Large-volume tires with low air pressures can deliver high fuel efficiency and traction and reduce slip and soil compaction. Partnering with Michelin tires, researchers from Purdue were on hand at field demos this.
View the Machinery Minute segment from AgDay on this event here:
At Purdue University's Animal Science Center, Michelin conducted ag tire performance tests comparing their Axiobib large-volume radials to a competitor's standard-sized 480/80R50 farm tire. The tests were conducted on the same 275 hp Case IH 335 Magnum tractor. It was equipped first with the competitor's standard-sized radial and sent across a field pulling a ripper with five shanks, then seven shanks and then nine shanks deployed. Then, on unplowed parts of the same field, the same tractor completed the tests on the Axiobib radials. In this demonstration, the Axiobib radial outperformed the comparison tires with greater pulling power and high fuel efficiency.
Michelin and Purdue researchers devised a way to show the effects of soil compaction. They dug a pit that was 27' wide, 12' long and 3' deep and refilled it one four-inch layer of pulverized black topsoil at a time, alternating it with thin layers of white stone dust. Then a John Deere 9760 combine with 650/85R38 Michelin MachXbib radials on the right side another company's standard 520/85R46 tires on the left side of the machine. The tires are the same height and were set at 30 psi in the standard and 17 psi in the Michelin radials. The combine with a front axle weight of 53,200 lb. was driven over the pit.
A backhoe later dug out half of the pit to expose the ruts the tires left in the soil and show the difference between the compaction caused by standard tires and the lesser amount left by these large-volume tires. Where the combine wheels had traveled, the alternating dark brown and white lines dipped. The standard tires on the combine left a rut of about 10". The Michelin large-volume tires left a rut of 6.5".