Making the right decisions matters!

Keeping eyes and ears open helps when choosing the best tyre options.

Farmers are facing challenges on various levels. In addition to ever tighter legislation and growing societal demands, there are also immediate effects of climate change as well as rising cost for agricultural inputs such as fertilisers, fuel, spare parts and the like. That is why looking for the right strategy, the right tools and also the right tyres has become increasingly important.

Promises in the ‘advertising world’, however, are colourful, and almost limitless – and mostly rather euphemistic. Against this background, farmers prefer to trust their peers; they prefer to watch, read, listen, monitor, compare – and then make their own sound decisions based on their findings. And, when looking for new tyres, for example, they do so for good reason. On the one hand, machines are getting bigger and bigger, and there is a growing risk of soil compaction. On the other, more produce needs to be grown on the same amount of land, and farms need to be productive – and economically viable – to stay in business.

End-users’ feedback provides valuable insights

When Geraint Jones, owner of a tyre business and a hill farm in Wales reports about his experiences, other practitioners will easily understand the situation: “Last winter was really wet and muddy, but ever since we mounted the new Alliance Agri Star II, our traction problems melted like snow in the spring sun. Having these new tyres on the tractor meant we haven’t needed to use 4-wheel drive half as much, simply because the traction is just so good,” Geraint says. For him, these totally new and convincing experiences are directly connected to this tyre’s unique construction – and he knows perfectly well what he is talking about. “I have been fitting tyres for 35 years, and out of the thousands I’ve fitted, I don’t think I’ve ever been as impressed as I am with these tyres.”

Comparable views and comments of end-users are often also dedicated to the Alliance Agriflex 372 VF – some of them from Spanish farmers and contractors working under rather severe conditions in terms of wear and risk of tyre damage. They particularly appreciate the robust construction of the Agriflex 372 VF, along with the minimised risk of downtime and the expected long tyre life. As Simón Haro Martínez, in the Almería region, puts it: “The 372 Agriflex have a better grip and look like they will last.” He recommends this tyre to other farmers “because their performance is good and they cost less” – a view also fully supported by Cristóbal Gutiérrez Gabarrón from the Murcia area.

For Yokohama Off-Highway Tires, the positive feedback from many end-users in different countries such as Spain, Italy, Netherlands, France and the UK, to mention just a few, is a clear confirmation of the chosen “quality & performance” strategy.

Scientific evidence of measurable benefits

Spreading the news and providing first-hand insights is a regular part of Yokohama Of-Highway Tires’ communication strategy. Accordingly, the Alliance Agri Star II and the Alliance 372 VF were also presented in field operations both to farmers and the trade press during a field demo in Maastricht, Netherlands, in May 2022. On that occasion, results of a scientific study were presented that underpin the feedback of practitioners and confirm measurable benefits. Conducted by SEGES Innovation in Denmark in 2021, an independent scientific study compared conventional tyres with Alliance VF tyres on tractor and liquid manure spreader, the VF tyres being operated with a markedly lower inflation pressure of just 1.0 bar instead of 2.5 to 3.0 bar.

For Henning Sjørslev Lyngvig, one of the consultants who evaluated these field trials, the positive effects were striking, as the maize yields in the ‘VF tyre plots’ significantly exceeded those in the ‘conventional tyre plots’ by 1.5 to 2.2 percent per hectare. This translates to calculated profit gains due to higher yields and reduced tyre slippage in the ‘VF tyre plots’ between 21.8 and 32 EUR per hectare. These results support an earlier independent French study on key characteristics of the Alliance 372 VF. With second-best, equal or even best results with regard to fuel efficiency, traction, slip in soft soil and footprint, the Alliance 372 VF was a clear match for a comparable premium competitor’s tyre and outperformed all competitors’ premium IF tyres.

Further scientific proof wanted!

Following the first series of scientific field trials performed by SEGES Innovation in cooperation with NDI Group in Denmark, a new study was started by the two partners in April 2022. This second study is taking place at the Agerbæk Machinery Station, some 20 kilometres north-east of Esberg, Denmark. The SEGES team will be looking at a special wheel solution and its effects on the subsequent yield and quality of corn. The comparisons include a solution with double narrow rims and Alliance 354 Agriflex+ (VF) row crop tyres that are operated at reduced inflation pressure and roll between the corn rows versus a set of wide tyres that roll across the space of four future corn rows in the seeding process. The study follows a method similar to the one used in the previous experiment with Alliance 372 VF and 389 VF tyres, the purpose of the new tyre experiment being to provide operators with the best possible guidance. During the year, growth, quality and yield of the crop will be assessed. The results of a previous study conducted in Germany also suggest significant yield effects in the new experiment – a message that again will be shared with practitioners.

Peer-to-peer information and scientific evidence both play a key role for the team at YOHT’s Alliance brand as parts of their various efforts to solve farmers’ “pain points”. That is also a particular focal point for Kirkby Tyres, the NTDA Truck & Agricultural Tyre Supplier of the Year 2021. As exclusive Alliance distributor in the United Kingdom and Ireland, Kirkby Tyres closely monitors practitioners’ feedback and various scientific assessments, as practical experiences and independent scientific findings form the solid and trustworthy basis to support farmers in making the best possible tyre decisions.

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