2015-02-05 Source: Farmersguardian
With more entries than ever, including some very strong ones from major manufacturers, this year’s Lamma Innovation competition was tougher than ever James Rickard interviews the winners Pictures by Marcello Garbagnoli.
Best new product or innovation (environmental, The IAgrE Ivel Award): Trelleborg
Often the unsung heros of technological achievement, tyres are not always given the attention they deserve. However, Trelleborg has been recognised for its development of the progressive traction tyre concept, which the firm says has many benefits over standard tyres.
And it is all down to a stepped lug design, whereby at the base of the normal lug is a small step, which simultaneously improves lug rigidity and increases a tyre’s surface area contact (footprint).
Trelleborg UK managing director Andrea Manenti says: “It is this reduction in flex which makes better use of a tractor’s power by not wasting unnecessary energy as the tyre flexes. Also, with a larger contact area, traction is increased and load is spread more evenly reducing compaction.
“What the concept offers is a small difference in tyre design for a big difference in performance, especially when compared to much more complicated tyre solutions.”
So far the new design has only been shown as a concept, with an official launch at the upcoming Sima show in Paris. Limited tyre sizes will initially be available, with a view to introduce the concept across all of its tyre sizes.
Farm machinery and equipment innovation in association with Farmers Guardian: Trakjak
Designed primarily as a safer way to jack up and support the rear of a tractor, particularly with its wheels off, Trakjak is the brainchild of Irish contractor Padraig Fay.
Born out of the export industry, where there is a constant need to take back wheels off for thorough cleaning and shipping preparation, the device makes use of the tractor’s rear linkage to safely lift its own rear-end off the ground.
To work, the rear linkage is connected to a frame which runs under the rear of the tractor. When the frame is lifted via the linkage, it essentially ‘levers’ the tractor up in the air.
Once raised, the tractor is supported on Trakjak’s solid wheels, and can even be driven around the yard with the tractor’s rear wheels removed (with four-wheel drive engaged). This means the wheels can be safely removed in the workshop then the tractor is taken out for a wash, for example.
Mr Fay says: “It was easy to see a need for something better than current methods, and I just elaborated on what I was doing with bits of wood.”
Trakjak is certified to a 12-tonne lifting capacity and is priced at £2,100.
Certificates of merit
Shanks Engineering, Farmhitch automatic hitching system
David Ritchie Implements, Ritchie Stock Cube
Merlo UK, Turbofarmer range of telehandlers
Cultivating Solutions, touch-screen controller for Titan cultivator
John Deere, 8000 Series self-propelled forager
Vicon, iXclean Pro sprayer automatic rinsing system
D&H Group, Bio Beds and Bio Filters
Dofygate, automatic field and yard gates
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