For example, Michelin North America now uses sunflower oil produced by American farmers to help make one of its luxury tires stop faster in wet weather and deliver safer handling and great ride quality in all weather.
Tires And The Environment
“One of Michelin’s core values is respect for the environment,” said Michael Vandel, marketing segment manager. He believes that the environment is everything to farmers and to their equipment supplier and that the choice of a tire can make a difference to the environment as well as their bottom line.
Environmental considerations are particularly important in agriculture. Tire companies invest heavily in research to improve fuel economy and traction and reduce soil compaction, which combine to reduce soil erosion and runoff into waterways.
Ag tires, for instance, are designed to run at lower air pressures so they spread out to create a wider footprint. This spreads the weight of the tractor or combine, improving traction and reducing compaction.
While the tires may look flat when properly inflated, this can actually help seeds take root. It can also help to prevent erosion and runoff, while letting the tractor grip the ground, traveling more efficiently and getting better fuel economy, thereby cutting carbon emissions.
Said Vandel, “Little engineering details can make a big difference in tire performance and in field and environmental health.”
Sunflower Oil And Sugar
The performance advantages the sunflower oil delivers to the tire aside, it also provides North American sunflower farmers an additional market for their product, closing a circle of life that benefits both the environment and the farmers’ bottom lines by incorporating what they grow into what they use to harvest the crop.
And this is just the first of many technical advances the research-driven company is making. It is now including sugar in compounds for tires that could be on the road in three to five years, according to Chemical & Engineering News.
To learn more, visit the redesigned website at www.MichelinAg.com.