As the size and top speed of both towed and self-propelled farm equipment grows, the demands placed on tires become ever more extreme. And manufacturers have been struggling to offer tires that meet those demands. Tires must carry heavier loads and travel much faster on roads than previous generations.
“Often times on machines today, they’re running 50 to 55 m.p.h.,” says David Graden, North American operation marketing manager for Michelin Agriculture. “They’re over speed and overweight. That puts so much stress on tires. So we’re working toward a solution for that with our Xbib. With our testing so far, things are looking great.”
At the Ag in Motion farm show at Langham, Sask., Michelin introduced its latest tire offering that addresses both the demands of load rating and speed, the FloatXBib. It’s designed specifically for self-propelled agricultural floater spreaders that have high-load capacity and fast on-road travel speeds.
The FloatXBib is available in IF 1000/55 R32 CFO size. It’s Michelin’s first IF, or increased flexion, CFO (cyclic field operation), flotation tire. The advantage of IF tire design is it has the same rolling circumference as an industry-standard radial tire, but it can handle the same weight at up to 20 per cent less air pressure or allow for 20 per cent more load at the same pressure.
Because compaction is directly related to inflation pressure, reducing that by up to 20 per cent could help reduce compaction problems in fields.
“(The FloatXBib) is the first IF (increased flexion) floater tire on the market,” says Graden. “It’s got an absolute giant carrying capacity and we’ve increased the speed rating of it to 43 m.p.h.”
The new gets a rounded shoulder design and is made from a new rubber compound that reduces heat build up, which allows for faster road speeds. The tire is also more resistant to damage and wear from field stubble.
“The tread design of the product is new,” adds Graden. “It spreads out the weight over more lugs.”