New intelligent tyres with sensors fitted to sprayer in UK first

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Running the wrong pressures in a set of tyres can be damaging to soil, crops and the tyres themselves. New technology may be everywhere in agricultural machinery itself but it’s not often found in tyres.

Continental has released an intelligent hybrid tire with VF technology and sensors that continuously monitors the pressure and temperature in the tire

Continental’s intelligent hybrid tire with VF technology and sensors that continuously monitors the pressure and temperature in the tire

For the first time in the UK a self-propelled sprayer has been fitted with Continental’s VF Technology tyres. VF or ‘Very high Flexion’ tyres are highly durable and remain drivable at low air pressure. They can carry greater loads with less soil compaction due to a larger contact surface area. Furthermore a VF tyre can host the latest sensor technology to help monitor pressure and temperature.

ContiPressureCheck™, Continental’s Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) solution, was initially launched back in 2012 with a focus on US road haulage operators. It monitors the pressure and temperature of tyres on an individual vehicle, providing the driver with the information to prevent tyre related issues such as under inflation or overloading. At Agritechnica 2019, Continental presented new hybrid VF tires designed for the agricultural sector and fitted with the latest ContiPressureCheck™ system.


“VF tyres with sensors are the future for farming”

In this instance Continental VF tyres have been fitted to a SAM Horizon 4000 self-propelled sprayer on a farm in Norfolk, UK.  Continental agricultural tyre specialist Richard Hutchins said: “This is the first time the new VF tyres with pressure sensors have been fitted to a sprayer in the UK and we hope that other sprayer operators will want to introduce this technology to help reduce soil compaction.”

Mr Hutchins added: “VF tyres with sensors are the future for farming. On the road these tyres enable the vehicle to carry forty percent more load than a standard tyre at the same pressure. Alternatively, in the field, the pressure of VF tyres can be lowered by forty percent compared to standard tyres, even when carrying the same load. This spreads the weight of the vehicle over a larger surface area and reduces soil compaction,” he said.

 Continental VF tyres have been fitted to a SAM Horizon 4000 self-propelled sprayer

Continental VF tyres have been fitted to a SAM Horizon 4000 self-propelled sprayer

The sprayer is owned by James Goodley, who runs an arable farm in Norfolk. The tyres are helping him to adapt his farming methods as part of a move to a zero till system.

Mr Goodley said: “I want my sprayer tyre pressures as low as possible to maximise the footprint and minimise compaction. My concern has always been to not run them too low, and that is where the tyre monitor comes in, because it can tell the operator if the pressure is safe and correct.”

The Continental VF TractorMaster 600/60R30 162D/159E tyres are part of a larger range that is now available in the UK.

Demands to reduce the impact of heavy machinery on our soil are being met with new technology. Our hope is that others will choose to invest, in the way that Mr Goodley has, to help improve farming methods in the future,” concluded Mr Hutchins.

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Chris McCullough is a freelance multi-media journalist based in Northern Ireland and specialises in all aspects of agriculture. He has spent the past 18 years travelling the globe hunting for the best stories in food, farming and politics. He has reported extensively from overseas, mostly throughout Europe but also from USA, Canada, India, Australia and African countries on various topics. He has won a number of awards for his photos and journalism and is always on the lookout for his next exclusive.

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