It’s neither a traditional tire, nor is it a rubber track the latest agricultural product from Mitas, the PneuTrac, is described by its creator as “bringing together the best of both worlds.” The tire concept displayed at the Mitas booth during Agritechnica 2013, combines a traditional pneumatic tire with a rubber track and the result, says Mitas, is a 53% larger footprint compared with a standard tire.
“Mitas stands out as an innovator in the tire industry,” commented Mitas sales and marketing director Andrew Mabin. “This concept shows that we are thinking outside the box of current tire-producing practices with a strong focus on what will benefit farmers. We still have some way to go to bring the concept into a commercial product but the initial results look very promising challenging the design of the conventional tire and cost of tracks.”
The manufacturer claims better traction efficiency (comparative tests showed up to 48% higher tractive force) with lower slippage with the PneuTrac, which results in lower operational costs and potentially higher crop yields when compared with standard tires. Further stated PneuTrac features are lateral stability that is said to be up to 167% greater than a comparable standard tire, and driving stability at low inflation pressures, thus ensuring comfort and safety and removing the need to adjust inflation pressure.
“The test of PneuTrac made at our testing facilities provided us with argumentation that this concept is a great piece of work with clear benefits for enhanced performance of agricultural machinery,” said Hans-Ulrich Klose, head of Mitas’ automotive engineering unit.
Mitas is developing the PneuTrac concept together with Galileo Wheel Ltd., designer of the ‘CupWheel’ tire; this innovation features an ‘accordion-shape’ folding sidewall that allows the outer circumference to change its shape freely and move about the wheel center in all directions. Furthermore, while air pressure drops, the CupWheel tire’s sidewall folds rather than collapses as a standard tire would, and therefore generates far less heat. Galileo Wheel says these features provide the tire with a “gigantic footprint at 0 psi far beyond anything the tire industry has seen before.” (Tyres & Accessories)