Continental supplies heavy-duty V-belts ideally suited to the challenges of Indian agriculture to Mahindra to drive its tractors, combine harvesters and their components. Continental sells around 500,000 belts of various types annually to its major Indian customer. In its tractors, Mahindra uses the raw edge V-belt Conti-V FO mainly for driving the water pumps, alternator and air compressors, while in combine harvesters Conti-V belts are primarily responsible for the main drive, various auxiliary drives and also for the straw management system.
The belts’ specifications mean these are absolutely ideal for the Indian market. “Both have been designed for demanding drives and are proving very suitable in Mahindra’s machines in light of the challenging requirements posed by Indian agriculture,” says Thorsten Schwefe, who is responsible at Continental for technical sales of power transmission belts for the agricultural industry. “One of the measures of good performance is sustained, high power transmission.” The belts also feature excellent temperature resistance – and are therefore designed to cope with operation in tropical zones. Both heavy-duty V-belts are dust-resistant and conditionally oil-resistant.
For technical components such as heavy-duty V-belts, the region-specific weather conditions prevailing in India, which rigorously test both the material and the design, are especially challenging. Particularly as the belts are an important part of the machine’s engineering design and have a significant impact on the vehicles’ overall performance. “The climatic conditions in India make substantial demands on agricultural machines and thus also on the components such as our V-belts. Muddy fields, oppressive heat and a harsh environment mean in particular that maintenance of the belts is not always easy,” declares Schwefe.
Continental ships around 500,000 belts annually to Mahindra. They are mainly used in tractors and combine harvesters on the Indian market, but also in many other Asian countries, such as China, Indonesia or Thailand. Local manufacturing in Sonepat means not only that Continental can deliver the belts very promptly, but also that in-house experts can provide advice and assistance on the ground.
According to the Statista statistics portal, India is the seventh-largest country in the world with an area of 3.3 million square km and has a population of approximately 1.33 billion. Only China, with about 1.4 billion, has an even larger population. Even though the Indian subcontinent is becoming more and more industrialized, agriculture is still a very marked feature of the country. Around half the population work in the sector or are subsistence farmers.
Continental belts are making a major contribution to increasing harvest efficiency in India’s agricultural sector, a market that will require further technical solutions in the future, says the company.