Friday, 18 October 2019 12:51

Tyres made for tough terrain

Written by  Mark Daniel

Tyre maker Continental will present its new Very High Flexion (VF) technology for its TractorMaster, TractorMaster Hybrid and CombineMaster agricultural tyres at Agritechnica, in Hanover in November.

The tyres’ highly flexible sidewalls maintain its durability and directional stability when operated at reduced pressures or high loads. This is made possible by an optimised belt and bead geometry.

Continental recognises that agricultural tyres must be able to handle changing terrain, loads and speeds, and its VF concept is said to save time and fuel and to prevent damaging compaction of the soil. 

The savings are accrued as the tyres achieve constant carrying capacity at all speeds, with their pressure reduced for the same performance relative to standard tyres. Previously, tyre pressures would need to be adjusted to deal with loading or changes between road or paddock tasks.

The new VF tyres can provide the same payload at 40% lower pressure than standard tyres or, alternatively, they carry a 40% heavier load at top speed at the same pressure as a standard tyre. 

VF tyres have a larger, more flexible bead profile with a smaller apex, allowing improved deflection of the tyre and lower integral stresses at the extremes of use. So the service life is extended.

The carcase of the tyre has its integral belts adjusted to cope with more rigorous use.  In conventional tyres, very low pressures or overloading can quickly lead to damage, whereas with VF tyres, the belt and shoulder areas are larger and stiffer to lower the risk of deformation and damage. 

They also embody N.flex technology, a patented carcase material which is flexible enough to absorb impact and return to the original form. This also guarantees rounder tyres for a comfortable ride, and it reduces their propensity to develop flat spots and a poor ride. 

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