One of the high-end features offered on AGCO’s Fendt-brand tractors is VarioGrip, which lets the operator adjust tire pressure right from the cab via the VarioTerminal.
That provides some significant benefits. When the tractor drives through a gate and into a field, it’s possible to air down the tires for maximum traction and minimum soil compaction. At the end of the day, just air them back up to hit the road for the trip back to the yard.
As quick as that system is, making a large change in pressure will still take a few minutes with the tractor engine running at fairly high revs to drive the on-board compressor. However, as a result of a co-operative engineering effort with tire manufacturer Mitas, there are some changes coming that will turn those few minutes into only a few seconds.
The new Mitas AirCell makes it possible to adjust inflation pressure in a large Mitas ag tire by one Bar (14.5 p.s.i.) in about 30 seconds. The system will be offered on 900 Series Fendt tractors equipped with Mitas 710/75 R42 SFT tires as the VarioGrip Pro option starting in November 2016.
The AirCell is a rubberized tube that mounts on a standard rim inside a tractor tire and is continually inflated to eight Bar (116 p.s.i.). It occupies about 30 per cent of the tire’s interior space and can quickly dump air into the surrounding area of the tire interior to cut down the amount of time it takes to air it up. And because the interior volume of the tire is reduced by 30 per cent due to the presence of the Air Cell, deflation times are reduced as well.
The AirCell maintains a constant shape regardless of its interior pressure, so the tire’s shape and flex rate don’t depend on the cell’s own inflation pressure.
“Mitas AirCell was developed to reduce tire filling waiting time, cut fuel costs, protect the soil, increase the life of the tire and improve handling characteristics during on-road transportation,” said Hans-Ulrich Klose, head of Mitas’ automotive engineering unit, in a press release. “Mitas AirCell also provides synergies for the integration of tire inflation systems into the complex structure of high-tech tractors.”