Bridgestone Americas has already started producing 9-foot OTR tires while construction continues at its Aiken County, S.C., plant.
The tiremaker is building a 1.5 million-square-foot facility to produce OTR tires targeted for quarry and construction machines.
Previously, large OTR had been produced exclusively at Bridgestone’s Shimonoseki and Kitakyushu plants in Japan or the tiremaker’s OTR plant in Australia, and shipped to North America as needed.
The plant is part of a $1.2 billion project announced in 2011. The project also involved an expansion at a nearby passenger tire plant.
While production of 9-foot tires has begun, equipment to produce larger 12-foot tires should be ready by 2015, according to the company.