Editor’s Note: What follows is a real conversation, for a demonstration farmers will see at the Farm Progress Show Aug. 28-30, 2018 in Boone, Iowa
“We’ve done a lot of R&D with this and we haven’t lost anyone yet,” said Neil Rayson, regional sales director, North and Central America, Ag Division, Trelleborg Wheel Systems. It’s not the kind of comment you expect to hear when talking farm tires. Yet it does matter when discussing the company’s upcoming demonstration at the 2018 Farm Progress Show.
The company has set up a tractor with over-large tires that will float on a retention pond on the east side of the show grounds near Tram Loading during the big event. “We felt this was a fun way to start the conversation [about compaction] and pique people’s interest to make them more aware,” Rayson said.
He explained that the most critical factor for farmers is yield. “Yield is directly related to soil compaction and soil compaction to ground pressure,” Rayson noted. “That’s directly related to flotation of the tires.”
Essentially, when thinking about the tire going through a field, it should only depress into the soil up to the lug height, so the machine will float as much as possible during operation, he said. The operative word there is “float.”
To bring that image to potential customers, and all those visitors to the Farm Progress Show, the company decided to float a tractor across that pond at the site. Yes, farmers will see a floating tractor at the show riding on over-size tires.
Rayson noted that this is a conversation starter and they want farmers to remember the image of that floating tractor going across the pond. That’s right, it won’t be a static display, there will be someone driving across the area in the machine. “If visitors remember it and what the meaning is, we hope it will help them think about compaction and their business,” he said.
The machine will be riding on Mitas tires – made in Charles City, Iowa – and testing has been done to be sure the tractor and tires are right-sized for the task.
But Rayson added one more caution: “We will not be giving any rides.”