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Goodyear officially launches two-piece OTR assembly

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After three years of testing, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s two-piece OTR tire assembly is ready for the market.

The product -- which involves a separate tread that is fitted onto an existing casing -- was officially unveiled yesterday at a copper mine near Salt Lake City, Utah.

Goodyear originally introduced the assembly in 2000 and has been evaluating it at various mine sites ever since.

Currently, the assembly is only available in 57-inch sizes "in somewhat limited capacity," according to Goodyear officials.

A 51-inch version will be introduced during the second quarter of 2004, and a 63-inch model will be rolled out in 2005.

The assembly is designed for large haul trucks and has a 240-ton capacity. It will be sold through certified dealers and/or end users, since "some mines service their own tires."

The Akron, Ohio-based tiremaker is developing a training and certification program for the product.

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