Bridgestone begins U.S. production of earthmoving tires

  • 20-Nov-2014 06:42 EST
Bridgestone L-2350 _ Mining Tire Check.jpg

Bridgestone’s new off-highway radial tire plant in Aiken County, SC, produces various radial tire products for heavy haul trucks in mining and aggregates applications.

Bridgestone Americas announced on Nov. 18 the opening of its off-highway radial tire plant in Aiken County, SC—the first plant of its kind for Bridgestone outside of Japan, according to a company spokesperson. The 1.5 million-ft2 (140,000-m2) manufacturing facility produces various radial tire products for heavy haul trucks in mining and aggregates applications. Bridgestone announced in 2011 a planned $970 million investment to build the company’s first U.S.-based off-highway radial tire plant, as well as expand production capacity at its steel cord manufacturing facilities in Clarksville, TN, and Saga, Japan, which supply the new Aiken County plant with the steel cord necessary to build large and ultra-large off-highway radial tires. About 350 people now work at the new tire facility; Bridgestone expects to create an additional 200 positions when the location reaches full production in the next two to three years. “Engineering large and ultra-large mining tires is a highly technical process,” said Gary Garfield, President and CEO of Bridgestone Americas. “The opening of a new off-road radial tire plant in South Carolina is a strategic business decision that will give Bridgestone the capacity to build these tires domestically and improve our supply systems globally. Long term, the mining segment will grow, and we are now better-positioned to respond more quickly, efficiently, and reliably to the needs of our customers.”

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