IF & VF farm tyre technology is a recent, underutilised innovation that lets all farmers increase productivity & efficiency, plus reduce soil compaction, fuel consumption & total cost of ownership (TCO) compared to standard radial farm tyres.
Understanding the IF/VF designations on farm tyres is pretty straight-forward.
IF stands for “Improved Flexion.”
IF farm tyres carry 20% more load, at the same inflation pressure, or could carry the same load with reduced pressure.
Structural & compound innovations allow IF farm tyre sidewalls to operate while flexing more dramatically. Utilising lower inflation pressures made possible by IF tyres, farmers can increase the tyre ground contact area, traction and fuel economy while reducing soil compaction by about the same amount as the reduction in inflation pressure.
VF stands for “Very High Flexion.”
Alliance VF farm tyres carry 40% more load, at the same inflation pressure, or could carry the same load with reduced pressure. Using the lower inflation of a VF tyre enlarges the tyre footprint improving traction, fuel economy and soil protection.
As farming machinery becomes increasingly massive, tyre technology must advance to keep up. Heavy loads demand that agricultural tyres distribute weight evenly across the soil contact area.
IF and VF are categories of tyres that will help increase farming efficiency through reducing compaction and increasing fuel economy.
IF, which stands for ‘Increased Flexion’, is a new category of radial tyre introduced when Michelin launched the Michelin Axiobib tyres in 2006.
Tyres classified as IF have increased flexibility in the sidewall than standard radial tyres – this means that an IF will carry loads that are 20% heavier than identical sized standard radial tyres (when running at the same inflation pressure). Alternatively, the IF tyres can carry the same load as standard tyres, but at 20% less pressure.
According to ATG, ‘a farmer can increase the tyres ground contact area, helping with traction and fuel economy, and reduce the harmful downward forces that cause soil compaction by roughly the same amount as the reduction in inflation pressure.’
VF, which stands for ‘Very Increased Flexion’ or ‘Very High Flexion’, was introduced by Michelin in 2003 with the launch of the Michelin Xeobib range.
VF is similar to the IF range except that it offers increased tyre performance of 40% over standard tyres rather than 20%. VF tyres will carry 40% more load, at identical pressure, than a standard radial tyre – or will carry the same load at 40% lower pressure.
By lowering the pressure required to carry the weight, a VF tyre footprint is enlarged and therefore increases traction and consequently fuel economy. It also reduces compaction resulting in better plant growth and higher crop yields.
New Tyre Advancements
Over the last few years IF and VF tyres have become much more popular. Popular rowcrop sizes (such as the VF 380/85R38 BKT Spargo for the JCB 4220 Fastracs) and VF tyres in standard tyre sizes (such as Michelin Axiobib 2’s and Bridgestone VT-Tractor) have made low pressure tyres a more viable option for farmers. A table of the common IF and VF makes and models are shown below:
Trelleborg TM1000 HP
Firestone MaxiTraction IF
Michelin Axiobib 2