Tractors & Tyres

Indian-made tyres a hit in Suffolk

BKT may not be well known in the UK but the Indian company has made inroads in the tractor tyre market over recent years.

One pair of BKT 650/65R38 Agrimax tyres made their way three years ago on to a Deutz Agrotron 150 at Aldous and Partners’ 860-acre (326ha) Chapel Farm, Hitcham.

Farm manager Ivor Gerry originally specified the 2001-registered tractor on 20.8R38 and 16.9R28 Goodyear tyres from new, but following issues with road width and persistent cracking of wheel studs when running dual wheels, a decision was made to move to a single wider tyre three years ago.

“As 650s would fit on the existing 18-inch rim we looked at this wider option and initially got prices for Michelin and Goodyear,” says Mr Gerry.

“What we found was that these brands were in short supply and our supplier Ernest Doe would have to order them. They did have a couple of pairs of BKT tyres in stock, and for the price we were quoted we decided to give them a go.”

The BKTs were supplied at around £1,500 for the pair, some £1,600 less than the better known brands were quoted at.

“We already had a pair of BKT 480/70R28s on the front of the Deutz, and were happy with their wear, which encouraged us the 650s would be a good tyre choice,” Mr Gerry says.

Duties

Among the Deutz’s main duties at the time of fitment was pulling the farm’s four-metre Vaderstad drill, and Mr Gerry says the 650s performed this task well.

“I could pull the drill on our fairly hilly land one higher gear than I could with the 20.8R38 duals, gaining around 1.5kph more speed. I believe it was the higher rolling resistance of the duals that reduced our speed capability.”

The 650s are generally run at 9psi for drilling, and grip is said to be excellent. The tyres have also made it to 2,000 hours with no reported issues and little wear.

“The BKTs are a lovely, flat tyre and give a nice profile on the field, running really well at low pressures,” Mr Gerry concludes.

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