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.
Michelin and PGT Show Gains for Walgate & Son
A I Walgate & Son has recorded significant improvements in the health of its soil having equipped its Fendt 724 tractor and two frontline implements with PTG Central Tyre Inflation Systems (CTIS) and Michelin Ultraflex Technology tyres
Michelin Tyres And PTG Technology Proves Perfect Solution for A I Walgate & Son
The business farms approximately 700 hectares of land in the Lincolnshire Wolds, of which 500 hectares are in arable rotation, concentrating on combinable broadacre crops.
A I Walgate & Son runs Michelin tyres across all its agricultural machinery and is utilising the latest technology from PTG – part of the Michelin Group – to ensure the fitments on its new tractor, Fliegl trailer and Horizon DSX drill are running at optimal pressures for the ground on which they work.
James Walgate, Director of A I Walgate & Son, says; “We’ve been very impressed with the impact of the PTG system. Because we don’t plough anything now, everything is direct drilled, we are very conscious of wheelings and compaction. This set-up really helps in terms of mitigating compaction, which dries the air out of the soil so that when it gets waterlogged, it more easily becomes anaerobic, which is the last thing you want for your soil health.
“We did some work where we went up the field with the tyres set at road pressures and had half an inch of rain the next night, and you could see the water stood in the wheelings. But when we did the same work with the optimal field pressures there was nothing. The water infiltration rate with the road pressures was calculated to be 8mm an hour compared with 18mm per hour where it had been run with the field pressures.”
The PTG systems were all supplied and fitted by TractAir – Michelin’s approved UK partner for CTIS installation. The farm also has VarioGrip technology on its other Fendt tractor.
“Crucially, TractAir also supplied us with a compressor which we can put on the front of the tractor with VarioGrip to ensure we have the volume of air required for the four tyres on the trailer – because that is constantly going between the road and the field,” adds Walgate.
“We don’t need that capacity on the drill because once we get to the field, we let the tyres down and drill all day. When we want to come home we can blow them up and the VarioGrip on the 828 is good enough for that. But it takes ten minutes to inflate the tyres from field to road pressure without the compressor, and obviously, that is too long if you are constantly switching between field and road work.”
The Fendt 724 tractor is fitted with Michelin XeoBib VF 600/60 R30 front tyres and VF 710/60 R42 rears, while the Fendt 828 is equipped with Michelin EvoBib VF 600/70 R30 fronts and VF 710/70 R42 on the rear. The Horizon DSX drill is sat on Michelin CargoXBib High Flotation VF 750/60 R30.5 fitments, and the trailer is equipped with CargoXBib High Flotation 600/55 R26.5 tyres.
All the tyres benefit from Michelin’s patented Ultraflex technology – meaning they can carry considerably more weight than standard farm tyres and operate at very low pressures, minimising soil compaction and crop damage in the field. Tyres with Michelin Ultraflex Technology have been scientifically proven to boost farmer’s yields by up to four per cent.
“We have always run with Michelins,” adds Walgate. “In our book, nothing can compare in terms of value for money. You get what you pay for.”