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Get to Know our Partners – Michelin Tweels

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RDO Equipment Co. is proud to partner with nearly 150 manufacturers, ensuring customers have access to the best equipment, products, and total solutions from trusted companies.

Find out more about what these partners offers – everything from construction and agriculture machines to machine control and irrigation systems – by getting to know one of them: Michelin.

The company’s innovative airless radial tire, the Michelin X Tweel is available on a variety of John Deere commercial turf products. RDO Equipment Co. offers a unique option on John Deere Z Trak mowers, with the availability of both front and rear Tweels. Sean Higgins, Ag Specialist for Michelin North America, explains why something as seemingly simple as a tire is exciting for customers – and Michelin employees.

How long have Michelin and RDO Equipment Co. been partners?
The relationship between Michelin and RDO Equipment Co. began close to 10 years ago through our commercial truck division. Fast forward to about 2 years ago and Michelin Agriculture reached out to see how we could support the machines and customer experience for RDO Equipment Co.’s core agricultural customers; about this same time, Michelin and John Deere were working closely together on supporting the commercial turf products with the Michelin X Tweel.

Is the Tweel a fairly new product?
Michelin has been designing and building pneumatic tires since 1889 so in this case, yes, it is a fairly new product. We publicly announced the Michelin X Tweel in 2005 and went into full commercial production in 2012.

What industries does Michelin serve and what types of projects are these customers working on?
The number one industry is commercial mowing. These operators focus on lawn care for residential, commercial, and government customers. Downtime due to flats is one of the biggest issues they face. Moreover, treating every residential property with the same care given to a PGA golf course is an expectation, so the machines must perform flawlessly and not cause rutting. Many times, in commercial and government applications, concrete curbs, errant rubbish, and other hazards are encountered which would sideline a pneumatic tire. Tweel offers a smoother ride, more traction, and never stopping the crew due to a flat tire.

The other industry that Michelin sees is with the skid steer Tweel, in dairy applications. These dairies are running 24 hours a day and their machines may average 14 hours a day of use. So, just like in commercial mowing, farmers will try a myriad of products to avoid costly downtime from flats.

One other note about the Michelin X Tweel is that it works great in construction, general farming, mining, and quarries.

What’s something you’re hopeful to see from Michelin in the next three years?
Michelin is moving into more services and one that is aimed directly at the agriculture market is Central Tire Inflation Systems (CTIS). Michelin has been building radial ag tires for several years now that can withstand on-demand changes in pressure and load over a wide breadth of applications and, in late 2017, acquired several manufacturers of CTIS solutions. Moving forward, Michelin will be able to offer a true mobility solution for farmers that matches the higher pressures needed for road service, then drop down to minimal pressures while in the field so the farmer can minimize compaction, maximize flotation, and increase yields.

What’s one little-known yet interesting fact about Michelin?
I have to share two. First, we have a world-class restaurant and travel guide division, so our employees know where to find the really stand-out places to eat. Second, our beloved Bibendum (the Michelin Man), who just turned 120 years old, was recently named “Icon of the Millennium” by Advertising Week.

Michelin and its employees are committed to living the company’s motto, “A Better Way Forward” by first understanding a customer’s application, then figuring out what can be done to give more value to that customer from its products. 

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To learn more about Tweel options on John Deere lawn and garden equipment, contact your local RDO Equipment Co. store. Visit the Michelin Tweel website to see the full lineup of Tweels and watch videos of them in action. 

If you missed last month’s Get to Know our Partners feature on Towmaster, read it now.

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