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Alliance Agri Star II and VF Technology

Alliance Agri Star II

The Alliance Agri Star II was launched at Agritechnica in Germany in 2023, and the latest addition to the range is the 65 Series

Commercial Tyre Business spoke with Alliance Tire Groups’ Francis Benedict (Product Manager – Alliance) to get some background on the Agri Star II.

ATG' Francis Benedict with the Agri Star II
ATG’s Francis Benedict with the Agri Star II

Benedict lays out the background; “Broadly speaking, the market is split into two technologies, one will be a radial tyre and one will be a bias tyre.

“I am talking about the radial tyre because modern customers with modern equipment favour the radial tyre, though in eastern Europe there is still some preference for the bias-ply tyre.

“In radial technology there are two types of casing. The standard radial and the VF. The premium tyre uses the VF technology.  The VF is a tyre which ensures that the machine weight has less impact on the soil. If we transfer a heavy machine weight to the ground, the soil will get compacted. In a nutshell, that is the concept of the VF tyre

“The standard radial tyre is a good tyre that does the job asked of it. It is the tyre that dominated the market when tractors were mostly used for working in the field.

Alliance Tire Group has a range of series from 65, through to 95 series; the 65 is the profile used on modern tractors, the 85 series would be standard on older equipment.”

Benedict continued; “What has happened in the last couple of decades is that previously a tractor used to just operate within the field. However, now tractors have to be more versatile, and they also operate on the roads taking loads to and from fields to storage and even to distribution points. The tractor has now become multipurpose so previously tractor tyres were designed to operate in the field. In the field they need more traction more bite than on the road. On road use there is a need for a more comfortable ride and improved fuel economy.  Now, we have to develop tyres to be good in the field but also perform on the road. So, we designed Agri Star II, It has very good traction because of its lug design and good road ability with a D-Speed rating of 65kph, which is the legal limit for Europe.”

The Agri Star II has some unique design elements that help it maintain its performance in the field over an extended life. Benedict continues; “What makes the Agri Star II a good field tyre? Its primary purpose is to have good traction in the field. To have good traction means you need to have good grip in wet conditions in the soil. We have specially designed a technology called Stratified Layer Technology (SLT).

“If you look at any competitor’s tyre, it will be a single lug design but, in our case, there are two lugs.

“This is the unique proposition of the Agri Star II, with its two-lug design. These two lugs have different profiles, so after the first lug wears down to 40 per cent, it is replaced by a different profile lug that helps maintain the original traction for the whole life of the tyre.

“Additionally, to get that improved ride on the road, the Agri Star II has an overlapping design in the centre of the tyre to minimise vibration on the road.

“One more key point is the tyre’s improves aesthetics. We have made it look good. Usually, no one cares how a tyre looks but what we have done is we have made it beautiful. If you look at the sidewall, we have mouldings to make the tyre look more attractive.”

To recap on the SLT, Benedict explained that if you walk in a pair of shoes, they will wear, and as it wears the sole becomes slippery. The same happens with the tyre; however, with the SLT, as the tyre wears, a second, different profile lug appears and maintains that original grip for longer. Instead of a single geometry tyre, the Agri Star II has a dual geometry design.

VF Technology – how it works

Benedict begins by outlining the nature of the market, with only 30 per cent of the earth being land, and only 11 per cent is arable land. The more we reduce the efficiency of that land, the greater the problems we create. Soil compaction is one of the biggest challenges facing agriculture globally. As machinery increases in size, so to does the risk of soil compaction. Compacted soil has a lower ability to drain, it results in crops with shorted, less efficient root systems, and the output is consequentially of lower volume and quality.

Alliance Agri Star II with SLT technology ensures ongoing performance when the tread wears by 40 Per cent
Alliance Agri Star II with SLT technology ensures ongoing performance when the tread wears by 40 per cent

“We need a technology that help prevent soil compaction by minimising the impact of the load of the machinery on the soil. So, now to have low soil compaction, we have a technology called VF tyres. So, what VF tyre principally does is on the field, it will carry the same load at 40 per cent lower pressure, which means the tyre is transmitting less weight to the ground, which results in minimal soil compaction.

The VF tyre works by having a strong but flexible sidewall and this creates a wider and longer footprint distributing the load more evenly.

“Since the VF technology is new, it is also a little more expensive, so we have added some new features. It is a steel belted tyre to maintain the integrity of the tyre, and it offers puncture protection.

The VF also has a “stubble guard” compound, a rubber designed to resist damage from stubble in fields after harvesting. This is a premium compound to make the VF tyres harder wearing. We have also given the VF tyre a 10-year warranty.

“So, the VF tyre offers lower soil compaction, puncture protection, a good off-road performance and a positive on-road ride. It allows the operator to carry up to 40 per cent greater load than the equivalent radial tyre, and it has a 65kph D-speed rating and comes with a 10 year manufacturing warranty.”

That 10 year warranty is a strong selling point, as Benedict explains that depending upon use, a standard tyre may have a lifespan of 3 – 7 years

Benedict explained the 10 year warranty; “This a manufacturing fault warranty, if at any point in the tyre’s life there is a fault due to a manufacturing error, then the warranty will cover a new replacement tyre.

The Alliance Agriflex+ 372 tyre for tractors and combines is a steel-belted VF tyre, it excels in traction, roadability, load capacity, and soil protection, earning top marks in studies in France and Denmark.
A scientific field experiment conducted in Denmark revealed that the reduced strain on the soil by the VF tyre footprint allowed for higher yields when compared to conventional tyre footprint. The higher yields and reduced tyre slippage translated to calculated profit gains between 21.8 and 32 EUR per hectare. “The Agriflex 372 VF comes at a clear competitive price point – thus offering an unbeatable package and excellent value for money”, highlights Ole Baek, Vice President for North & West Europe at Yokohama-ATG.

Alliance Agri Star 372+
Alliance Agri Star 372+

Agriflex 372 VF: Tyre technology that pays off

With 178 tyres in the Very High Flexion (VF) portfolio, and as pioneer in the IF and VF tyre segment, Alliance has the largest low-pressure tyre offering in the industry. One key feature of VF tyres is their ability to carry 40 per cent more load than a conventional radial, which means farmers can make fewer trips – which in turn allows to save gas, time, and ultimately money. Alternatively, VF tyres can be operated at up to 40 per cent lower inflation pressure than a standard radial, reducing soil compaction, preserving the health of fields, and helping to ensure healthy yields for years to come. 15 new sizes were recently introduced with size VF750/75R46 being Alliance’s biggest size for large tractors and harvesters.

Agriflex 373+: The best of two worlds

The newly introduced Alliance Agriflex 373+ is the first ever hybrid tractor tyre designed to deliver in the field and on the road. For this R1-W tread, both SLT and VF technology were combined so this tyre can carry up to 40 per cent more load than conventional tires, or the same load with 40 per cent lower inflation pressure, whilst providing prolonged traction and longer tyre life at the same time – a fact that is also underpinned by the tyre’s 10-year warranty.

Agriflex 389+ XT: Soil protection with whole farm concept

Six sizes of the new flotation upgrade of the proven Alliance Agriflex 389+ characterise a new area in agricultural transportation: 10 per cent higher load carrying capacity than the existing Agriflex 389+ for vehicles such as trailers and tankers means lower soil compaction and improved productivity. The new sizes of the Agriflex 389+ XT come with a 10-year warranty, and are the starting point for the upgrade of the entire, well-proven Agriflex 389+ tyre range.

 

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