BBTS launches free-rolling Firestone tire and new Bandag tread

Feb. 9, 2010
Bridgestone Bandag Tires Solutions (BBTS) has unveiled a new Firestone product and a BBTS retread product for less-than-truckload fleets

Bridgestone Bandag Tires Solutions (BBTS) has unveiled a new Firestone product and a BBTS retread product for less-than-truckload fleets.

The Firestone-branded FT455 Plus trailer tire is approved for use by fleets running EPA Smartway-certified and CARB-compliant equipment. It is designed for free-rolling positions, including trailer axles, tag axles and converter dollies. (More EPA Smartway and CARB news)

According to BBTS research, 43% of tire fuel economy loss is attributable to trailer tires. The FT455 offers long, even wear with a classic five-rib design and shallow 12/32 in. original tread depth. Solid should ribs combat tearing and chunking damage from curbing. Straight flow-through tread grooves and extensive rib siping evacuate water for solid wet traction.

In addition, the tire’s casing can be retreaded for either trailer or drive axle service with four full steel belts and an all-steel casing ply. It is available in a 295/75R22.5 size with a G load rating.

For LTL fleets looking for a retread, The new BDR-HT3 Bandag tread is designed especially for LTL fleets operating single-axle tractors. Used on the drive-axle position, the tread incorporates an innovative compound and pattern that resists tears and delivers improved mileage and exceptional wear.

“Bandag BDR-HT3 is a problem-solver for our fleet customers,” said Chris Hoffman, manager, TBR & Retread Product Marketing for BBTS. “In the most severe cases, fleets that operate single-axle tractors have experienced tread lug chunking resulting from the high torque of single-axle tractors. Stress to the tread elements is further aggravated when applications require hauling up and down steep grades.”

With a bow tie-shaped tread block, torque forces are evenly distributed, reducing block stress. In addition, the block is strengthened through a wider, buttressed shape design, enabling it to withstand heavy torque and braking. Tearing and cracking are minimized due to bars linking tread blocks to adjacent blocks, Bandag said.

In addition to features that combat tread chunking, the BDR-HT3 has an aggressive true open shoulder and a stable 28/32 in. tread design for exceptional traction and long wear, according to Bandag.

In a separate announcement, BBTS said its new marketing campaign underscores its positioning as a tire provider. Focusing on its ability to customize complete tire programs for individual fleets, the division of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations uses images of trucks built out of thumbprints to illustrate the personalized solutions the company offers.

”This campaign is also symbolic of all the touch points that our teammates have in building a personal relationship with the customer,” said Tim Chen, vp, marketing.

As part of the campaign, a piece of art comprised of the fingerprints of BBTS teammates was commissioned. The original artwork will hang in the corporate office in Muscatine, IA, and reprints of the piece will be on display at other company locations.

“Business relationships are like any other kind of relationships,” said Saul Solomon, president, BBTS. “The basic foundation has to be there; each side needs to want the other side to be successful, and like any other relationship, you need to keep working on it. I think that’s what’s really different about us. We keep working at it.”

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