Mitas and Bush Tyres launch soil awaremess intiiative at Lamma 2017

Free on-farm vehicle weighing, bespoke pressure calculation related to proposed operations and ongoing advice on reducing compaction are part of a new soil awareness initiative being launched by Mitas UK and distributor Bush Tyres at LAMMA 2017.

Customers buying a set of four Mitas radial tyres with at least two of these being over 550mm in width, will benefit from a free comprehensive service package lasting for two years with the focus on helping buyers understand the importance of correct tyre choice and set up.

"Soil management and trying to limit the effects of ever larger equipment in increasingly variable working conditions, are top of the agenda for all producers," explains Mitas UK managing director Jon Ward.

"Yet across the industry, little support exists for helping growers understand the relationship between such factors as tyre type, inflation pressure and tractive force with regard to protecting the critical resource that soil is.

"Furthermore, considerable developments have been made in tyre technology over recent years that can help individuals manage the situation far better than previously."

The aim of the soil awareness initiative is, therefore, not just to encourage producers to manage tyres better on-farm but also make the right choice about equipment in the first place, he says.

"Our aim is to inform buyers of the options open to them initially and then follow this up over a two year period with a comprehensive support package to help them understand how they can manage tyres and soil better.

"For example, many growers don't fully understand the role of high flexion VF tyres in helping them run lower field pressures to minimise soil damage without having to add pressure for subsequent road use.

"Others don't fully comprehend the relationship between tyre type, operating pressure and wheel slip and the impact these can have on both soil structure and fuel consumption."

Under the scheme, once the best tyres have been identified and fitted, individual axle weights of the vehicle will be recorded to determine optimum operating pressures with regard to the work the tractor will be carrying out. A front axle alignment check will also be carried out.

"These are essential first steps in proper set up but are often ignored. Correct alignment reduces potential soil smearing in wet conditions, avoids premature wear and helps with fuel consumption.

"Correct operating pressures can only be ascertained by using a weigh cell under each wheel whilst the heaviest piece of equipment likely to be used is fitted plus all additional weights.

"Once these weights are known we can make adjustments to get the correct balance between front and rear axles and also set up the correct pressures for the most efficient field performance combined with the safest operation on the road."

A further two such pressure checks will take place over the following two years with advice offered wherever appropriate, Jon Ward adds.

"We want producers to think about their tyres and their relationship to the work they are doing on an ongoing basis and not just when they are fitted.

"In addition, operations change, rotations demand different cultivation approaches and new equipment is purchased, so we want to be able to address the issues and decisions that need to be considered when these situations take place."

Customers taking part in the scheme will also be entitled to up to four free puncture repairs in the tyres during the two year period. In addition, a free pair of Mitas overalls, a Mitas polo shirt, a Mitas cap, a torch and technical data book will also be provided.

Although places on the scheme will not be limited, terms and conditions do apply. Assistance is provided for two years from the time of fitment, the repair service is available during normal working hours and the cost of a replacement tyre is excluded if it is found to be damaged beyond repairable limits.

All four tyres must be fitted to a single machine and tyre serial numbers and vehicle details will ne noted.

Further information is available from Mitas UK on 01553 817740 or Bush Tyres on 01507 522444 or by visiting Mitas UK at Lamma.

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Julian Cooksley

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