Titan International, Inc. and Kubota Tractor Corporation (KTC)/Kubota Canada Limited (KCL) announced an exclusivity agreement for Goodyear R14 crossover tires on select Kubota compact tractor models. As the first-ever exclusivity agreement KTC and KCL have chosen to enter with a tire manufacturer, it’s a move that further strengthens the longstanding relationship between two industry leaders in compact tractors and compact tractor tires.
Prior to entering into the agreement, Kubota conducted significant testing on the Goodyear R14 tire — which features a, new-to-market hybrid tread design combining elements of an ag tread (R-1), turf tread (R-3) and industrial tread (R-4). The results from slip and vibration testing showed the R14 tire as being the ideal fit between an R-1 and R-4.
“The vast majority of compact tractors on the market are being sold with R-4 tires, but there’s a drawback when it comes to traction,” said Jacob Sherman, Kubota product manager, compact tractors. “If you go with an R-1, then you have more traction, but more vibration on hard surfaces. Up to this point, there hasn’t been a tire as versatile as the compact tractors they’re going on. After testing the R14, we knew it could perform equally as well in the variety of snow, field, yard, loader and pasture applications our customers expect from our machines. That’s why we wanted to jump on this opportunity. We believe the Goodyear R14 is a game-changer for our dealers and customers — it’s one more factor that sets Kubota apart from the competition.”
While the BX-Series and B-Series Kubota models included in the agreement will still offer many of the same R-1, R-3 and R-4 tires as options, according to Sherman, he expects “the majority of our customers will migrate to the Goodyear R14.”
“We’re really proud of the R&D that went into this R14 tire,” said Scott Sloan, ag product manager for Titan and Goodyear Farm Tires. “We try to keep our finger on the pulse of our customers’ needs, and we knew there was a serious unmet need when it came to tire versatility in the compact and subcompact market. We’re excited that Kubota, as a leader in that market, shares our vision for the future of compact tractor tires. It’s a great partnership that will ultimately benefit both our companies and our collective customers.”
In addition to the sizes offered exclusively from Kubota at the OEM level, the Goodyear R14 line has been expanded to include a total of 18 sizes — both in standard and Low Sidewall Technology (LSW) options — offered in the aftermarket for compact tractors up to the 150 horsepower range.