December 16, 2015 << Back to Blog

How ATG Rolled into Tire Making History

16 Dec

December 16, 2015

At Alliance Tire, we are constantly looking forward and trying to imagine what the tire of the future looks like. Day in and day out, ATG is working on developing higher-performing, longer-lasting, more efficient tires to help you increase productivity and lower your total cost of ownership (TCO). It’s hard to believe that rubber tires have only been popular for a little over a hundred years, and that they were first popularized on bicycles, of all things. If only those people could see the incredible ag, forestry, and industrial tires we build today—much less the amazing machines that those tires are responsible for transporting, they would be amazed! In order to truly appreciate where we are with modern tire technology, you have to appreciate where we came from, so here’s a quick look at the evolution of the tire.

Modern pneumatic rubber tires first gained traction in 1888 when Scottish veterinarian John Boyd Dunlop attached rubber hoses to the wooden wheels of son’s tricycle. People were skeptical of the inflatable tires at first, but after they were used by Willie Hume to win a bike race in Ireland the following year, they surged in popularity. Pneumatic tires became popular equipment on automobiles in 1895, and, due to their superior performance and also to legislation discouraging the use of solid rubber tires, they quickly became popular.

Through the early 1900s, the tire saw many small advancements in technology. Treads were developed and improved, helping tires become more efficient and durable. The popularization of the automobile and industrialization led to the development of synthetic rubber. Released from complete dependence on natural rubber, this development gave tire producers the ability to increase both the quality and quantity of their production. In 1922, Galaxy Tire was formed, specializing in agriculture and off-road markets.

1932 saw the first rubber tire on a tractor; by 1937, 85% of new tractors sold were equipped with rubber tires. The next revolution of tire technology didn’t come until 1948 with the invention of radial tires. However, it took the fuel crisis of the 1970s to bring radials to the forefront. In between the advent of the radial tire and its popularization, Alliance Tire was founded having begun manufacturing tractor tires in 1950.

The next surge in tire development occurred in the 1990s—an era of technological growth for off-highway tires in which Alliance was a key player, first with the development of one of the original diagonal flotation tires in 1992, and then in the late 1990s with the industry’s first radial flotation tire. Also in the 1990s, Alliance began developing steel-belted flotation radial tires and forestry tires, leading Alliance Tire Group to purchase the Galaxy and Primex brands in 2009. Today, ATG has more than 2,000 SKUs and a worldwide reputation for producing purpose-built tires for any job in any condition.

At ATG, the quest is to always improve upon our product and to offer the best product at the best price. With a foundation in the past but an eye toward the future, Alliance Tire offerings such as the new 398 MPT and 382 MPT high-speed flotation radial tires provide incredible performance on the road and in the field, while tires like the Alliance Agriflex 372 IF/VF help farmers increase productivity and efficiency with minimal soil compaction. Meanwhile, our Galaxy line sets the standard for skid steers and construction tires, and Primex is king of the forest with its rugged Xtreme and LogMonster lines.

I’ll bet John Lloyd Dunlop and his son would love to watch a set of Primex Xtreme tires climb over boulders and stumps on a loaded log skidder up in the mountains. What a long way we’ve come from his early tricycle tire! That’s the Alliance Tire story: with our roots in the past, ATG is working hard to bring you the tire of the future, today.