Big-rig sprayers challenge tire makers. Those machines have to move fast through very rough terrain and when finished, they hit the road to move to the next field. This range of surfaces, and the speeds operators use, really break down tires. But Michelin has an answer with the new Spraybib radial that offers an industry first - a VF class tire for high-clearance sprayer use.
The VF rating, which is a more flexible sidewall, gives the Spraybib the ability to carry 14,330 pounds at speeds up to 40 mph (that's 14,300 per tire). And Michelin claims a three to five year wear life versus a one- to two-year life for current tire offerings.
That VF rating means the sprayer can run at significantly lower tire pressures, improving compaction and putting more tread surface on the ground. That improves traction and reduces slippage while providing a better ride. Michelin is saying a Spraybib equipped sprayer might even enter a wet field sooner than those with conventional radials.
Michelin pioneered the VF - very high flexion - class of tires and also rolled out an IF - for increased flexion. Competitors have yet to bring their version of the tires to market. The first IF class tire was specified on the MT900 series four-wheel drive articulated tractor from Agco.
The new Spraybib VF tire will be an option on 2011 Agco RoGator sprayers, and will enter the mainstream market later in 2011. You can learn more at MichelinAg.com.