GKN supports high-speed tractor development

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GKN Wheels has announced the launch of a high-speed tractor wheel.

Designed to address the issues of run-out that can occur on manually adjustable track wheels in high-speed applications, the Profi-Flex HS wheel will be added to the range of systems and products that the company provides to the agricultural sector.

The standard for tractors that are approved for speeds of 50km/h and above, requires high spot marking of the wheel and low spot marking of the tires, to ensure the tire is positioned accurately, thereby minimizing run-out and so optimizing ride comfort and performance.

However to suit different operational requirements, manually adjustable wheels enable the disc to be moved to change the track settings, and in these circumstances it is vital that when it is refitted, the disc isn’t rotated and the alignment isn’t altered, as this could have a significant impact on run-out.

To address this issue, GKN has designed a new wheel that incorporates integrated centring pins in the spacers, guaranteeing that the disc and rim are correctly re-aligned when wheel track settings are being changed. This unique solution uses a single alignment pin which ensures that the disc has to be re-fitted in the correct position when the track spacing has been changed.

Addressing problems
GKN Wheels product manager Ole Dall said, “With tractor speeds constantly increasing, the issue of run-out, or ‘wheel wobble’, becomes ever more important, as the faster the tractor’s speed, the more pronounced the issue becomes.

“Our new Profi-Flex HS wheel addresses this problem, ensuring that whenever the track setting is changed, the disc is always replaced in the correct alignment with the wheel and that the correct tolerances are maintained.

“Having seen other systems in the market where the centering feature is an extra component that can easily get lost, in the development work on this new, patented design, our engineers had a target to develop a ‘Poka Yoke’ solution, to ensure that the wheel cannot be assembled incorrectly.

“Our solution is simple and straightforward, ensuring that the manual adjustment of a tractor’s track settings can be completed efficiently and accurately, every time. As a result, the ride quality, comfort levels and tractor performance will all be maintained at the highest levels.”

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James joined the Industrial Vehicle Technology International team in 2017. Previously he was Assistant Editor on an engineering title for several years and has worked for various other trade magazines before that. James is happily married and has a young daughter who keeps him busy.

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