Successful Farming - - TECHNOLOGY - By Lau­rie Be­dord, Ex­ec­u­tive Edi­tor, Ag Tech­nol­ogy

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 con­figura- tion 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.”


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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