European Drivers Challenge: getting the very best from MICHELIN agricultural tires
© C. Mazoyer
6 tractor drivers from six European countries came to Michelin’s European Research Center in Ladoux, France on April 30 to compete in the two-day European Drivers Challenge organized in partnership with John Deere.
A good illustration that technology + good practices = operational gains
Each competitor drove a John Deere 6215R AutoPower tractor fitted with MICHELIN MachXBib tires hauling a twin-axle Joskin trailer with a 20-tonne load running on the new MICHELIN CargoXBib High Flotation tires.
One difficulty was choosing the right tire pressure for a course which was 70% on and 30% off road.
This Drivers Challenge jointly organized by John Deere and Michelin had a dual aim:
- to demonstrate that a practical understanding of technology can have an impact on tractor performance,
- to prove that tires play an important role in saving fuel and reducing soil compaction on rough terrain.
Adopting the right tractor set-up and tire pressure strategy
The series of manoeuvers to be performed by the competitors faithfully reflected the challenges that agricultural contractors face every day. The operators have to master state-of-the-art technology to ensure fast transport time while keeping fuel consumption down: time and money are both of the essence.
The competitors need to choose the right set-up for their tractor and set the correct tire pressure beforehand. Unlike other competitions, performance is not only judged on speed. The winning driver is the one who has chosen a strategy enabling him or her to cover the course as quickly as possible with minimum fuel consumption and soil compaction.
French contestant Sébastien Mahaut was the outright winner of the best European Tractor Drivers Challenge. Simon Richardson from the UK was the runner-up and a Dutchman, Edwin Dekker, came third.