Will Vincent contract farms 1,600 acres of farmland along Dorset’s Jurassic coast. Among his fleet of John Deere tractors is a 6195R, which was one of the first to be fitted with our new TractorMaster tyres. “We were asked by James Donnelly of DSD Mobile Tyres if we wanted to try the new tyres, and that Richard Hutchins from Continental would visit us to weigh the tractor and make sure the tyres were fitted correctly,” he says.
Since the tyres were fitted in 2019, the tractor has clocked up 3,500 hours and Mr Vincent is expecting a further 1,500-2,000 hours before needing to change them. “We have been particularly impressed with the lack of damage sustained to the tyre. There are very few cuts or cracks in the walls which is also a good sign, considering some of our fields are stony with sharp flint,” he says. The land he farms slopes steeply from the coast and varies from heavy clay to sand. “We have had problems with other tyres splitting and being damaged, so I have made sure to look for tyres that are more flexible and built to stand up to the demanding work we do,” he adds.
Mr Vincent is running two Strautmann forage wagons and uses Krone mowers, rakes, and tedders for silage work. He also uses Krone and Claas square balers, and three Stewart trailers to transport grass and forage crops. “Silage season is busy here because we have our own herd of 500 Hereford/Limosin cross cattle with 200 sucklers and we work with local dairy farmers too. We grow some winter wheat, spring barley, forage maize and turnips as well as rye grass,” he explains. The steep land makes for tricky work at times, especially in the wet.
“The land slopes steeply, rising from sea level to 650 feet in just 1,500 metres so we need our tractors to grip well, another reason why I have chosen to invest in good tyres”
Beyond his farm contract, Mr Vincent also offers contracting services to other farms within a 20-mile radius. Much of the work is with dairy farms, where he cuts grass and maize for forage.
“We do a lot of hours on the road and some tyres have worn poorly in the past, totalling less than 4,000 hours. That is why we have been so impressed with these Continental tyres. There is still 40% left on both the front and the rear and this will mean we may exceed 5,500 hours, which is a big improvement,” he says.
The heavy clay land near the coast makes for tricky cultivation work. In the wet coastal conditions, the soil becomes sticky, which can compromise grip. “These tyres release soil more effectively, the wider lug design is better at self-cleaning, which gives us better grip. This helps both the confidence of the operator, but also the efficiency of the tractor because we experience less slip,” he says. The TractorMaster tyre features our D.Fine lug design providing smooth linkage between the block and base, which helps with self-cleaning. The lug also has 5% more surface area to give better traction in the field.
The construction of our TractorMaster tyre has given Mr Vincent the balance of flexibility and longevity. The tyre has been designed with N.flex technology, a heat-treated nylon that sits beneath the rubber, to help the tyre return to its original shape following impacts and heavy use. Tractor tyres reach high temperatures during road use. When parked overnight the tyres cool to the shape of the parked position creating so called flat spots. When the tractor is used again the operator will experience ride disturbance because the tyres are not a perfect circle. N.flex reduces the occurrence of flat spots and provides a more comfortable ride.
“A tractor is never going to be quiet and whilst the tyres can help reduce noise it is not a big concern to me. These tyres are not noisy, they may not be the quietest, but overall, they offer excellent driver comfort."
Our TractorMaster tyres have a single wire construction which means the wire is wrapped around the circumference of the tyre up to one hundred times. This helps it to hold its shape, even when run at very low pressures. “I was unaware of how much development went into tyres, but once you know more it's hard to ignore the importance that this research and development makes, especially when you are pulling a heavy trailer up steep fields,” says Mr Vincent.
Richard Hutchins, UK and Ireland sales manager, has been keen to track Mr Vincent’s use of the tyres and has been impressed with the results. “Seeing the tyres after 3,500 hours is really important to us because Continental is coming back to the market with new tyre technology and we want to be able to work closely with farmers to understand how their tyres are performing,” he says.
“To have 40% of the tread still remaining and very few cuts in the tyre after this much demanding use is a great sign, and we are confident that others will have a similar experience to Will.”