Founded in 1938 and located in Hellevoetsluis in the province of South Holland, a contractor company Loonbedrijf Vijfvinkel provides a range of specialist services for farms, municipalities and construction enterprises. This includes contract tillage and seeding as well as earthmoving for new land reclamation and cleaning of roads. With regard to tractor tyres, these working environments equally require a large footprint for powerful traction as well as high wear resistance and comfort during on-road operation.
“We have literally grown into these special services, and we have learned that the right gear is a decisive prerequisite for lasting success”, said Wouter Vijfvinkel, head of the company.
In spring 2020, Wouter Vijfvinkel was in search of new tyres for his Massey Ferguson 6490 tractor. “As our services are performed on different surfaces, we were actually looking for a combination of top traction on any surface, be it clay, sand, tar or concrete, long tyre life and excellent roadability.”
In May 2020, the decision was made to mount Agri Star II – a newly launched radial tractor tyre by Alliance. According to the contractor, these tyres have delivered even more than expected.
“Autumn 2020 was particularly wet even for the Netherlands,” he said. “Some of our customers who work at very heavy and sticky clay soils still needed to prepare the seedbed and seed winter wheat. With the new tyres, we did not have to wait for better weather. It was amazing to see that the Agri Star II made our tractor easily cope with these challenging conditions. Thanks to the powerful lugs, the high tread depth and the resulting reliable traction, we were able to continue and finish that work. The combination of the tractor, tank with seeds and rotary harrow went over the wet clay soil with ease and without breaking or stopping.”
Smooth ride on roads
Wouter Vijfvinkel equally appreciates the performance of Alliance Agri Star II tyres not only in the field but also during on-road operations. In his contracting business, earthmoving and cleaning roads from sand that has been blown there by heavy storms and winds account for 60-70% of the working time on paved surfaces. The Agri Star II tyres play a crucial role again, as they were specifically designed for improved roadability.
“However, all tyres seem to be round but they still bounce on the road. The Agri Star II tyres deliver a much smoother and comfortable ride – virtually eliminating any bouncing, bumping, vibration and resulting discomfort on roads,” he explained.
The other 30-40% of the time, the tractor is on the beach unloading the sand back to the coast. The whole operation is performed on a reduced tire pressure to achieve a bigger footprint and maintain good traction at the same time.
“During the land reclamation and cleaning operations, we have to tow heavy loads on sandy surfaces. That is why a large footprint is also important. Reducing the tire pressure down to 0.8 or 1.0 bar further adds to the already impressive traction of the tires”, said Vijfvinkel.
High intensity of on-road operations wears the tyres quicker than the in-field agricultural operations. But the wear numbers of Agri Star II are really promising. After almost 1,000 working hours the wear of the front tyre (710/70R42 173D) is 125 hrs/mm and 119 hrs/mm for the rear tyre respectively (600/70R30 152D).
“In light of the mixed agricultural and on-road operations, the expected lifetime of the tyres at the 95% wear is 6,100 hours for the front wheels and even up to 7,000 hours for the rear wheels, which is a superb result, comparable with the premium performance and efficiency”, said Jeroen Reedijk, sales representatives of Alliance in the Netherlands, during the tire inspection of Mr Vijfvinkel’s tractor.