Farm tire maker Michelin North America recently announced plans to launch the industry’s first farm tire with Michelin Ultraflex Technologies designed specifically for combines. Michael Vandel, marketing segment manager for Michelin North America Agricultural Tires, gave Farm Industry News the exclusive report in July at the 2011 Agricultural Media Summit in New Orleans.

Vandel says combines, with front axles that can weigh more than 53,000 lbs., cause more soil compaction than any other farm vehicle. “With combines, you’re asking two wheels to pull the same amount of weight as a 4-wd tractor on eight large tires,” he says.

The new Michelin CerexBib combine tire, already being used in Europe, is able to carry up to 86% more load than a standard radial tire to handle the weight of the larger, Class 8 and Class 9 combines that have higher grain tank capacities and heavier cutting platforms than combines in lower class sizes have.

The tire will incorporate Michelin’s Ultraflex Technolgies to achieve the increased capacity without requiring an increase in air pressure, which can compact soil and reduce crop yields.

The tire is scheduled to be released in the second quarter of 2012 in a Group 48 size of IF800/70R-38CFO. For more information, visit www.michelin-us.com.

Other tires manufacturers have reported work on developing similar tires for combines.