ABILENE, Texas — Bridgestone Americas Inc.'s Bandag tread rubber plant in Abilene marked 50 years in operation recently.
The 200,000-sq.-ft. Abilene plant, which started production 1971, is located on a 140-acre site on the eastern outskirts of Abilene, a city in central Texas with a population of over 125,000, located 180 miles west of Dallas.
The plant, one of four tread rubber plants Bridgestone Americas operates in North America, employs over 170 workers, who produce precured truck tread rubber, rubber cement and solvent packaging used in the retreading process. The others are in Chino, Calif.; Griffin, Ga., and Oxford, N.C.
During its half century in operation, the Abilene plant received several certifications for safety, quality and environmental, including ISO 9001 & 14001 certifications, safety and health improvement awards in 2014, 2016 and 2018, and several local environmental awards, including the Keep Abilene Beautiful Recycling Award in 2015.
"This is a milestone that we are proud to reach thanks to the dedication of so many who have invested in our plant — first and foremost, our employees and retirees, as well as the ongoing support of our customers who know and expect the best tread rubber from Bandag, the local community, and the state of Texas," Tom Cunningham, plant manager of the Abilene facility, said.
Bridgestone took over the plant in 2007 as part of its $1.05 billion purchase of Bandag.
"I want to thank our Abilene employees, past and present, for their contributions to the retread industry and our Bandag dealer network over the past 50 years," Chris Daniel, executive director, Bandag Manufacturing, Bridgestone Americas, said.