At this year’s Agritechnica Continental is presenting new hybrid tires that incorporate pressure sensors to help the operator minimize soil compaction in the field and reduce wear on the road, as well as the proven systems ContiPressureCheck for single vehicles and ContiConnect for fleets as smart solutions for the agricultural industry.
With its vision of intelligent tires and zero accidents as well as the varied working environment of farmers in mind, Continental continuously develops digital solutions for agricultural tires.
Continental VF TractorMaster Hybrid: Consistent performance from the road to the field
The Continental VF TractorMaster Hybrid tires are designed to give operators the technology to efficiently adjust the pressure to correspond with the task. Developed in Lousado, Portugal, in close cooperation with other European research and development units, the very high flexion (VF) tires feature a new and unique hybrid tread pattern that is designed to offer traction in the field and be more comfortable on the road.
The structure of the Continental VF TractorMaster Hybrid tire carcass is more resistant than standard tires so it can operate at lower pressures in the field and at higher speeds on the road, while carrying the same load. This has added importance as underinflated tires on the road increase fuel consumption, whilst overinflated tires in the field lead to increased soil compaction. For optimum performance in all conditions, the hybrid tire, coupled with integrated tire sensors, is capable of being quickly inflated for road use and deflated for field use. When fitted to tractors with onboard air compressors the pressure of the tire can be monitored and adjusted by the operator without needing to leave the cab.
Combining tire technology and automotive electronics to increase efficiency and safety
Continental developed a completely integrated tire pressure monitoring system consisting of different components, which include the sensors, a yard reader station, backend management as well as a web portal and notification service. With ContiConnect, the data gathered by the sensors will be collected by a yard reader station as the vehicle passes by the receiver in the yard and sends the data to the backend where it is analyzed and interpreted. The yard reader station is installed at the fleet´s frequent touch points, like washing bays, gas stations, the farm or other check-points. By providing this information the fleet benefits from a reduced number of breakdowns, lowers maintenance costs, and generates value by increasing the vehicle’s uptime.
ContiPressureCheck operates on individual vehicles to provide the operator with real time tire data. Together the technology offers a comprehensive insight into how agricultural machinery tires are performing. The sensor in the tire measures and communicates the pressure and the tire temperature to help the operator decide on the optimum running pressure.
Both systems are quick and easy to install andguarantee a high data accuracy since measurement errors are avoided through the sensors mounted inside the tire.
Digital solutions for enhancing farming operations
The regular control of the right tire pressure and temperature is crucial for safety and efficiency during daily farming operations and to save time and money. Farmers, for example, often drive long distances of 30 kilometers and more when harvesting cereals or transporting goods. Over long distances the tires often overheat, which affects the steering ability of the vehicle and can lead to permanent damage and even premature tire failure. With ContiConnect and ContiPressureCheck, this fatal situation can be prevented. Both systems ensure safety and reliability for farmers and drivers by constantly monitoring tire pressure and temperature. They display the tire sensor’s data on a screen in the driver’s cabin and warn before a condition becomes critical. For example, an alert can be sent if the tire temperature is too high (over 100 degrees). Thus the correct air pressure for steering the vehicle can be matched and the lifetime of the tire can be extended avoiding high financial expenditure for the farmers.
Reducing soil compaction through accurate and automatic measurement of tire conditions
Another challenge in farming is soil compaction. It leads to poor growth conditions for the plants and can reduce the yields. ContiConnect and ContiPressureCheck can reduce soil compaction and resulting fluctuations in plant growth by ensuring a constantly low, correct tire pressure on farming machinery through accurate and automatic measurement of tire conditions. An additional benefit offers ContiConnect: the browser-based web portal offers various display options. It shows the history of the tire data and enables retrospective analyses. The web portal allows a remote monitoring of the entire fleet´s tire performance and puts control into the hands of the fleet managers and co-workers to guarantee correct usage of tire pressure for optimal growth conditions.