Testing conducted by Michelin North America at the 2014 Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, demonstrated the superior performance of Michelin® YieldBib™ VF tires with Michelin Ultraflex technologies, compared to standard technology radial row-crop tires. The results were a larger footprint, which produces reduced soil compaction, better traction and improved fuel economy.
An above-ground soil compaction demonstration was originally planned as part of Michelin’s Farm Progress Show exhibit. However, due to heavy rains leading up to the show, Michelin instead conducted a tire footprint demonstration involving two identical, 310 hp front wheel assist tractors – one equipped with YieldBib tires and the other with standard technology tires. Both tractors had dual rear tires and single front tires.
Results showed that the YieldBib footprint provided nearly 100 square inches more contact with the ground for increased traction and the most efficient transfer of horsepower to the ground. Tires with Michelin Ultraflex technologies, like YieldBib, can carry the same load at up to 40 percent lower air pressure compared to standard technology tires, or a heavier load at the same pressure as a standard tire, resulting in a larger footprint and reduced soil compaction.
Muddy fields forced cancellation of Michelin’s Traction Challenge in the Ride and Drive area each day of the Farm Progress Show. However, preliminary traction testing prior to the start of the show demonstrated the clear advantage of YieldBib tires with Michelin Ultraflex technologies – more traction and less slippage, producing a fuel savings of up to 20 percent compared to standard technology radial tires.
In this traction test, a 180 hp front wheel assist tractor equipped with YieldBib tires operating at their lower air pressure pulled a 280 hp front wheel assist tractor a distance of 100 meters across the field. The same test was conducted with the YieldBib air pressure raised to simulate standard technology tires. In both tests, the pulling force was identical and cylinders mounted on the tractors indicated the difference in fuel consumption.
“Results of both the footprint demonstration and preliminary Traction Challenge were similar to previous tests performed by Michelin,” says James Crouch, farm segment marketing manager for Michelin North America. “These tests illustrated how farmers who use standard technology radial tires can protect their soil and crops, improve tire and machine performance, and reduce fuel costs by upgrading to Michelin® YieldBib™ VF tires.”
It was hoped that conditions might improve enough by day three of the show to conduct a Traction Challenge for show attendees, but lightning and heavy rains forced cancellation of the entire final show day.