BLOOMINGTON, Ill.-Bridgestone/Firestone Off-Road Tire Co. will manufacture radial tires for dump trucks at its Bloomington plant. The Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. business unit, which currently makes bias tires, will change some of its production lines to add the radial tires, the company said.
``(Bridgestone/Firestone OTR) had to bring in some new equipment, bring in some additional staff and do some additional training,'' a company spokeswoman said. The firm did not say what kind or how much new equipment was brought in.
The tire maker also declined to disclose the cost of the project, which will result initially in production of 20 radial tires daily at the unit.
The OTR radials manufactured at the Illinois plant will be sold in the U.S. They will be used on dump trucks with loading capacities of 30 tons or less.
``A lot of (BFS' off-the-road radial tire) supply comes from Japan, and economically it makes sense to produce these tires in the U.S.,'' the spokeswoman said.
Converting to radial capacity is just one of several projects BFS has pursued at the Illinois plant.
The unit began manufacturing bias-ply Bridgestone-brand tires in February. It previously only made Firestone-brand OTR tires.
Bridgestone/Firestone bought the Bloomington plant in 1994 from Edwards Warren Tire Co., which had acquired it from Firestone in 1987.