Bridgestone Launches Ag Tire - Tire Review Magazine

Bridgestone Launches Ag Tire

Bridgestone has launched a premium range of radial agricultural tires at Reifen 2014. While the manufacturer boasts a wide range of products for the sector under its Firestone brand, including the Performer and Maxi Traction, the Bridgestone VT-Tractor will focus on the growing high performance tractor segment. The tires were developed at the company’s TCE development center in Rome, and will be manufactured at Puente San Miguel in Spain.Bridgestone VT

The European agricultural tire market is expected to continue rapidly in its existing trend toward high-powered machinery, as farms have been consolidated, leading to greater areas being covered. As a result, the demand for tractor tires in the replacement market has evolved rapidly since 2004 when XL and 65 series tires accounted for 13% of the market. By 2010 this figure had risen to 21%, with incremental rises suggesting that the figure will be 28% by 2019.

At the same time, general trends of increasing population and subsequently food consumption will require agricultural production to rise. Current estimates suggest that 70% extra production will be required by 2050. Over the same period, it is expected that arable land in use will only increase by around 4%, meaning that by 2050 arable land per capita will decrease by around 40%. All this means that large increases in efficiency and sustainability are vital, at the same time as tractors’ power is increasing.

This has informed the Bridgestone brand’s entrance into the agricultural market: Firestone continues to cover 95% of the current market, while the Bridgestone name aims to enter as a competitor to major premium brands in the sector such as Trelleborg and Michelin. Technologically, Bridgestone has introduced what it calls VF Technology, which is designed to increase further the size of the footprint and decrease soil compaction, while increasing traction. Bridgestone says that VF can reduce the pressure for the same load in the field, while the same pressure on the road can increase the load by 40%, Bridgestone claims. (Tyres & Accessories)

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