Ground King tyre test results

The Ground King tyre from Nokian is designed to deliver top performance both in the paddock and on the road
Fendt 724 Vario tractor owned by the agricultural contractor firm Blunk GmbH in Rendswühren was fitted with the pre-production version of the Nokian Ground King tractor tyres

A German university has tested Nokian Ground King hybrid pattern tractor tyres within a large agricultural contractor’s operation and the study has found significant benefits.

The Nokian Ground King hybrid pattern tractor tyre is the first to bring added efficiency to combined paddock and road application in agriculture.

Working in collaboration with a German agricultural contracting company Blunk GmbH, the German Kiel University put the tyre through a series of tests in everyday farm work.

The working profile of a tractor in agriculture has been changing. In addition to working in the paddock, the volume of transport tasks and time on the road has increased significantly in recent years.

This fact is shaping the criteria for an agricultural contracting tyre as both paddock and road applications are very different by nature – while both still call for great performance.

Nokian Tyres has approached the versatility challenge with a new kind of hybrid pattern technology that offers the best of both worlds, combining the paddock-ready lug pattern with block pattern to improve on-road properties.

To find out how this tyre performs in practice, the Kiel University Faculty of Agriculture, Engineering put the Nokian Ground King tyre through its paces.

Test setup

For long-term performance testing, a Fendt 724 Vario tractor owned by the agricultural contractor firm Blunk GmbH in Rendswühren was fitted with a set of Nokian Ground King tractor tyres.

For reference, another identical Fendt 724 tractor was fitted with premium agricultural standard (AS) tyres from another manufacturer.

The tyres were used in grassland operations and road transportations, and several measurements were carried out to follow the performance. The paddock work included mowing, tedding, harvesting and tillage.

The average time used in paddock application was 62% and on road 38% throughout the test period.

Hybrilug technology combines the best functions of traditional lug and block tyre patterns in order to improve all-terrain mobility and great road use attributes for a long operating life

Paddock efficiency

The measurements in deep tillage application tests showed that compared to the reference tyre, the Nokian Ground King had better power transfer to the ground with 2% less wheel slip.

This improved working efficiency is due to the Hybrilug tread pattern that gave a good interlocking grip between the tyre profile and ground.

In assessment of self-cleaning of the pattern types none of the tyres differed greatly in this performance respect under the given conditions on the moist clay soil.

The difference of pattern types effect on the grass growth on the tracks done by the tractor such as strain effect to the paddock was assessed between first and second cut of grass.

The greater pattern proportion of the Nokian Ground King tyre led to less strain on the soil and to more rapid grass regrowth after being driven over during the first and second cuts, leading to 29% higher yield expectations.

Different types of work carried out with Nokian Ground King is shown here as a cross section of activities during the trial period

Service and fuel economy

The result of the long-time trial clearly shows that the Nokian Ground King tyre definitely demonstrates less wear over the trial’s total operational spectrum.

The other makers lug-patterned reference tyre lost more than third of its usable lug height, while the Nokian Ground King tyre lost only a fifth of its lug height.

This means considerably longer service life than that of a typical agricultural tyre.

In fuel economy, Nokian Ground King demonstrated clear improvement. In heavy cultivation work the fuel consumption with Nokian Ground King tyres was 4% lower than with the reference AS profile tyres.

The difference was still greater in transport tasks where the fuel saving was more than 9% when compared with AS profile results. The combined consumption calculated through jobs carried out, measured consumption and time input, resulted in consumption being 11% less for the Nokian Ground King tyres.

Nokian Ground King tyres are now offered in 14 sizes, since the initial four size release of 650/65R42, 540/65R30, 650/65R38, 540/65R28 in April 2020.

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