In order to prove that a driver's knowledge influences, despite the current technologies, the performances of a tractor, John Deere and Michelin organized, in close cooperation with JOSKIN, the European Drivers Challenge on 30th April and 1st May.
About a hundred contractors from European countries (Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, UK, Ireland and the Netherlands) registered to this contest on the Internet. The seven winners (one per country) were then invited to spend two days at the Michelin test centre near Clermont-Ferrand. It is one of the biggest test sites of the world, with no less than 19 tracks for a total length of 41km.
The machines used for the competition were John Deere 6215R AutoPower tractors and JOSKIN Trans-CAP double-axle monocoque tipping trailers of 12 tons.
Before the race, every driver had to determine the tractor parameters and tyre pressure that suited most his driving strategy. The winner is not necessarily the faster, but the driver who had the best overall strategy, based on two criteria: fuel consumption and soil compaction.
After these two days, all participants noticed that a proper adjustment of the tyre pressure, with compliance with the manufacturers´ instructions, allows to reduce the fuel costs throughout the years and therefore to increase the productivity by a few percents.