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WELSH SHEEP FARMER FEELS SAFER WITH WIDER TYRES

Aubrey Evans is a Welsh sheep and beef farmer with a flock of 4000 Cheviot cross sheep and a herd of 50 Hereford cross sucklers. The farm, near Brecon, extends to approximately 1000 acres of hilly pastureland and has been in the family for three generations. Aubrey and his brother carry out daily farm tasks, and their parents are still involved in the day to day management of the farm.

The ground is hilly and often very wet. This makes access with a tractor challenging at times so when choosing his new tractor Aubrey thought carefully about how he could improve grip. “I didn’t feel safe on the narrow tyres that are offered with many new tractors. I wanted another Claas but I also wanted wider tyres,” says Mr Evans.

Aubrey traded a Claas 456 Celtis 100 horsepower machine for a new, more powerful Claas 440 Arion with 120 horsepower. “Machinery is getting heavier and to cope with the load I wanted a more powerful tractor but I also wanted better tyres to apply the power more efficiently,” says Mr Evans. “Wider tyres don’t dig into the ground as much and don’t create such deep ruts. This helps to reduce soil compaction too,” explains Mr Evans.

He bought his new Claas from Rees Agri Equipment in Brecon and asked James Rees if he could change the specified Mitas tyres to give him a larger footprint. Mr Rees recommended the new Tractor 70 tyres from Continental. This would increase the width of the tyres from the supplied 380/85R28 front and 460/85R38 rear to 420/70R28 on the front and 520/70R38 on the rear.

The change was welcomed by Mr Evans who has been using the tyres since buying the tractor in 2018. “They give better grip and I feel safer on the wet ground. This winter has been particularly wet and having the wider footprint has really helped. The tyres are especially good on the hillsides. We have steep land and access with a tractor can be difficult in wet weather, but these tyres have performed better than others I have had.”

The tyres were supplied by local dealer Llandovery Tyres who offer a wide variety of Continental tyres that are manufactured at a new factory in Portugal. Richard Hutchins, Continental UK and Ireland sales manager says: “Aubrey needed a tyre that gave him a larger footprint so he could apply more power from his new tractor. The lug design of Continental tyres offers better grip and is self-cleaning which is a real help in wet and muddy conditions. The increased surface area coverage of the tyre also provides greater stability which has added to the feeling of safety for Aubrey when he is on steep ground.”

Mr Evans has an even split between road and field use so, whilst the tyres needed to perform well in wet conditions, there was also a need for them to wear well on the road. “The tractor has done 750 hours over the last 18 months and tyres look new,” says Mr Evans. “I use my Claas for pretty much everything. It pulls my stock trailer and I use it in the field for baling work, fertiliser spreading and hedge trimming. The tyres have performed well throughout and are not really showing signs of wear,” he concludes.