Nokian Tyres and Valtra set new world record

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Finnish tyre manufacturer Nokian Tyres and tractor company Valtra have together set a new world record for the fastest tractor. Multiple World Rally Champion Juha Kankkunen was behind the wheel for the record bid, with the tractor clocking in at 130.165 km/h (80.88 mph).

The record attempt was conducted according to Guinness World Records specifications in controlled conditions on a snowy and icy road in Finnish Lapland. The Valtra T234 wore the world’s first winter tyre for tractors, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta TRI, which features a unique tread pattern, winter rubber compound and siping that maximises grip and traction. The diagonal siping creates grooves on the tread blocks, increasing the number of edges that grip the driving surface and improving longitudinal and lateral grip.

“Testing at the extremes is at the core of activities and it requires unique skill. We wanted to show the true performance of the new Nokian Hakkapeliitta TRI,” said Tero Saari, project manager, R&D, Nokian Tyres.

It is quite a remarkable sight when you see a 7.7-ton machine flying past at over 130 km/h with a quadruple World Rally Champion behind the wheel! When a tractor is driven that fast on a winter road, it requires great grip, stability and handling properties. These have been our targets during the development of the Nokian Hakkapeliitta TRI.”

The record took place on February 19, 2015 on the emergency airfield of Vuojärvi, Finland, approximately 20 kilometres from the city of Sodankylä towards Rovaniemi. The total length of the packed snow strip was approx. 2,300 metres, and a 50-metre speed trap was set at the middle of the strip.

The Guinness World Records organisation defines specific rules for the world record for fastest tractor; the time for the tractor to travel through the 50-metre speed trap is measured in both directions, and the world record is an average of these two measurements.

February’s record-breaking attempt is not the first time that Nokian Tyres has smashed global records. In 2013, the fastest car on ice was adorned with a set of Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8 studded winter tyres, hitting a top speed of 335.713 km/h (208.602 mph).

Nokian Tyres is currently the only tyre manufacturer globally that focuses on products and services to enable safe transport in the challenging conditions of the North.

Watch a video of the record-breaking attempt here.  

April 10, 2015

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Tom is editor of ivtinternational.com and iVT magazine. During his 20 year career in journalism Tom has worked for a diverse range of titles including Men's Health and Cosmopolitan. He also edits iVT's UKi Media & Events stablemate Traffic Technology International.

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