Tyre manufacturer Michelin is to capitalise on the burgeoning use of track systems on agricultural and other off-highway vehicles by acquiring Camso, a specialist in this field.
Michelin’s OTR (off the road) business will be merged with the Canadian group to form a new division based in Quebec.
Jean-Dominique Senard, Chief Executive Officer of the Michelin group, hailed the acquisition as “a wonderful mutual opportunity”.
“Michelin and Camso have many values in common; Michelin will benefit from all of Camso’s skills in the off-the-road mobility markets and Camso from the full range of Michelin’s expertise in the specialty markets,” he said.
Camso (named Camoplast until 2015), became a market leader in rubber tracks for farm tractors, harvesters and field implements such as planters after it acquired Caterpillar’s rubber track technology and US plants in 2002.
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In 2013, Camso bought the Italian track systems manufacturer Tidue, whose products are supplied to OEMs and for after-market conversions.
Michelin has witnessed growing use of rubber tracks as an alternative to its increasingly advanced traction tyres and will have a foot in both camps through the Camso acquisition, with the prospect of productive cross-fertilisation of technologies as the two companies’ R&D teams work together.
Camso’s latest track conversion system for harvesting machinery – the CTS High Speed – incorporates a final drive unit that enables it to run at up to 37kph (23mph) to match a combine on tyres. It has also worked with US combine rear axle drive manufacturer Mud Hog to develop a track conversion that puts a harvester on four driven tracks.
The CTS High Speed design is now available on Case IH Axial Flow 140/240 Series, Claas Lexion and New Holland CX5/CX6 combines, as well as Fendt and Massey Ferguson straw-walker combines, and all John Deere models.