Mr Watkin stands in front of his Case 885L tractor, shod with Mitas AC85 tyres.
Mitas is the winning choice for one of the most successful match ploughmen in Wales, Evan Watkin. Anyone who witnessed the torrential downpours that affected the 2019 and 2018 British Ploughing Championships will know the impact that the correct set of tyres can have.
For Evan Watkin, who has had consistent success on a national and world level, the rubber is as important as the tractor and the plough. “Whether I’m competing in a local match, at the Welsh or British nationals, or at the World Championships, I need to know that my tyres can handle all sorts of conditions and soil types. I don’t want anything to impact the quality of my plot,” he says.
Mr Watkin has been ploughing competitively since 1985. In that time, he has won the Welsh Championships thirteen times, made it onto the podium at the World Championships seven times (three gold medals, three silver and one bronze) and last year added Supreme Champion of the British Championships to his trophy cabinet. This year he will represent Wales at the World Championships in Russia, hoping to add to his trophy cabinet.
Mitas AC85 tractor radial tyres
“Small adjustments make all the difference in match ploughing, so I need tyres that will be consistent and reliable,” explains Mr Watkin.
He uses Mitas AC85 340/85 R38 (320/85 R24s at the front) on his Case 885L, which is equipped with a Kverneland AB85 auto-reset match plough. The Mitas AC85 has a less aggressive tread so it’s gentler on the land. It retains that grip, so even when it’s pouring with rain and the ground is slick, I know I’m not going to smear the soil or damage my workmanship.”
The ability to work in all conditions is more pressing than most, as Mr Watkin has used Mitas branded tyres on many international fields. “They’ve been all over Europe, from France and Germany, across Eastern Europe and up into the Nordic countries. While I wasn’t able to ship my own tractor over to Canada or Australia, Mitas supported me with both of those trips. This year, the AC85s will be put to the test in Russia,” he explains.
Ploughing across the world means that the tyres need to handle a range of conditions. It might be dry, like in the picture above, or sodden like the 2019 British Championships.