A new tyre for high-horsepower tractors is claimed to exceed the performance of existing designs in terms of both traction and inflation pressure.
The Traxion Optimall from Dutch manufacturer Vredestein is described as a next -generation very high flexion (VF) tyre – a classification that identifies traction tyres with highly flexible carcasses giving a defined load-carrying advantage over other categories.
Vredestein says tests carried out by researchers at the German Agricultural Society (DLG) technical institute confirmed the new design is able to plant a 15% larger footprint than other VF category tyres and can support a given load at up to 25% lower pressure.
For a load of 5,150kg (11,354lb), for example, a 710/75 R42 Traxion Optimall requires 0.6 bar (8.7psi) inflation pressure, whereas other equivalent VF designs need 0.8 bar (11.6psi).
These abilities result from Vredestein’s so-called F+ technology, which comprises a sidewall with a focused flexing zone and a specially formulated rubber compound in the shoulder area to support the carcass at low pressure.
A rigid upper bead zone is said to help maintain tyre stability on the rim, with up to 10% greater radial stiffness than other VF tyres, resulting in safe handling characteristics during heavy road transport.
The familiar ‘Traxion’ tread layout used on the Traxion+ and TraxionXXL tyres is used again. It has lugs that curve more sharply than usual towards the centre of the tread to reduce vibration during road travel.
But this arrangement is said not to compromise grip in the field and, together with the rubber compound used, is claimed to deliver up to 30% longer service life.
The tyre’s advantages are most pronounced when it replaces a stiffer improved flexion (IF) design, when the 40% lower inflation pressure and resulting 25% increase in ground contact area helps deliver reduced traction loss.
In the DLG test of a 400hp-plus tractor, slippage was reduced by 5.5%, which resulted in 7% lower fuel consumption and a corresponding increase in productivity.
The new tyre will be available initially in sizes VF 710/75 R42, VF 650/65 R34, and VF 650/60 R34, with more sizes to follow.