Alliance’s launch of an upgraded version of its 372 VF (very high flexion) tyre was accompanied by the news of a successful independent research trial conducted by IRSTEA (Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies pour l’environnement et l’agriculture) that looked at fuel efficiency traction, footprint and slip of Alliance’s IF (increased flexion) and VF tyres in comparison with the premium competition in the market.
Alliance Presents Results of IRSTEA Research
ATG presented the findings to members of the media during a virtual press event streamed via the Netherlands, alongside their exclusive distributor for the UK & Ireland, Kirkby Tyres.
Kirkby Tyres has been importing and distributing the Alliance brand for over 50 years now, and back in 2017 the company celebrated its 50-year partnership. Michael Rosenthal, Marketing Director of Kirkby Tyres said, “In 2017, we celebrated a 50-year partnership with ATG. Alliance has been a leader in off-highway tyre market and has been working at the cutting edge of technology. We are aiming to follow Alliance’s lead by being at the cutting edge with our investments in IT and marketing. With that in mind, Kirkby is proud to stock a complete range of Alliance 372 VF tyres.
The IRSTEA Institute in France is one of the leading research institutes and leads the test with the objective of testing the performance of the Agriflex VF 372 against tier 1 VF & IF (improved flexion) competition across key parameters: fuel efficiency, traction, footprint width and slip in soft soil.
New readers to Commercial Tyre Business may be wondering as to the exact definition of VF and IF tyres.
VF (very high flexion) tyres from Alliance can carry 40% more load at the same inflation pressure or the same load at reduced pressure. The lower inflation of a VF tyre results in an enlarged footprint, improving traction, fuel economy and soil protection.
In a similar vein, Alliance IF (improved flexion) tyres carry 20% more load at the same pressure with the structural and compound innovations allowing the IF tyre sidewalls to operate while flexing more dramatically.
The results demonstrated a notable performance by the upgraded tractor tyre Alliance 372 VF as it outperformed competitors’ premium IF tyres and was about an equal match for competitor’s premium VF options. Considering Alliance’s much lower price point, the company was keen to press home the “better value for money” and “unbeatable package” that the Alliance 372 VF has to offer.
Alliance 372 VF Put Through its Paces
The Alliance 372 VF tyre is a radial steel-belted tyre for tractor, combiners, harvesters and some slurry tankers, boasts a 10-year warranty, D speed rating and is currently available in 28 sizes, which, according to Alliance, is the biggest variety of VF sizes in the industry. On top of this, the Alliance 372 VF has a modernized tread compound with enhanced abrasion and chip resistance as well as improved resistance to stubble damage.
The improved stubble guard compound and the special tread compounds for wear, cut and chip resistance were part of the construction and design upgrades that the model received in early 2019. The upgrades allowed for the tyre to ensure high structural stability and reliable heat resistance during the cycling field operations even at 0.8 bar inflation. As part of the updates, the tyre also has rounded lug shoulders, a larger footprint and higher lug angles for better soil protection and self-cleaning.
Gerrit Vinkers, the Application Specialist Europe at Alliance Tire Group explained, “the recent field tests at IRSTEA were conducted on behalf of our R&D department to test the latest improvements of the tyre.
“In the course of transforming the complete Alliance IF tyre portfolio to VF, our engineers looked for additional features to further enhance soil protection, improve tyre performance and reduce structural strains in these highly flexible tyres.”
IRSTEA Test Reveals Alliance 372 VF Performance
During the investigation, IRSTEA tested the Alliance 372 VF and IF tyres against similar premium brand patterns in the market in the same sizes: 600/70R30 (front) and 710/70R42 (rear) which focused on four field tests under defined conditions: fuel efficiency, traction, slip in soft soil and footprint width.
Tyre inflation pressure remained constant at 1.6 bar for the front tyres whilst the load was varied between 4375 daN (IF) and 5150 daN (VF). For the rear tyres, the load was kept constant at 4875 daN whilst tyre inflation pressure varied between 1 bar (IF) and 0.8 bar (VF). The test results have been defined with the Alliance IF tyre being used as the reference baseline – or 100%.
In the fuel efficiency tests, the Alliance 372 VF matched the competitor’s premium VF tyre fuel efficiency level and clearly outperformed all IF tyres with relative results of 104 and 107%. As for traction, the Alliance 372 VF came a very close second to the competitor’s premium VF tyre in the rear option, with the product delivering a more convincing performance than the competitor’s premium IF tyres.
The slip in soft soil test is where the Alliance 372 VF stood out in terms of lower slip. In relative figures, the performance of the Alliance 372 VF rear size tyre is 118 % of the baseline figure compared to 112 % for the competitor’s premium VF tyre, and 63 and 58 %, respectively, for the two competitors’ premium IF tyres. Finally, in the footprint assessments, the Alliance 372 VF scored 110% for the read size tyre in comparison with 112% for a premium competition tyre. The front size tyre is slightly narrower than the competition: 104% versus 113 and 123% respectively.
In general, the tests highlighted that the Alliance 372 VF performed in line with the premium competition VF tyres and better that its Premium IF counterparts. Considering the fact that Alliance 372 VF comes in significantly cheaper than the premium competitors’ offerings, the results fit in well with their focus of promoting a high-quality product for a value price.
“Cutting edge technology, customer benefits and value for money have always been at the forefront of our thinking. As our flagship tractor tyre in VF technology, Alliance 372 VF is a perfect example of how low total cost of ownership translates in terms of Price–Performance ratio in the slogan of Alliance Tire Group: Better Value. Smarter Choice”, says Angelo Noronha, President EMEA of Alliance Tire Group.
The Alliance 372 VF is available from Kirkby Tyres, the exclusive importer of Alliance products in the UK and Ireland.