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BFNT adds to backhoe, DuraForce product lines

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Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire LLC (BFNT) has introduced a new backhoe tire and two additions to its DuraForce line. It also is preparing to build new tires that will be in line with "increased flexion," or IF, standards, say officials from the firm's Firestone Agricultural Tire Co. (FATC) division.

The Firestone 21L24 All Traction Utility tire will be original equipment on model year 2008 Caterpillar 450E backhoe loaders. The 18-ply product "features more than 41% greater load carrying capacity" than its 10-ply counterparts, says Tom Rodgers, marking manager for FATC.

BFNT has made two additions to its DuraForce line: the Firestone 12-16.5 (305/70D16.5) DuraForce DT, a bias-ply tire, and the Firestone 500/70R24 (19.5LR24) Load Index 157 DuraForce RT, a radial tire.

The bias-ply tire has a load carrying capacity of 6,320 pounds at 80 psi inflation. The radial tire -- which is designed for industrial tractors, backhoe loaders, telehandlers and forklifts -- has a capacity of 9,100 pounds at 46 psi.

In addition, BFNT plans to introduce two "IF standard" tires later this year: the Radial All Traction DT IF710/70R42 (Load Index) 179B and the Radial All Traction DT IF710/70R38 (Load Index) 178B.

"The IF standard was approved by the European Tire Rim Technical Organization two years ago and has received experimental approval from the North American Tire and Rim Association."

Rodgers says the increased size and power of modern four-wheel-drive farm tractors "are driving the adoption of the IF standard.

"These new, higher horsepower machines require more ballast to put that increased power on the ground," he explains. "Tire technology and performance need to grow with the equipment, and (FATC) is adopting the new IF standard to meet that need."

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