Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO) announced plans to further extend manufacturing capacity at its primary agricultural tire facility in Des Moines, Iowa. The investment initiative began in 2009, and when complete will total approximately $77 million over the course of three years.
Investments at the facility will be made in the core manufacturing areas of tire building, curing and necessary support equipment, and will allow the company to meet the farm equipment industry’s growing demand for high capacity radial farm tires both in North America and globally.
The farming industry continues to move toward larger and more efficient farm equipment, but at the same time producers want to minimize ground compaction. To meet these needs, over the past 15 years the farm equipment industry has moved towards larger and wider radial tires that provide better traction and an increased tire footprint.
Since Harvey Firestone introduced the first pneumatic tire specifically for agricultural use in 1932, Firestone brand farm tires have maintained a leadership position in the agricultural tire industry.
“This investment will allow Firestone to maintain our market position, continue to develop advanced solutions and supply improved tire technology to the agricultural industry,” said Ken Allen, President, Agricultural Tire, U.S. & Canada Commercial Tire Sales division, BATO.
An example of Firestone’s latest agricultural tire innovation is AD2 Technology. Compared to a standard tire of the same size, Firestone agricultural tires with AD2 Technology provide a larger footprint, improving traction and reducing compaction. AD2 Technology allows producers to work more efficiently while at the same time improving yields.
The investment initiative began in 2009, and when complete will total approximately $77 million over the course of three years.
“As farm equipment applications become more specialized, such as the self propelled sprayer market, we will be in a position to provide tires that meet the unique demands of these applications,” added Allen.
The Des Moines facility employees 1,400 people, and has been an integral part of the Des Moines community and Central Iowa since the mid-1940s. In addition to manufacturing agricultural tires, this facility also produces tires for the forestry and construction equipment markets. To find out more about Firestone agricultural tires with AD2™ Technology, visit your local Firestone agricultural tire dealer or go to www.firestoneag.com.