1988 - Volume #12, Issue #1, Page #21[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
On the Go Tire InflationThe first-ever on-the-go tractor tire inflation kit was on display at the Massey Ferguson exhibit at Agritechnica.
Designed by engineering student Thomas Brock, the new inflation system lets operators increase or decrease rear tire pressure as the load on the tractor changes. For instance, when you're in the field with heavy 3-pt. mounted equipment lowered into the ground, you might want to decrease pressure in the tires to increase traction and decrease compaction. But when you pick up the equipment and head down the road for home, you can increase tire pressure to better handle the load and reduce tire wear.
"The system even makes it practical to increase tire pressure on the headlands when you're turning around and then de-crease it again in the field. One switch in the cab controls air pressure in both tires," Brock told FARM SHOW.
To install the on-the-go system, the existing hub is replaced with a new hollow hub.
Air pressure feeds into the rotating hub from a small pressure tank and 12-volt pump that attach to the side of the tractor frame. A short length of pressure hose runs from the pressurized hub to the valve stem on the tire. If you've got duals, you can run a second air hose to the outer dual.
Key to success of the system is the design of the air-tight hub. "We had to build it strong enough to stand up to the stress of the tractor tire and tight enough so it wouldn't leak air," Brock says, noting that his calculations show the system easily pays for itself in reduced tire wear and increased fuel efficiency by reducing tire slippage and increasing traction.
Massey Ferguson is evaluating prototypes.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Tomas Brock, Massey-Ferguson GMBH, Industriehof, 3440 Eschwege, West Germany (ph 05651810).
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