UNION CITY, Tenn.—Titan International Inc. is venturing into the non-tire rubber products sector with the launch of a specialty rubber products division. It will be based in Union City, at the former Goodyear tire plant which Titan purchased in 2011.
The division's first two product lines are a range of cattle-, swine- and horse-stall mats and semi-truck and dump-truck mud flaps.
Jeff Kramer, vice president of business development at Titan International, said Titan saw opportunities to offer American-made products in product categories that are complementary to its tire business.
“Titan saw a need for long-lasting agricultural mats that keep producers' most important asset in mind—their livestock,” Kramer said. “Competitive agricultural mats rely on recycled or scrap rubber, which significantly impairs softness and the total quality of the product.
“Our American-made mats are made of a fully moisture-resistant, vulcanized natural/synthetic rubber blend, helping reduce hoof and joint issues caused by hard surfaces.”
The slat mats feature a patent-pending interlocking edge lug design, which provides a secure, stable locking with an aggressive, double-button tread pattern for traction and comfort, Titan said. Growers can choose from multiple thickness options and tread designs, and custom options are available upon request.
On the mud-flap front, Titan is offering products that are constructed from high-tensile-strength, nylon-reinforced rubber for durability and anti-sail performance. Unlike plastic flaps, the flexible rubber resists permanent creasing and reduces undue wear, Titan said.
The company did not indicate what sort of sales potential the new division offers or how many jobs are being created, but it does take advantage of a decision Titan made in 2012 to keep the Union City plant's rubber mixing department open.
Titan bought the 2.1-million-sq.ft. Union City plant in November 2011 for approximately $9 million, primarily to gain access to the rubber compounding capacity on site.