Farmers who want the latest flexible sidewall tyre technologies on their tractors don’t need to pay premium prices, according to the Alliance Tire Group. The company, now owned by Japan’s Yokohama, says new research shows the performance of its upgraded Alliance 372 VF drive tyres comes close to similar products from premium competitors that cost substantially more.
Alliance describes itself as a value brand. In practical terms this means that rather than investing in sales and technical support teams in the markets where it operates, it offers lower prices. Farmers fitting the tyres in the UK, for example, won’t have access to on-farm technical support to advise on tyre pressures, but instead Alliance offers a smartphone app that will allow customers to find the ideal tyre pressures for the job at hand. If more detailed support is required, this can be accessed from the brand’s UK and Ireland importer, Kirkby Tyres, via the supplying tyre dealer.
Increased sidewall flexibility on tyres – the Alliance 372 Agriflex (IF – improved flexion) and Alliance 372 Agriflex+ (VF – very improved flexion) – enables them to carry (up to 40 per cent) more at the same pressure as compared to a standard tractor radial. It offers a significantly larger footprint, leading to low soil compaction and a comfortable ride for the driver. The larger footprint enables higher traction, reduces fuel costs and increases overall operational productivity.
The Alliance 372 VF is a radial steel-belted tyre for tractors, combines, harvesters and some slurry tankers. The tyre has a 10-year warranty as standard; a D speed rating (65km/hr); and is available in 28 sizes – which is claimed to be the widest range of VF tractor tyres avaiable. The 372 VF received a construction and design upgrade in early 2019. This included an improved stubble guard compound, as well as special tread compounds for wear, cut and chip resistance that were used for the new version of the tyre. These upgrades ensure high structural stability and reliable heat resistance during field operations, even at 0.8 bar/11.6 psi inflation pressure. The updated tyre has got rounded lug shoulders, a larger footprint and higher lug angles for the better soil protection and self-cleaning.
Earlier this year, Alliance commissioned independent research from the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE) to perform four field tests under defined conditions: fuel efficiency; traction; wheelslip in soft soil; and footprint width. The Alliance 372 VF and IF tyres were tested against two similar patterns from premium brands in IF and VF construction in the same sizes: 600/70R30 (front) and 710/70R42 (rear). The tyre inflation pressures were kept constant at 1.6 bar/23.2 psi for the front tyres while the load was varied between 4,375 daN/4,461kg-force (IF) and 5,150 daN/5,241kg-force (VF). For the rear tyres, the load was kept constant at 4,875 daN/4,971kg-force while tyre inflation pressure varied between 1 bar/14.5 psi (IF) and 0.8 bar/11.6 psi (VF).
The tests found that Alliance 372 VF tractor tyre outperformed competitors’ premium IF tyres and was about an equal match for competitors’ premium VF tyres. Given that Alliance tyres come at a significantly lower price point, the top performance and the value for money of the Alliance 372 VF makes for an attractive option.
The results were as follows (in each case, the Alliance IF tyre was used as the reference baseline at 100 per cent):
Fuel efficiency: With a relative result of 104 per cent and 107 per cent for the both tyres, the Alliance 372 VF matches the competitor’s premium VF tyre fuel efficiency level and clearly outperforms all IF tyres.
Traction: Ranking a very close second to the competitor’s premium VF tyre in the rear option, the Alliance 372 VF delivered better traction than the competitors’ premium IF tyres.
Wheelslip in soft soil: With its excellent test result, the Alliance 372 VF is in the lead in terms of lower wheelsip. In relative figures, the performance of the Alliance 372 VF rear size tyre is 118 per cent of the baseline figure compared to 112 per cent for the competitor’s premium VF tyre, and 63 per cent and 58 per cent, respectively, for the two competitors’ premium IF tyres.
Footprint: The Alliance 372 VF scores 110 per cent for the rear size tyre in comparison with 112 per cent for a premium competition tyre. The front size tyre is slightly narrower than the competition: 104 per cent versus 113 and 123 per cent respectively.
The general conclusion of the tests was that the Alliance 372 VF performs in line with the premium competition VF tyres and better than premium IF tyres. Given that Alliance 372 VF comes at a significantly lower price point than the premium competitors’ IF and VF tyres, the overall test results suggest excellent value for money with the Alliance tyres.
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