October 24, 2019 << Back to Blog
October 24, 2019
For decades now, tractors and other agricultural machinery have been getting not only more powerful, but also heavier. The performance and weight of attachments and implements have been increasing as well. In consequence, the danger of soil compaction has risen substantially in recent years. Against this backdrop, appropriate tire designs for tractors and agricultural machines are becoming more and more important. Tires not only have to deliver adequate grip, but also have a critical role to play in increasing the yields and protecting the soil as a key production resource.
Visitors of the recent Rottalshow in Germany were given an impressive demonstration of how these requirements can be met in practice. The tire experts of Alliance teamed up with Bohnenkamp, their tire distributor in Germany, to stage an exceptional show.
It focused on showing the difference between standard and VF (Very High Flexion) tires and their respective influence on soil compaction. For this purpose, a modern Horsch crop sprayer filled with 8,000 liters of water was operating in the field with a hybrid set of tires. The normal tires on one side were inflated to 2.4 bar, while the other side was mounted with the Alliance 354 AGRIFLEX+ (380/90R54 ), encompassing the latest Alliance VF technology. In keeping with the manufacturer’s specification, its pressure was reduced to 0.8 bar.
The results were impressive and immediately evident to the audience. Even in the very wet field, the VF tires left a wider but a less deep footprint. Additionally, the VF footprint was more distinct while the standard tire tread was fuzzy because of the slippage. The penetrometer tests also showed a clear difference in soil compaction level: 10 and 14 cm respectively.
As clearly reflected by the demonstration, the lower the tire pressure in the field, the bigger the footprint and the greater the protection of the soil. Apart from a smaller fuel consumption, a reduced tire pressure also offers the advantages of faster travel because the slippage is lower by half and the track depth is lesser. The soil benefits in numerous ways thanks to its enhanced infiltration capacity and greater protection for soil-dwelling organisms, and as a consequence of the greater fertility arising from the maximized tire footprint. Given the low pressure exerted on the ground, damaging compaction of the subsoil is also highly unlikely.
The demonstration provided a compelling evidence that the modern VF technology developed by Alliance is helping farmers to protect the soil and eventually maximize their yields.
Alliance 354 AGRIFLEX+ is currently an ideal tire for large-capacity crop sprayers. Manufactured with the latest VF technology, it is designed to carry up to 40% more load than a standard row crop or crop sprayer tire at the same inflation pressure.
Alternatively, the same tire can carry a standard load with 40% less inflation pressure. Depending on the prevailing soil conditions, this operating mode provides an ideal opportunity to minimize impact on the soil while achieving maximum operational efficiency.
Given their D speed index, these tires are suitable for road speeds up to 65 km/h. Since large crop sprayers often travel by road between the point of collection and the field, adjusting the tire pressure for a full and empty tank is hardly ever required anymore because of the available loading and air pressure ranges. The tires can be operated with pressures far below the standard values. Thanks to their exceptional puncture resistance, excellent traction and superb self-cleaning properties – achieved by the ideal clearance between the R-1W lugs, 354 AGRIFLEX+ steel-belted tires significantly increase the productivity of agricultural machinery.