KS - In a dramatic move into "extreme" vehicle
niches, Goodyear announced that its Wrangler MT/R sizing is expanding
into 37-inch tire sizes in 15-inch-wheel diameters. Company officials
said the much-anticipated 37x12.50R15 LT tire will be available
at retailers nationwide in April. Manufacturing such a large tire
in Topeka, the most "extreme" U.S. Goodyear plant, was
part of the plan when the Wrangler MT/R was first introduced two
years ago. The Topeka plant began manufacturing large earthmover
tires, known as OTR tires, in the 1980s.
OTR tires -- some approaching 10 to 12 feet high -- are used on
dump trucks, mobile cranes, scrapers, dozers, loaders and motor
graders and in mine service and port container handling. Topeka
also produces medium radial truck tires for use on tractor-trailer
requested size from off-road enthusiasts is the 37x12.50R15 LT
Wrangler MT/R tire, which helped win the championship at the Goodyear/Skyjacker
Extreme Rock Crawling Nationals last year, according to Mark Cherveny,
product manager for light-truck tires. A pre-production 37-inch
size for the rock-crawling series was made at Goodyear's Technical
Center in Akron, Ohio. The 2002 series begins March 15 in Farmington,
sport of off-roading grows and evolves, enthusiasts are asking
for larger tires. Not long ago, the 31x10.50R15 LT and 33x12.50R15
LT tires were considered large. Now the 35- and 37-inch tires
are in demand."The Wrangler MT/R tire is perfect for ultra-sizing,
given its puncture- resistant Durawall sidewall technology and
its ultra-durability on the rocks," Cherveny said.
MT/R (maximum traction/reinforced) all-season off-road tire features
the breakthrough patented Durawall sidewall construction that
contains a high-tech silica compound and three polyester plies
for outstanding cut-, tear- and puncture-resistance.
officials credited teamwork with getting the new Wrangler MT/R
size into production. One of the first issues to tackle, according
to Eugene Cooke, radial truck tire business center manager, was
to find equipment to build a 15-inch tire -- small by Topeka standards.
Twenty Wrangler MT/R tire sizes now are available in 15-, 16-
and 17-inch wheel diameters. While the bulk of the sizes are made
at the company's facility in Fayetteville, N.C., the largest Wrangler
MT/R 37x12.50R17 LT size is made in Topeka for Hummer military
and civilian vehicles.