmission, agronomic efficiency and operational performance, while protecting the soil and reducing fuel consumption. Michelin’s Innovation Zone will feature these prototype tires:
Designed for row-crop applications for high-horsepower tractors from 150hp to more than 500hp, the new Michelin AgriBIB2 succeeds the Michelin AgriBIB, combined with new technologies. The Michelin AgriBIB2 is positioned as the affordable, premium row-crop tire. It offers a more competitive price than the previous AgriBIB, yet offers a high traction level due to its R1W tread depth and 45-degree lug angle. Michelin technology and expertise has been used to maximize the tire’s performances throughout its life with a specific pattern to improve stubble resistance and radial casing that can carry more weight with higher endurance than the first generation. The 380/80R38 142A8/139D and 480/80R50 159A8/159B dimensions will be available Sept. 1, 2017, followed by 13 additional dimensions in 2018.
Earning the prestigious 2017 Innovation Gold Medal at SIMA, the Paris International Agri-Business Show for high-performance and sustainable agriculture, the MICHELIN EvoBIB is a patented “2-in-1 tire” solution that adjusts pressure and usage, allowing farmers to operate more efficiently in the field or on the road, utilizing tractors with greater than 250 horsepower. Coming to North America summer 2018, the CTIS-enabled tire works at ultra-low pressures while in the field. The tire’s contact patch increases in size up to 20 percent to reduce soil compaction. While working at higher pressures on the road, the tire transforms so that only the central continuous tread band grips the pavement, resulting in a smoother, vibration-free ride, fuel savings and improved safety. This is great news for farmers who want the extra operational comfort but are challenged to deliver sustainable crop yields at affordable prices. It will be available in VF600/70R30 165D and VF 710/70R42 179D sizes.
Designed for a new segment of the market, this is the first solution for 200-plus-horsepower tractors, designed specifically for intensive paved and gravel road use, demanding high performance, longevity, and traction. High-powered tractors can spend more than 50 percent of their time on the road — equivalent to 80 percent of total distance traveled — and often coupled with heavy equipment. This tire is the “pick-up truck” equivalent for tractors offering superior performance both on the road and in the field. With 25 percent more tire life, Michelin siping and an open shoulder facilitate the evacuation of debris and mud while greatly increasing traction. Not a traditional lugged tire, the tread comprises 52 blocks to maximize traction, allowing 40 percent of tread to be in contact with the road surface and a special center rib to maximize efficiency and tread life for on-the-road driving. RoadBIB has a directional tread design, siping and robust sidewalls for superior longevity. Coming to the North American market in Q2 2018, it will be available in size 600/70R30 for front and 710 /70R42 for rear fitments.
This non-directional prototype tire offers radial construction, steel belts and a reinforced casing for puncture resistance in multi-purpose applications. It is designed to conduct a large number of lateral, longitudinal, and transversal movements on hard, wet, and even snow-covered surfaces. An industrial Michelin casing contains a steel belt for high-load capacity and high puncture resistance. The tire, designed for loader applications, will be available in 18- to 42-inch sizes when it is launched in July 2018.
Designed for very-high-speed, very-high-load capacity applications such as floaters and other heavy equipment, this prototype tire employs MICHELIN Ultraflex VF (very high flexion) Technology. With a hefty three-foot-wide by six-foot-high dimension, this “no-limit” tire can carry an impressive 8.5- to17-ton load while running at low pressure to minimize soil compaction. The full-width protection and double-lug design resists stubble damage. A new shoulder design enables better traction and load distribution. A high casing and tread resistance built into the tire allows it to endure intense road usage.
Tomorrow’s concept tire, similar to Michelin’s recent introduction of the Vision tire, LifeBIB demonstrates tread diversity with its specialized tread pattern designed to emulate wheat grain. Michelin LifeBIB is the agricultural tire of the future — the genesis of the next Michelin innovation. Designed to support future tractors and combines, this concept focuses on Michelin expertise on productivity and soil fertility. The concept tire presents an alternative to traditional “V” lugs with a new design to contribute to productivity. Michelin Ultraflex Technology allows tires to be engineered for more powerful and heavier machines while operating with lower air pressure. Launched in 2004, MICHELIN Ultraflex IF (high flexion) Technology can carry the same load at up to 20 percent lower air pressure compared to standard radial technology tires, or up to 20 percent heavier loads at the same pressure as standard radial tires, resulting in a larger footprint and reduced soil compaction