At the SIMA, Paris Show Massey Ferguson joined with fellow leading French manufacturers, Michelin and Grégoire-Besson, to demonstrate how advanced engineering designs combine to improve field performance for farmers.
“No machine works in isolation on a farm, so working closely with colleagues makes sense and helps us all to develop our technology,” says Campbell Scott. “This autumn we jointly examined the potential to reduce compaction and increase traction when ploughing with a Grégoire-Besson plough pulled by a MF 8730 tractor, equipped with completely new Michelin tyres.
“The results show how each element enhances the work quality, productivity and performance, as well as protect the soil. It also illustrates how by carefully selecting the right tractor, equipped with the best tyres for the job and matching those to the best implement makes a big difference,” he adds.
During the trials the MF 8730 tractor was fitted with Michelin’s new VF650/85R42 AxioBib 2 tyres with Michelin Ultraflex Technology. This is a completely new design developed particularly to enable large high power tractors to be used for ploughing in the furrow.
In tests, the large diameter tyres, running at a pressure of just 0.8 bar, placed three full lugs on the ground, creating a 26% longer footprint with a 28% increase in traction compared with previous designs. This greater traction, reduces wheelslip by up to one third, saving both fuel and time and increasing productivity by up to 11%.
“This demonstrates the gains that can be made by selecting the best tyres for the job, running at the right pressures on a well ballasted tractor and a high quality, properly set plough,” adds Mr Scott. “The figures are clear – this combination will save time, diesel and cut soil compaction in the furrow by reducing smearing and running at low inflation pressures.”
The MF 8730, at 295hp has an impressive maximum permitted weight of 18t, allowing ballast to be added, when required, for jobs like ploughing. For transport duties, the ballast can be removed to provide impressive payload, cycle times and fuel savings.
“It’s impossible to remove weight from a heavy draft tractor, but it’s simple to add ballast to an inherently light tractor, like the MF 8730. Lighter tractors use less fuel and cut soil compaction, with users adding only enough weight for each specific task,” he explains.