Continental is celebrating a milestone birthday: ninety years ago, the technology company launched its first pneumatic tractor tire onto the market.
What started as an innovative product idea in 1928 developed over the decades into tractor tires such as the T1 and T2 in the 1920s and 1930s, and the AS farmer tire in 1955. Conti has continued to innovate in the ag tire sector with its new radial tires with a flexible N.flex carcass, new d.fine cleat technology and special bead design.
“Over the last ninety years, we have repeatedly proven how agriculture customers all over the world can rely on Continental as a partner to provide innovative and efficient solutions,” says Enno Straten, head of Commercial Specialty Tires (CST) at Continental. “Mega-trends such as digitization, connectivity and automation are significantly changing the face of the agricultural sector and the everyday work of farmers, and the productivity of agricultural machinery, including suitable tires, plays a key role in this. For this reason, we will continue our work to develop and expand our portfolio of agricultural tires in the future.”
After Continental’s 1928 launch of its first pneumatic agricultural tire – the T2 agricultural tractor tire (AS) – it developed the T3 AS tire four years later. In 1938, as Germany’s first tire manufacturer, the company decided not to link individual tread lugs in its new T4 AS tire. Since then, the tread lugs in agricultural tractor tires have been separated in the tread center, which created a higher tractive force. In 1955, Continetal’s high-grip tire, the Continental Farmer (AS), arrived. It featured ribbing with tapered, reinforced cleats, widening of the lug tread and improved self-cleaning properties.
By the end of the 20th century, Continental was expanding its business in North America and Europe, and in 2004, its agricultural tire segment was sold off as a result of concentrating its business as a whole. In the course of the sale, the license for production and marketing agricultural tires under the Continental brand passed to CGS/Mitas. The development and sale of products and solutions from the Continental Automotive segment continued unaffected, and customer demand for Continental’s agricultural tires continued to increase.
In 2016, Continental reacquired its brand rights ahead of schedule and returned to the agricultural tire market in 2017 with its Tractor70 and Tractor85 premium radial tires. Both tires originate from in-house production and are made in Continental’s Lousado, Portugal facility. The tires are characterized by their durability, while at the same time allowing for ride comfort, soil preservation and tractive force. Both standard tires feature Continental’s patented N.flex technology, which increases impact absorption thanks to the nylon textile, and improves shock absorption thanks to its robust carcass. In August 2018, Continental added the new TractorMaster radial tire with D.fine technology to its portfolio.
Continental plans to expand its portfolio of agricultural radial tires and will offer a total of 100 sizes by 2019, Continental said in a press release..