Continental is returning to the agricultural tire industry, after a 13-year hiatus, with the launch of two radial tires. The Tractor70 and Tractor85 are the first radial products from the company since it ceased production in 2004.
Both tires will be produced at a newly built facility in Lousado, Portugal, and it is expected that further models will be added to make up a broader portfolio of agricultural tires over the coming years.
“The development of our new agricultural tires is based on years of experience in the specialty tire business as well as intensive market analysis,” said Ralf Krieger, head of development and industrialization of agricultural tires at Continental’s Commercial Specialty Tires division.
“As the first-borns in our premium radial tire range, Tractor70 and Tractor85 give an insight into our future portfolio which will comprise 100 sizes in many profile variations for different applications. At the same time, they provide solutions to the requirements of this particularly demanding application.”
Key to durability
Where tractors drive over asphalt, field and stone, a flexible and resistant carcass is the key to the durability of the tire. To meet this need, Continental has developed N.Flex, an innovative patent-pending technology for its new tires.
The carcass of the new tractor tires is made of a specifically-designed nylon and its cords are twisted thousands of times. The unique material makes the carcass tear-resistant, flexible and elastic, and the rotation ensures that the material is able return to its original shape. The result is that contrary to conventional carcasses, which are prone to cracks and punctures, the new radial tires from Continental are significantly more robust and resistant.
Having tractor tires sit firmly on the rim is particularly important. As an example, conventional tractor tires use a bead with ten parallel wires, wrapped ten times around the core. This construction, however, makes assembly difficult as the overlapping cords make the bead very stiff and uneven and they end in a kind of step. Continental therefore only uses a single core wire for the Tractor70 and Tractor85 tires, which is wrapped around the bead core many times in a similar way to a garden hose. This single wire core makes the bead much more compact, thus more robust and durable, and facilitates mounting on the rim.
“All the tires in our new agricultural product range are designed to improve the efficiency of agricultural machinery – they are ‘engineered for efficiency’,” explained Thorsten Bublitz, product line manager for agricultural tires. “To make a promise to our customers, we have also applied this quality seal to the sidewalls of all of our new agricultural tires.”
September 8, 2017