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Dairy farm adopts radial tyre policy for skid steer loaders

A Cornish dairy farm has become one of the first customers in the UK to fit Michelin’s new BibSteel Hard-Surface radial tyres to one of its skid steer loaders.

Skid Steer at Higher Coombe Farm

Skid Steer at Higher Coombe Farm


Previously Graham Kitto, owner of Higher Coombe Farm in Liskeard, used cross-ply tyres on his three Bobcat skid steers, which are used to scrape yards and clear slurry. However, due to the unforgiving working environment which includes running on abrasive surfaces, these tyres rarely lasted more than 300 hours.

The BibSteel Hard-Surface tyres were recommended by local Michelin Exelagri dealer Geoffrey Harris Tyres and are proving such a success that the farm plans to fit all three machines with this ultra-tough rubber once the existing tyres wear out.

Exelagri dealers are uniquely positioned to offer expert tyre advice thanks to stringent entry criteria, which includes providing advanced levels of staff training and offering extensive aftersales support.

Kitto, who is responsible for 350 head of cattle, says: “We work our skid steer loaders very hard, across surfaces which range from uneven concrete to sand – so we’re used to seeing our tyres wear very quickly.

“After 100 hours with the BibSteel Hard-Surface tyres you can hardly see any wear at all and the performance of the tyre is outstanding. My drivers tell me that the machines feel more stable and can manoeuvre more easily in the yards and sheds.”

The Bobcats are also used to put sand in tight cattle cubicles, where there is no room for any other farm machine to manoeuvre. Narrow passages mean that tyres can easily be caught on the cubicle sides, which historically has led to sidewall damage or punctures.

Michelin BibSteel tyres on Skid Steer

New Michelin BibSteel radial tyres on Skid Steer at Higher Coombe Farm

However, thanks to the BibSteel’s steel bracing and reinforced sidewalls, these new Michelin tyres offer outstanding puncture resistance compared with the less-durable cross-ply tyres used on more than 90 per cent of the machines in this market.

Kitto adds: “Our skid steers are amongst the most important machines on our farm –we’d be lost without them – so having the optimum tyres is important.

“Fitting BibSteels has required some additional investment, but as a farmer we are looking for the best overall value. We don’t mind spending a little more up-front if it means we’ll get a better return over the life of the asset.”

Geoffrey Harris Tyres’ company director, Michael Harris, says: “Our team has the knowledge and expertise to recommend tyres which offer the best balance of performance for our customers. It’s what being a Michelin Exelagri dealer is all about.”

Michelin launched the BibSteel Hard-Surface tyres to replace the former Stabil’X XZSL radial fitment. The new range is designed for compact vehicles looking for maximum traction and toughness while working on asphalt and other hard, abrasive surfaces. Michelin also offers the BibSteel All-Terrain, for off-road use.

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