Ewan has been editor of Retreading Business since 2006 and of Tyre & Rubber Recycling since the magazine was founded. During this period he has become an expert on the global tyre recycling sector. He has many years' experience as an automotive journalist including a period at Tyres & Accessories.
Wharram and Kay Choose AxioBib
Wharram and Kay is getting fantastic results from its new Bateman RB35 self-propelled crop sprayer having fitted the vehicle with MICHELIN AxioBib 2 tyres.
Michelin Tyres Top of the Crops for Wharram and Kay
Wharram and Kay opted for the AxioBib 2 tyres following an optional fitment recommendation from local Michelin account manager Ian Whitwell. Whitwell worked closely with Bateman Engineering, local dealer Peacock & Binnington and Bush Tyres, Michelin’s largest OE2 tyre supplier in the UK, to ensure the sprayer – that carries a 4,000 litre tank – could accommodate such large tyres.
Co-owner at Wharram and Kay, Roger Kay, explains: “We apply a liquid fertiliser with our sprayer and that has a higher density than water so when you have 4,000 litres on board, you can effectively be carrying a five-tonne payload.
“On our old sprayer we were operating at the extreme levels of the tyres’ capacity. We needed a bigger footprint, to spread the weight and minimise compaction. Ian suggested we ask Bateman about fitting 650/60 R38 tyres and they couldn’t have been more helpful.”
Bateman Engineering were able to modify the sprayer with extra deep tyre hubs, adapt the suspension and move the position of the fuel tank to accommodate the tyres.
Jason Bateman, CEO, Bateman Sprayers, says: “Wharram & Kay had a great idea, and it was good to work with them, in taking their machine forward in development for these tyres to be fitted. The Michelin tyres are the ideal choice for Roger’s sprayer, so we were very happy to make the modifications work for him, importantly, retaining the light-weight and excellent balance characteristics of the Bateman chassis.”
“The performance is very much improved,” says Kay. “The new tyres give us far more stability than we’ve had in the past. We are often farming on marginally drained land and for us timing is of the essence. Especially from early February onwards when we need to get the fertiliser on to kickstart the year’s growth on crops like hybrid barley and oil seed rape. These bigger tyres will allow us to travel in conditions that we might not have been able to in the past.”
Benefitting from Michelin’s Ultraflex Technology, the AxioBib 2 range is designed to provide excellent traction for high-horsepower heavy farm machinery. They can run at very low pressures, minimising soil compaction and crop damage in the field.
Wharram and Kay will switch the sprayer onto narrower VF 480/80 R42 Michelin SprayBib tyres during the spring, to ensure the machine can work effectively in the crop rows.
“The SprayBibs will give the sprayer a massive under body clearance, so they are very kind to the crops and, like the AxioBib 2, they have a very large rolling diameter, so there’s always a big area of tyre in contact with the ground,” adds Kay.
Established in 1976, Wharram and Kay offer a range of farming and contracting services, managing more than 650 hectares within a nine-mile radius of its base at Providence House, in Crockey Hill.