TIVOLI, Italy—Trelleborg Wheel Systems S.p.A. has developed a double-lug tread pattern for its farm tractor drive tires that it claims delivers progressive traction under varying soil conditions while offering improved flotation at the same time.
The design concept, to be marketed under a ProgressiveTraction moniker, will debut at the Agritechica 2013 farm industry trade show in Hanover, Germany, Nov. 10-16.
Trelleborg said the idea, under development for two years, is still in the concept phase. The first tires, in size 650/65R38, are being tested in the field.
Piero Mancinelli, research and development director, Trelleborg agricultural and forestry tires, said the design concept is targeted at the new generation of tractors and transmissions that offer more power and torque.
"To cope with these requirements, agricultural tires have been growing both in terms of width and overall diameter, becoming larger and larger," Mancinelli said. "The ambition of ProgressiveTraction technology is to increase tire efficiency and performance by simultaneously working on the tire's dimension while re-engineering the traditional tread."
The new tread is characterized by a double lug that operates on the soil at different times, progressively releasing higher traction when and where it is needed, Trelleborg said. The double lug provides the tire with better floatation capability, ensuring an even pressure distribution over the extra wide footprint.
The concept is undergoing a variety of indoor and outdoor field tests to measure and benchmark product performance, both in the field and on the road, Trelleborg said.
During the latest field tests, Trelleborg claims concept tires demonstrated 10-percent higher traction capacity vs. standard technology tires, and the extra pulling force yielded a 3- to 5-percent reduction of working time.
The tire also can provide increased flotation, Trelleborg said, depending on the tractor and tire configuration, potentially boosting crop yield while preserving soil from compaction and erosion.
On the road, the new lug structure is designed to limit tread vibrations, reducing the tire's rolling resistance, which should yield improvements in fuel consumption, driver comfort, handling and wear.