Sensors built into ContiTech’s Trackman traction belts help operators optimise road travel speeds.
Temperature sensors built into rubber traction belts fitted to high-horsepower tractors and harvesters could enable operators to minimise wear while moving faster from field to field.
The ContiTech division of technology group Continental is introducing such sensors to its Trackman traction belts, as part of a pre-emptive maintenance initiative that will also see wear sensing in rubber drive belts, and pressure and temperature sensing in suspension air springs.
ContiTech’s objective is to provide information that enables these components to be replaced or repaired before they cause disruption to farm operations. Traction belt temperature sensing follows the introduction of Trackman XP positive-drive traction belts for Case IH tractors and the extra heavy-duty Armorlug Ultra design.
Trackman XP is said to incorporate the highest density of steel reinforcement of any traction belt thanks to the multiple layers of steel wires built into the carcass. It is also said to reduce vibration.
Armorlug Ultra builds on the existing Armorlug design, which has dual-biased plies of continuous fabric reinforcing all four sides of the drive lugs and extending into the wheel path area with no overlaps or splices.
The latest version embeds three layers of reinforcing fabric into the traction belt drive lugs and is said to be engineered to withstand higher horsepower levels than are available currently, while offering today’s tractors up to 30% longer service life.
The traction belt temperature-sensing technology is said to also be capable of extending service life by enabling operators to optimise travel speed on the road when friction between the internal components and between the rubber tread and road surface is greatest.
This generates heat that if excessive causes accelerated wear and structural damage – by showing the traction belt temperature on a cab display, operators can run at optimum speed – which may be higher than normal if the driver is overcautious, resulting in increased productivity.