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Trelleborg Launches Smart Tire

Research has shown that most farmers rarely check their tires’ inflation pressures during the course of a season. Yet, controlling that number not only maintains the machine and the operator’s safety but also ensures minimum impact on the soil.

“During operations, tire pressure can change due to a number of factors including ambient and soil temperatures, the intensity of the task being performed, and the configuration of the machine itself,” says Piero Mancinelli, R&D director at Trelleborg Wheel Systems.

The company’s recent innovation, ConnecTire, constantly monitors two key variables: tire pressure and temperature. That information is then relayed to both the tractor and the farm office via Bluetooth and wireless connectivity. Once farmers set their target tire pressure, they can monitor any deviations from that target and then act accordingly. If an adjustment is needed, ConnecTire automatically sends an alert via its app.

“Tires are required to work intelligently and be at the right pressure at all times,” explains Mancinelli. “Farm machinery is exposed to many variables throughout a working day, all of which can impact efficiency – ambient temperature, humidity, and soil conditions. Being able to be in control of all of these allows farmers to reduce inefficiencies on their operations.”

The alert capability (via the app), he notes, is an essential feature of ConnecTire. “Changing conditions can require immediate action in order to maintain maximum efficiency and to prevent rim slippage,” says Mancinelli. “The communications functions enable fingertip control. ConnecTire is about ensuring efficiency and sustainability.”

more than a monitor

Besides tire monitoring, ConnecTire delivers other advantages.

• The built-in GPS capability identifies the position of the tractor, which keeps workers safely performing fieldwork by themselves. It also safeguards the tires and machine against risk of theft. 

• With the help of precision farming software, farm managers are able to track the number of machine passes over every square inch of a field. This helps limit soil compaction and erosion as much as possible. 

“Repeatedly driving over the same ground at different stages of the crop cycle has a long-term impact on yield,” says Mancinelli. “With ConnecTire, we saw an opportunity to help reduce this effect by providing the data that allows farmers to identify at-risk areas and mitigate this. Efficient use of land is essential. By reducing the number of machine passes, ConnecTire helps soil to rapidly recover fertility and yield potential.”

While Trelleborg, a Swedish company, plans to make the tire available in the U.S., an exact date has not yet been announced. Pricing information is also not yet available.

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