20 December 1996

Extra-wide radial tractor tyre widest yet, claims Michelin

LATEST tractor tyre from Michelin is claimed to be the widest radial farm tyre yet.

The 105cm (41in) wide XM609 is being introduced as an alternative to the Goodyear Terra-Tire and Firestone Flotation 23í – both of which are crossplies – for fitting to combines and other self-propelled harvesters, as well as high hp tractors. It comes in 1050/50R25 and 1050/50R32 sizes.

"Extra-wide tyres have previously been limited to a carrying role, but the radial design of the XM609 means it can also cope with quite high levels of power and traction," says Geoff Holmes of Michelin. "We have had a pair of the new tyres on test in Britain on a 250hp-plus artic tractor for the past couple of years, and now plan to introduce the tyre in limited numbers next year."

Trelleborg is also offering a wider tyre, but for tractor front drive axles. The 750/50 x 30.5 traction pattern T414 is 150mm (6in) wider than Trelleborgs current widest front in this pattern, giving more traction and pulling power while further increasing flotation.

The Swedish firm is also going wider with its round ribbed T404 and T423 pattern tyres. The latest, 800/40 x 26.5, has been approved by JCB for the Fastrac and can be run at 25mph or 30mph if a 25% load reduction is observed.

JCB engineering approval has also been given to a new heavy-duty row-crop wheel from tyre specialist Undergear. The design features a 12mm (0.5in) thick ring, continuously welded both sides to the rim, with a centre dish made of the same material and held in place by eight bolts.

"With farmers and contractors running heavier sprayers at faster working speeds, row-crop wheels, in particular, have to be engineered to cope," says Derek Carpenter of Undergear.

The firm also has a new design for conventional tractors featuring the same material and construction as the Fastrac wheel but with a 12-bolt fixing for the dish. &#42

Big Bertha – Michelins 105cm (41in) wide XM609 is claimed to be the widest radial tyre yet produced.