NASHVILLE, Tenn. (February 14, 2023) – Firestone Agriculture, a business of Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone), today announced an official distribution agreement with Shark Wheel, a manufacturer of non-pneumatic (or air-free) tire technology. The agreement allows Firestone Ag to sell Shark Wheel’s non-pneumatic irrigation tire, known as SWIFT, through Firestone Ag’s nationwide certified dealer network.
SWIFT, which stands for “Sine Wave Innovative Flotation and Traction,” is an air-free tire for application on irrigation pivots. The air-free design prevents the downtime and costly repairs of flat tires in the field. The paddles of the tread design are comprised of spring steel with overmolded rubber. The modular design enables repairs and customizations to its high-traction paddles in less than 60 seconds.
The Shark Wheel SWIFT features a unique sinusoidal tread design that generates a helical, DNA-shaped travel path between the two out-of-phase wheels on the irrigation tower. This minimizes rutting by enabling the trailing wheel to fill in the ruts created by the leading wheel. The bi-directional tread pattern allows the wheel to work equally well in both directions, and Shark Wheel test data showed a reduction in rutting from 14 inches with a pneumatic tire to one inch with SWIFT.
“As Firestone Ag continues to explore growth opportunities in the irrigation segment, we are excited to partner with Shark Wheel to offer the innovative SWIFT product to our loyal customers,” said Tony Orlando, President, Bridgestone Integrated Agricultural Tire Business, Bridgestone Americas and Bridgestone Europe-Middle East-India-Africa (BSEMIA). “Firestone Ag is committed to delivering best-in-class performance to farmers, and rutting is a major pain point for farmers with irrigation systems. The Shark Wheel SWIFT provides an inventive, proven solution that can deliver results.”
“Shark Wheel is honored to partner with Firestone, an iconic brand associated with quality, dependability, and value,” said Zack Fleishman, CEO, Shark Wheel. “This partnership with Firestone Ag will strengthen our ability to reach farmers and match the power of air-free technology with Firestone’s world-class service and quality control.”
Firestone Ag customers will be able to purchase the Shark Wheel SWIFT irrigation wheel in the same manner as any Firestone Ag product, through our nationwide certified dealer network. Firestone Ag will share more information about its partnership with Shark Wheel at Commodity Classic, March 9-11 in the Orange County Convention Center West Concourse in Orlando, Florida.
Firestone Ag’s partnership with Shark Wheel aligns with the Bridgestone E8 Commitment, which serves as an axis to drive management while earning the trust of future generations. Firestone Ag’s partnership with Shark Wheel aligns with the “Economy” and “Efficiency” value.