Bridgestone South Africa has launched a new addition to its Firestone FS404 range of heavy-duty tyres. Initially available only in 315/80 R22.5 size, the FS404 is now also available as a 12 R22.5 variant; optimised for duty on steer, drive and trailer axles. Moreover, the tyre is said to be able to deliver exceptional mileage and durability in both original form and following re-treading.

Listed among the tyre’s advantages are superior wear ability and irregular wear resistance. “We have no doubt about the tyre’s performance capabilities,” says Bridgestone’s general manager for marketing, Tony Burns. “Additionally, the FS404 makes its wear and durability benefits open to a wider market of fleet owners and operators.”

He says some of the main contributors to the FS404’s wear resistance come in the form of equaliser ribs in the tread patterns, which reduce the effects common to irregular wear, as well as stone ejectors which provide greater resistance against stone trapping, therefore reducing the damage to the tread surface and steel belt.

“Bridgestone is currently the only tyre maker to manufacture TBRs in South Africa,” he explained. “The company performs ongoing research to optimise the manufacture of tyres which perform better under demanding operating conditions such as wide temperature ranges and challenging road surfaces.”

Bridgestone’s TBRs are distributed through Bridgestone South Africa Commercial, which provides numerous services including tyre management and monitoring systems. “A tyre like the FS404 will spend its initial service life on the steering or drive axles and then be moved to a trailer or kept on a drive axle once it is re-treaded,” he says. “Ongoing monitoring is essential to prevent shortened service life due to factors like under-inflation or lack of adequate maintenance.”

Burns adds that Bridgestone will launch additional TBR products later this year.