AKRON (May 23, 2003)—Goodyear's rubber plant in St. Mary's, Ohio, produced its 50,000th rubber track this month, the Akron-based tire maker said.
Designed for Goodyear's new network of replacement agricultural rubber track distributors, the milestone track weighed 984 pounds and spanned 27 feet, the company said. Goodyear said its distributor network markets and sells rubber tracks for John Deere and Caterpillar tracked tractors.
Goodyear makes a variety of rubber tracks in its Trackman product line for use in agricultural, construction, industrial, recreation. Those produced at the St. Mary's plant range in size from 185 pounds to 2,000 pounds, with the smallest track being 165 inches long and 15 inches wide and the largest track 378 inches long and 36 inches wide.
Goodyear began general production of rubber track in late 1992 with the introduction of the Trackman product line.
In addition to being a milestone, the 50,000th rubber track also is the first in a new line of “aggressive traction” tracks for the John Deere 8000T and Caterpillar Challenger 35/45/55 model tractors, the company said.
“When the agricultural track segment began, the farmer had very limited tread design choices,” said Randy Ladd, marketing manager for Goodyear Rubber Tracks. “With the introduction of the aggressive traction tread design, we now have a track offering for the farmer who operates frequently in soft or wet soil conditions.”
Besides farms and construction sites, Goodyear's rubber tracks also have been used under the ocean and on land in the Arctic Circle, the company said. Goodyear said tracks provide maneuverability on difficult surface conditions. They also can reduce soil compaction by distributing the weight of the vehicle over a larger surface area.