For Part 2 of our Agricultural Tyre feature in Commercial Tyre Business, we’re focusing on Continental’s VF TractorMaster Hybrid tyre, which has just garnered coveted approval from the Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft (DLG) association. With the VF TractorMaster Hybrid tyre, Continental is continuing to research and develop tyres using enhanced very high flexion (VF) technology to help farmers save labour and time in the long run.
New Continental Tyre Developed with Specialist Fish Bone Tread Pattern
The Hybrid tyre from Continental has become the second tyre of the manufacturers’ to receive a DLG approval after the TractorMaster was tested in 2019. With the “Agricultural tyres for tractors -Efficiency assessment of premium tyres” honour from the DLG, Continental’s tyre was put through its paces as the tyre was compared with another hybrid model from a reputable manufacturer and an IF model (Improved Flexion) with a fishbone tread pattern. The DLG stated that hybrid tyres have “great potential in terms of fuel and time savings by doing the same work faster.”
Benjamin Hübner, Product Line Manager Agricultural Tyres at Continental Commercial Specialty Tyres, was pleased with the result and commented: “This result highlights how the new generation of Continental tyres, manufactured at a purpose-built facility in Lousado, Portugal since 2017, are more efficient for a wide range of agricultural work and represent a valuable investment for operators looking for agricultural advantages.”
VF Technology to Help Reduce Farmer Costs
In the test, DLG assessed the efficiency of various branded tyres and demonstrated that the Continental tyre “transmitted significantly higher traction to the ground, than a premium brand IF tyre with a traditional tread pattern.”
Fuel consumption was one of how the tyre came out on top. The VF technology of the hybrid tyre demonstrated the capacity to carry 40% more load at the same pressure as a standard radial tyre, but with the added benefit of improved fuel efficiency. A 1.8% fuel saving against the IF tyre, and a 0.4% saving over a competitor hybrid tyre, demonstrated that the Continental VF TractorMaster Hybrid was the most fuel-efficient for the work carried out in the test on the field.
Equally relevant, the block tread pattern also performed better at uphill work. The test report stated, “The lugs that help transmit the drive power to the ground are stiffer on the hybrid tyre. This means this tyre develops less mould slip. This, in turn, improves grip by one third.”
In the field test, the hybrid tyre delivered the maximum tractive performance, with the fuel consumption also being the lowest of all tyres tested. Concluding, Hübner said, “We are pleased that the test confirmed the premium quality of our tyres. As part of our ‘Vision 2030’ strategy, we aim to further expand our agricultural tyre business. Our VF TractorMaster Hybrid is a good example of how engineering can help agriculture to reduce fuel consumption and the impact of heavy machines on the land.”
The impact of heavy machinery is proving to be an increasingly discussed topic within the sector, with with tyre manufacturers such as Continental being constantly pushed and ask to meet sustainability demands such as the need to maintain the fertility of the soil.