The growing world population is presenting enormous challenges for the agricultural industry. The United Nations estimates that by 2030, enough food will have to be supplied to meet the needs of around 8.5 billion people. At the same time, the amount of space available for agricultural land is dwindling all the time, which means that more harvests have to be gathered in ever shorter times. The top priority for farmers, therefore, is to boost the efficiency of operations and, at the same time, ensure the sustainable use of resources. As the physical link between the soil and the agricultural machinery, tyres play an important role in increasing the efficiency of agricultural vehicles.
Optimum traction and soil protection thanks to minimal slip
Tyre pressure plays a crucial role. The higher the pressure, the smaller the tyre’s contact patch with the ground. This leads to high slip – that is, more of a loss in terms of distance covered – which, in turn, makes it harder for the vehicle to move forward in the field. In addition to the lower traction, this increases fuel consumption, tire wear and the pressure on the ground. Reduced economic efficiency and agricultural performance are the result. Example: Maximum power transmission when a vehicle is traveling straight ahead is achieved with tire slip of 10–15%. If the slip is 35%, tractor operating costs can increase by up to 23% when the tractor is driven at an average speed of 7 km/h over an area of 300 hectares.
The right degree of slip combined with good tractive power transmission can therefore make the vehicle more efficient and able to operate over longer periods of time. The right height of lugs, good self-cleaning properties of the tyre, a large tyre diameter and a high air volume for low tyre pressures are essential for ensuring optimum tractive power transmission. The right distribution of the ballast is also every bit as important as reserves for additional weights.
Continental has responded to these challenges with its new tyre portfolio for the agricultural industry. “When developing the new tyres, we were unwavering in our quest to improve the quality and output of tractors on the field in terms of both vehicle performance and the utilization of resources,” explains Thorsten Bublitz, product line manager for agricultural tyres at Continental Commercial Specialty Tires. “Optimum tractive power transmission out on the field, good traction for faster forward travel, minimal slip of 10–15% and the right tyre pressure for protecting the ground help to boost long-term productivity.”
Continental at Agritechnica
Technology company Continental will be presenting its latest technological highlights for the agricultural industry, November 12-18 at Agritechnica (Hall 3, booth F19) in Hanover. It will be showcasing a range of products from predictive maintenance solutions to camera systems, displays and catalytic converters right the way through to tyres.