Mitas’ revolutionary PneuTrac concept ag tire was first shown to the world at the last Agritechnica farm machinery show in Germany in 2013. Now the company says it is ready to put the tire into field trials, and it expects to have the PneuTrac market ready by the end of 2017.
The PneuTrac uses a completely different, inverted sidewall design, which allows it to develop a larger footprint producing more traction than a conventional tire. And without an exposed sidewall, the tire is less prone to field damage.
The tire also rides on a much lower inflation pressure than standard radials. During an interview with the tire’s inventor, Avishay Novoplanski, during Agritechnica 2013, he told Grainews the tire can also function even with a complete loss of air pressure.
Mitas has described the PneuTrac as a hybrid, bridging the gap between modern radial tires and rubber-belt track systems. In fact, part of the field testing the company plans to do over the next two years involves measuring the PneuTrac’s performance against rubber tracks.
“The footprint and traction force of Mitas PneuTrac and rubber tracks are superior to those of traditional pneumatic tires,” said Andrew Mabin, Mitas’ sales and marketing director in a recent press release. “The next step is to compare PneuTrac and rubber tracks and see how close they will come.”
The field trials currently underway in Europe have so far yielded encouraging results, according to the company.
“Mitas is conducting field tests in the Czech Republic with a John Deere 6150R tractor mounted with 480/65 R28 PneuTrac on the front axle and 600/65 R38 PneuTrac on the rear,” the press release explains. “The results show the traction force of Mitas 600/65 R38 PneuTrac is approximately 25 per cent higher than a standard tire and, compared with an IF-rated tire, PneuTrac delivers approximately 15 per cent better traction. Taking a closer look at the 480/65 R28 PneuTrac, it has approximately 10 per cent advantage in traction force over a standard tire and approximately seven per cent over the IF tire.”