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Firestone Agri’s Rolling History

Firestone Agri’s Rolling History

History is written by the victorious, and it’s only fitting that Firestone’s history was forged through successful campaigns that launched the company into the world’s sight.

Many consider Firestone as one of the leaders and pioneers in road vehicle tyre production, but Firestone also boasts an astonishing history in the agricultural industry. Firestone may be the actual inventor of the common tractor tyre we know today.

Running in parallel with Firestone’s automotive arm, Firestone agricultural tyres have a history that unfolded in a similar fashion. 

Today, we will be focusing on Firestone’s rich history in agriculture, when Firestone was founded and how Firestone became the global tyre manufacturer it is today.

When Firestone was Founded

Firestone came to existence in August of 1900. It was founded in the same town of Akron in Ohio as its main competitors at the time, Goodyear and General Tyre and Rubber. Firestone scaled into a major automotive supplier in 1906 when Henry Ford selected Firestone to supply tyres for their Model 3.

Much like its automotive arm, Firestone Agri did not have to wait long to reach success as the company quickly became a leader in the agricultural industry.

Learn more about Firestone Agricultural tyres

Firestone Agri Origins

Firestone Agri was founded in 1932 by Harvey S. Firestone, a farmer based in Columbiana, Ohio. His ambition was simple, to ‘put the farm on rubber’ by supplying farmers with the right tyres. The Firestone Tyre Company was developed on the back of Harvey Firestone’s first product, a balloon tyre that followed the principle of low-pressure combined with a chevron tread design and a wide surface.

During this time, steel wheels were commonly used by farmers as they were more durable than wooden ones. In the 1930s, Firestone revolutionized the agricultural scene with the introduction of the pneumatic tyre. Constructed using a wired frame that supports the rubber surrounding it, the pneumatic tyre offered amazing benefits such as cost savings and increased productivity.

The rubber compound and wired frame ensured that tyres could easily grip and mould itself better on the changing terrain. Rubber compounds also offered the opportunity to develop new trends and designs, which changed how tyres were developed forever. Harvey Firestone’s design was so popular that by 1950, almost every tractor was using the new rubber-based tyre.

This design is still being used today in many aspects, as it worked perfectly by helping tractors navigate the rough terrain thanks in part to its claw-like grip, and the low pressure system.

Firestone’s development of tractor tyres did not stop here. During the 1950s, Firestone introduced the 23° Tread Bar design which offered far better tread grip than the conventional 45° tread design commonly used. The lowered angle ensured that tyre treads maintained their grip for longer periods of time, which helps farmers manage vehicles more efficiently by control power output and drivability.

Firestone in Modern Times

Today, Firestone is one of the largest agricultural tyre manufacturers in the world. Having been founded on humble beginnings, Firestone grew to be the multinational organization we know it as today.

Paying homage to the revolutionary work Harvey S. Firestone did to pave the way, today Firestone has a dedicated Farm Tyre Test Centre, which is the only research facility of its kind in the world that is fully dedicated to exclusively testing agricultural tyres. Located in Columbiana, Ohio next door to the original farm where it all started.

Firestone is also well established in South Africa, having been around since 1936.

This success translated from Firestone’s goal of offering dependable quality on agricultural tyres that get the job done no matter the conditions. Our confidence in our product extends beyond words, which is why Firestone Agri Tyre products have an extensive 9 Year Warranty.*