Slip percentage of agricultural tyres
Larger contact surface
Enno Schottert, Product manager Agriculture at Heuver, explains by comparing tyres to a balloon on the ground: “If you pump a lot of air into it, one square centimetre may be in contact with the ground. If you then pull the balloon forwards over the ground (like when a tractor pulls a trailer), it slips immediately because it is barely in contact with the surface. If you reduce the pressure, you then have a much larger contact area with the surface and the slip percentage suddenly decreases. That's exactly what happens to agricultural tyres.”
Tests with fuel consumption
Heuver once actually performed tests about the slip effect to see if it really makes a difference to fuel consumption. Enno Schottert: “Thanks to transparent tubes on the tank, we could keep an eye on the fuel. We used pressure of 2 bar on some tractors and 0.8 bar on others. The latter slipped a lot less because they had a much larger contact surface with the ground. After ploughing for a kilometre, we could actually see a difference in fuel consumption. The less a tyre slips, the less fuel it consumes. IF/VF tyres are the perfect solution in this case.”
IF/VF tyre inflation system
Most agricultural tyres are used on tractors and machines that have to operate in various circumstances. That is why Enno Schottert advises everyone to use IF and VF tyres in combination with a tyre inflation system: “This means you can work at low pressure off the road and drive at high pressure on the road, thus keeping slip percentage as low as possible.”
Double-air assembly is another way to reduce the slip percentage of agricultural tyres. Naturally, this works because the load is distributed across more tyres.