Michelin demonstrates expanded footprint’s reduced soil compaction

• An important lesson from the demonstration — and one that farmers should remember when they buy tires and when they prepare to road their equipment — is that the weight that comes to bear on the rear axle of the tractor changes depending on the position of the wings of the planter.

Aiming to impress upon farmers how its low-pressure ag tires leave less of an impression in the soil, Michelin conducted a soil-compaction and footprint demonstration at the 2012 AgPhD Field Day that pitted the incredible flexing power of Michelin’s newest radial against an industry standard competitor.

“The Hefty brothers put on a fabulous agricultural educational event,” said Bob Rees, product marketing manager for Michelin North America Agricultural Tires.

“This was a great chance for us to connect with many highly motivated farmers to showcase why they should always think about their tires and what loads they can carry, because that can make a big difference to their equipment performance, their ground, their crop and ultimately, their bottom line.”

Invited back July 27 for the second year in a row to participate in the popular agricultural education event hosted by the Hefty Seed Co. in Baltic, S.D., Michelin again partnered with Case IH to demonstrate how the choice of ag tires can affect equipment performance.

This year, Michelin equipped a Case IH 315 Magnum tractor with two sets of tires. On one side it mounted a competitor’s tire, front and back. On the other, it mounted the new Michelin YieldBib radial, which it will introduce in late August at the 2012 Farm Progress show.

Then Michelin researchers attached a Case IH 1250 24-row planter to the tractor and drove it over a small test plot. They then backed the tractor off, marked the tracks with flour to make the tracks easily visible and then measured the footprints and compaction zones for comparison.

 “Our new VF-class Michelin YieldBib radial, which can carry up to 40 percent more weight than a standard radial at the same air pressure, showed much less compaction,” Rees explained. “It delivers a significantly longer footprint. You end up with two extra lugs on the ground, which helps spread out the weight.”

An important lesson from the demonstration — and one that farmers should remember when they buy tires and when they prepare to road their equipment — is that the weight that comes to bear on the rear axle of the tractor changes depending on the position of the wings of the planter.

“With the wings of the planter in field position, the axle needs to carry about 26,000 pounds,” Rees said. “But when you fold them in to road it, you’re putting 35,000 pounds on the axle. To carry that amount of weight, your standard radial, whether it’s the competitor or ours, needs 35 pounds of pressure. But our VF tire can carry that weight at 20.”

Rees said he was delighted with the chance to again conduct a demonstration at an AgPhD event and provide the growers a sneak peak of the newest addition to their VF line-up.

The next chance to see the Michelin YieldBib radial will be at the Farm Progress show Aug. 28-30 in Boone, Iowa. Michelin plans to showcase several demonstrations, including one demonstration that will be available for farm show attendees for the first and only time in the United States.

For more information, see www.michelinag.com.

 

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