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Rigid lugged wheel for conventional agricultural wheeled tractors – Optimising traction performance and wheel–soil interaction in field operations

Md-Tahir, Hafiz, Zhang, Jumin, Xia, Junfang, Zhang, Chunling, Zhou, Hua, Zhu, Yinghao
Biosystems engineering 2019 v.188 pp. 14-23
bulk density, clay soils, environmental degradation, environmental impact, plows, resistance to penetration, soil compaction, tillage, tires, traffic, wheeled tractors
Wheeled traffic with poor traction and high axle loads has been indicated as the main source of soil compaction along with numerous associated concerns in the agricultural environment. To meet the increasing demand for transferring engine power to drawbar with increased efficiency and less damage to the environment, a modern traction wheel “rigid lugged wheel (RLW)” was devised for field operations. Compared the traction performance and effect on soil compaction of RLW and conventional tyre wheel (CTW) mounted on the same tractor. Conducted two field tillage experiments in clay soils by mouldboard plough, using a 70 kW wheeled tractor operated at various speeds, tillage depths and draught force (DF). The RLW resulted in lower travel reduction by 111%, 136% and 163% over the slow, medium and fast treatments respectively. The maximum travel reduction at high speed for the RLW was 12% over 25.54 kN DF while for CTW it was 32% over 23.79 kN DF. RLW showed less compaction over one and three passes in term of penetration resistance and bulk density compared to CTW. Results indicated a significant decrease in travel reduction and good control on its increasing rate by RLW over different speeds and DF. Significant traction improvement was achieved without increasing equipment weight, which could be benefited by pulling the wide implements to reduce field traffic intensity and soil compaction. RLW has created a dynamic opportunity for wheeled tractors in agriculture, with an optimised structure that could make it more efficient and versatile in the field.