Bridgestone on a roll
Bridgestone South Africa is growing its truck and bus radial (TBR) offering with the addition of a 12 R22.5 size in its Firestone FS404 range of heavy-duty vehicle tyres. Initially available only in 315/80 R22.5 sizing, the new 12 R22.5 will open the FS404 to a wider market.
The FS404 is optimised for duty on steer, drive and trailer axles, and is able to deliver exceptional mileage and durability in its original life, and further once it has been retreaded.
“Bridgestone is currently the only tyre maker to manufacture TBRs in South Africa,” explains Tony Burns, Bridgestone Commercial general manager marketing.
“The company performs ongoing research to optimise the manufacture of tyres that perform better in South Africa’s demanding operating conditions, which include wide temperature ranges and challenging road surfaces,” he adds.
Some of the main contributors to the FS404’s wear resistance are equaliser ribs in the tread pattern that reduce the effects of irregular wear, and stone ejectors that give greater resistance against stone trapping, reducing damage to the tread surface and steel belt package. The sophisticated tread design provides better steering response and aquaplaning resistance.
Bridgestone’s TBRs are distributed through Bridgestone South Africa Commercial, which provides numerous services including tyre management and monitoring systems.
“A tyre like the FS404 will spend its initial service life on the steering or drive axles. It will then be moved to a trailer, or kept on a drive axle once retreaded,” Burns says. “Ongoing monitoring is essential to prevent shortened service life due to factors like under-inflation or lack of adequate maintenance.”
According to Burns South Africa is a growth market for Bridgestone, and more TBR products are scheduled to be launched in the early part of 2017.