Many of the big off-the-road (OTR) tyre manufacturers will be known to anyone who is familiar with tyres of any kind. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most big tyre manufacturers have an equally big OTR department. There are still a few surprises in store though, beginning with one of the biggest names in off-the-road vehicles.
Bridgestone – The Rubber Under Caterpillar
Caterpillar has made a unique name for itself where off-the-road vehicles are concerned, and Bridgestone does well out of supplying them in terms of both volume and prestige. This is just one of the company’s interests though: Bridgestone recently added Otraco OTR Tire Management Solutions to its large selection of acquisitions, of which The Firestone Tyre and Rubber company is an existing one.
Continental – The Old Timer
Rolling along since 1871, Continental is the oldest of the companies on this list with possibly the most dramatic history. Once a dominant, established force in the European tyres and accessories market, overstretching of resources, poor mergers and infighting have damaged this business’s position significantly in recent years.
Michelin – The Star
The biggest tyre producer in the general market, Michelin’s person-centric approach means that they are not as dominant in the impersonal OTR market as the road tyre one. Whichever tyres the company focusses on, it spends a great deal on innovation with a multinational research and design department that dwarfs those of the competition.
Madras Rubber Factory (MRF) – The Upstart
Far smaller than the above-mentioned companies, MRF makes this list because of its comparative focus on OTR tyres and the sheer volume it makes. This has partly come about to satisfy the huge explosion in farming equipment made and used on the Indian subcontinent.
India manufactured 29% of the world’s tractors in 2013 and MRF was there to put tyres on many of those big, rugged wheels.
Goodyear – The American
It may be a surprise to hear that, of the major OTR tyre makers, only one comes from the birthplace of the automobile. Named after the inventor of vulcanised rubber, Goodyear was the only tyre manufacturer independent and equitable enough to survive the hyper-competition in the US tyre industry between the 50s and the 80s, thanks in part to a forced stock buyback.
Latterly, Goodyear is famous for controversial, cutting-edge concepts such as the airless ‘webbed’ tyre and the artificially intelligent tyre.
Biggest and best?
These are the 5 estimated largest off-the-road tyre manufacturers by volume.
While we can’t advise which is best in this blog – the result differs so much – we can specify the best tyre for your needs in each circumstance.
Just email us with your situation and specification, and we’ll sort you out.