New tractor tire improves on-road ride

New tire type is designed to improve tire life, handling and operator comfort through reduced vibration

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“Bib” the Michelin Man has just introduced a new tire aimed at farmers who regularly drive their tractors on public roads, towing heavy loads.

The Michelin RoadBib has a new tread design. Instead of a traditional lugged tire, it features 52 blocks with a wide footprint and shallow tread. The tire has a plain, central rib. The wide surface reduces compaction and plant damage plus provides comfort on the road. The tire also offers a wear indicator and accepts studs for specific applications, according to Michelin.

RoadBib is designed for tractors that split their time between field and road, such as manure, silage, grain carts, water tanks and spreading equipment. It’s especially suitable for producers who spend a lot of time travelling roads because they have small fields spread over a large area. RoadBib is offered in a 600/70R30 size for the front axle and a 710/70R42 for the rear axle. This is a directional tire designed to achieve several things:

  • Low rolling resistance reduces fuel consumption with fuel savings up to five per cent. This estimated fuel consumption benefit is based on Michelin’s rolling resistance measurements on a 125 horsepower Massey Ferguson 6470 tractor on 710/70R42 tires pulling a 19-ton trailer, and internal Michelin testing compared to MachXBib tires. Details were published at Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), 2008-01-0154 and 2010-01-0763.2)
  • A 25 per cent improvement in tire life.
  • With 20 per cent more rubber contacting the road, handling is improved.
  • The sculpture configuration of the tire limits cabin vibration and sound impact, improving operator conditions.

Monsieur “Bib” made his first appearance as the Michelin Man at the 1894 Lyon Exhibition in France, where he was part of the Michelin Brothers tire display. As such, he is one of the world’s oldest trademarks.

But the pure-white puffed-up mascot actually dates back to 23 B.C., when the Roman poet Horace included the slogan “Nunc est bibendum” in his Cleopatra Ode following her suicide. The words mean “Now is the time to drink.” Bibendum was a minor Greek god.

Over the millennium, Bibendum has been shortened to “Bib.” For nearly 2,000 years, he has been depicted visually as a lord of industry, a master of all he surveyed and a patriotic exponent of the French spirit.

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