Built to tough environmental standards, Tm Blue tires offer larger footprints and more traction because of their Increased Flexion design
Blue is the new green,” says Andrea Masella, marketing manager, agricultural and forestry tires, at Trelleborg, as he stands in front of a large blue tractor tire in the centre of his company’s display at Ag Connect Expo. “When we say green, we just think of forests. But blue refers to the whole environment. When we say blue, it’s something good for the whole environment and for the end user, the farmer.”
The blue concept
Of course, the company isn’t actually going to start producing tires that are coloured blue. The display was meant, in part, to highlight the environmentally friendlier manufacturing process Trelleborg now uses in all its factories around the world. According to Masella, the new cleaner manufacturing process is driven in large part by tightening environmental regulations in Europe.
“This is the systematic approach to all our operations in order to constantly reduce their environmental impact in support of Trelleborg’s corporate responsibility,” said Marco D’Angelo, industrial director, Business Unit Agri and Forestry Tires, in a corporate brochure.
But Trelleborg’s TM Blue concept isn’t just about manufacturing procedures. The tires rolling off those cleaner assembly lines are meant to deliver environmental benefits in the broadest possible sense, even to soils in the farm fields they’re put to work in.
TM Blue tires have redesigned inter-lug terracing which gives them better self-cleaning features. That means the tire travels farther in wet soils before filling with soil and they clean themselves in a much shorter distance if they do, reducing the transfer of soil onto roads when leaving a wet field—another aspect of their environmentally friendly tag.
The company introduced two new sizes at the show in its largest TM1000 High Power line of IF (increased flexion) tires: 710/75R42 and 650/65R34. IF tires are designed to carry more load at the same air pressures or the same load at lower air pressures and have increasing sidewall flexing characteristics.
The TM Blue line of tires have footprints up to 10 per cent larger than competitors’ premium offerings, according to the company. And there is an eight per cent increase in traction to go along with that. “When we talk about performance, it has a wider footprint, which leads to lower compaction,” adds Masella. “That leads to sustainable farming. Increased traction leads to reduced fuel consumption and lower exhaust emissions levels.”
Lower operating costs
In this case being good to the environment has a payback. “In the end, the farmer can save up to $3,400 (in operating costs),” Masella goes on.
But he acknowledges the retail price of TM Blue tires will be higher than most others. It’s in those reduced operating costs where farmers will make up for that. “We say these are the cheapest tires on the market,” he says. “Of course, when you buy it there is an extra, added value. But what you spend you will save in the long run. I recommend these tires to people with big tractors that use their machines for many years and are looking for productivity.”
Because of the deflection of the casing and the shape of lugs on TM tires, they transfer less vibration to the tractor, according to Trelleborg’s marketing information, which leads to less stress on the operator over the course of the day and a more stable machine.
That’s another part of the blue concept,” says Masella. “It’s good for the environment, but it’s also good for our customer. That’s a win-win concept.” †