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Tyres & Tracks

Power on the Land

Tyres and tracks is the topic for this month’s Power on the Land, brought to you as always by Mike Williams.

The upward trend in tractor power is an important factor in tyre development, and some of the recent arrivals in the tyre market are designed to cope with the power and weight of big tractors.

The newest addition to the popular Agrimax Force series in the BKT tyre range is the IF 750/75 R46 size, designed for tractors of 250hp+. Announced at last year’s SIMA show in Paris, the tyre diameter is 2.3m, making it the biggest radial BKT has produced, and it is designed to provide a high flotation capacity by producing a larger footprint and operating at a lower inflation pressure than standard tyres carrying the same load. The maximum speed capability is 70kph and the load capacity can be up to 13,300kg, depending on inflation pressure and travel speed. BKT is an Indian-based company specialising in tyres for off-highway applications, including tractors and other farm equipment. they operate internationally, with products sold
in more than 160 countries.

The design improvements introduced on the Traxion Optimall VF series tyres from Apollo Vredestein earned a gold medal award for innovation at last year’s Lamma event. The benefits offered by the new tyres can include a seven per cent reduction in fuel consumption for field work, a claim supported by results achieved during tests carried out by Germany’s DLG farm machinery research organisation, where the tyres recorded a seven per cent gain in productivity. The performance benefits also include up to 25 per cent reduction in the inflation pressure compared to some VF rated tyres, and the increase in the footprint area can be up to 15 per cent.

Other benefits claimed for Traxion Optimall tyres include a longer working life achieved by boosting the rubber content in the tread compound, and an improved carcass structure has also produced greater stability when the tractor is used for road travel. The tyres are suitable for medium- and high-horsepower tractors, with 10 sizes available ranging from the 1,590mm diameter VF 600/70 R30, to the range-topping VF 900/60 R42 with a 2,160mm diameter.   

The farming industry makes an important contribution to the 50,000 or more new tyres supplied each year by Suffolk-based Treadfirst. The company is based in Sudbury and operates through a network of depots which are supplemented by a fleet of service vans available on a 24/7 basis. The Treadfirst agricultural business covers tyres for specialist machinery such as ATVs and trailers as well as tractors, and they supply tyres from most of the leading manufacturers. A more recent addition to their agricultural business is supplying rubber tracks for the increasing number of tracklaying tractors and vehicles such as self-propelled harvesters. While selling and fitting tyres is Treadfirst’s main activity, they also offer a long list of other vehicle-based services ranging from puncture repairs to dealing with battery and exhaust system problems plus servicing air conditioning units, and, for the farm’s pick-up truck, they can also look after the MOT testing or balance the wheels.     

The introduction of steel reinforced rubber tracks by Caterpillar on their Challenger 65 tractor in 1987 was an immensely important advance in power farming technology, bringing major benefits compared with the traditional steel tracks used previously. The new rubber tracks were soon a popular choice on tractors and on self-propelled machinery, including combines and root crop harvesters, and the increasing popularity of the new tracks has provided an additional growth market for the Brocks Wheel & Tyre business.

The Brocks Wheel & Tyre company, which has close links with the J Brock & Sons company selling new and used tractors and agricultural machinery, has its headquarters on the Brock family farm at Thaxted, Essex. For the rubber track side of the business, they offer a wide choice of different makes, and they can supply either a set of tracks or complete track system.

The farm-based Brocks Wheel & Tyre company also supplies and fits rubber tracks.

Tyremart is part of the ADR group of companies, and they operate a nationwide distribution service specialising in axles, steering gear and other wheel-related products. The steering axles they offer include both self-steer and controlled steer applications, and their EU-approved rigid axles with load capacities from 500kg to 30t are said to offer the biggest selection available. There is also a comprehensive choice of suspension systems, covering both mechanical and hydraulic operation and suitable for single-, twin- and triple-axle units.

The list of ADR equipment distributed by Tyremart also includes the Soil products series, a range of special semi-axles and hubs designed to meet the demanding requirements for wheels on cultivation implements. The ability to operate in a harsh environment that will include dust, stones and mud is essential, and the ADR Soil products feature special seals to protect the bearings and reduce the risk of damage.

Waste tyre recycling service

Tyre recycling company Envirotyre UK is one of the only companies in the country that can collect the full range of agri tracks from any site in England, using its own fleet of vehicles.

Founded in 2002, it provides a collection and recycling service to a wide range of users and is Lincolnshire’s only waste tyre disposal company to have a full Environment Agency permit. It can process all tyres, from bicycles to earthmovers and everything in between – as well as construction and agricultural tracks. It has processed waste tractor and truck tyres since it began 16 years ago. The company also has a fully calibrated weighbridge on site.

With many years’ experience and a fleet of lorries and vans for scrap tyre collection, Envirotyre says it can manage contaminated and mixed loads, accepting any size or weight. Farmers can make use of daily, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly collection options. Prices are either per tyre or per tonne, and discounts are given to customers who want bulk tyre disposal or those who deliver used tyres to the site.

The company also provides rubber sidewall covers for silage pits, which it says have many advantages, including being highly cost effective.

Envirotyre’s purpose-built recycling site sits beside the main A17 (North/South) trunk road, one mile from the main A52 (East/West) trunk road, four miles west of Boston in Lincolnshire.

Tyre company looks to roll out agricultural expertise

Family-run business Lodge Tyre Company is looking to roll out its agricultural expertise after a series of acquisitions made it one of the UK’s largest independent tyre retail and service providers.

Until recently, the company operated almost entirely in the West Midlands, but in August 2017 it acquired the shares of Kingsway Tyres (Stamford), a similar business in the East Midlands and East Anglia regions. Further acquisitions have given the group a growing 50-store network, with depots as far apart as Carlisle and Anglesey, Norwich and Droitwich.

As a result, Lodge says it has significant buying power with all key distributors and a wealth of knowledge to assist end users in making better tyre-buying decisions. It promises to meet a variety of tyre requirements, from all-terrain 4×4 tyres or specialist tractor tyres.

Within the Lodge sales team there is a specialist agricultural tyre unit, headed up by Stuart Sharpe of Fakenham – who has more than 40 years’ experience in the industry – supported by Ian Sharman and Richard Foster.

As Kingsway Tyres – which is now trading under the Lodge Tyre branding – the team has long supported the Royal Norfolk Show, giving East Anglian farmers and growers the opportunity to discuss their tyre issues with experts over a cup of tea. The group also recently supported the Bridgestone marketing initiative for VT tractor tyres, which saw a tractor travel from John O’Groats to Land’s End on a single set of low compaction Bridgestone VT tyres.

UK and US tyre firms announce partnership

Maxam Tire International has announced an ongoing partnership with Brocks Wheels & Tyres (BWT), for the distribution of its full agricultural tyre portfolio.

Based in Essex, BWT has grown from a family-run farming business to one of the UK’s largest dedicated wheel and tyre distributors for the agricultural market. Maxam Tire, based in the US but with international offices in Birmingham, has a dedicated team of product, application and manufacturing engineers who simultaneously design tyres and develop manufacturing processes, using state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, to produce the entire Maxam line.

The company says its tyres are manufactured using top quality materials, as well as the latest equipment and technology. Stringent quality controls cover every phase of the process, from testing raw materials, to the final inspection of the finished product.

Maxam business development director, Jeff Hughes, who covers the UK market, said: “We are delighted with the development of our partnership with such a professional outfit as BWT. We are constantly seeking enhanced partner relationships, and we hope our new arrangement with BWT will bring long-term mutual benefits.”

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