A new type of tyre has been specifically designed to transition from road to field more effectively during grassland work.

Continental’s VF TractorMaster Hybrid tyre, according to the manufacturers is also more fuel efficient when pulling heavy loads and will cover more road miles than a tyre with a conventional tread pattern.

It features a new tread pattern; inbuilt pressure sensors and the optimum operating pressure can be ascertained using a mobile app. These developments make it a unique proposition for agriculture that offers a host of operational benefits.

The tread pattern has been developed to be more efficient at higher speeds on the road, which helps to reduce fuel consumption. Heat build-up through heavy road use causes conventional tyre rubber to soften and wear more quickly. However, the tread design of the hybrid tyre helps to reduce the temperature of the tyre, which extends its lifespan.

The new VF tyre includes ContiPressureCheck, a sensor which reports the tyre temperature and pressure in real time to the operator to enable the operator to make adjustments. Under inflated tyres on the road increase fuel consumption and can increase tyre temperature leading to failure, whilst overinflated tyres in the field lead to increased soil compaction and fuel consumption. By using a handheld device or a terminal in the cab, to receive data from the sensor, the operator can monitor tyre pressure to prevent this and run the tyres at the optimum pressure.

The continual flow of traffic through gates to transport crops from fields can lead to soil contamination. The hybrid tyre holds less material than a conventional which makes it less likely to deposit contaminants from other areas on the land. Access areas, such as gates, can often become churned up and can hold rainwater, which also leads to greater risk of contamination. By transitioning from field to road more efficiently, the new tyre reduces soil damage and the risk of contaminating the crop.

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To further reduce soil compaction and improve operational efficiency Continental offers the agricultural TireTech App. The app accurately calculates the optimum pressure to inflate the VF tyre to when using implements. By entering the weight of the tractor and implements, it recommends the pressure for road or field use. The mobile app stores the specification of every tyre in the company's agricultural range and by inputting the load on each wheel, and the forward speed, it provides a suggested operating pressure.

The app is of particular benefit for machines that are used for field applications, and whilst the hybrid tyre is well suited for the road and field, it is also a good fit for grassland work. A tractor with triple mowers will often be stationed in the field for most of the silage making season. A mid-horsepower tractor with the added weight of three mowers can weigh in excess of 10,000 kilos. On soft ground this can cause compaction and sward damage which can lead to decreased yields for further cuts.

The technology in the hybrid tyre, pressure checking sensors and the TireTech app all combine to offer operators the opportunity to mitigate the weight of the tractor and the potential damage it can cause. This technology can help to reduce soil compaction, crop contamination and damage, whilst helping the operator to run the tyres at the optimum pressure to save time and reduce fuel consumption.