FINDLAY, Ohio—Bus maker Blue Bird Corp. has selected Cooper Work Series truck and bus radials as standard original equipment on Blue Bird school buses.
The Work Series tires, launched earlier this year, have been developed specifically for buses, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. said, noting their wide tread footprint helps to maximize traction. They also are designed for regional-haul, pick-up and delivery applications.
According to the company, the tire balances fuel efficiency and tread life with scrub-resistant properties and offers a four-steel belt package to provide the casing integrity needed to handle multiple retreads.
Gary Schroeder, executive director of Cooper's TBR business, said the company is honored to provide tires for buses that transport children to schools across North America.
"Both Cooper and Blue Bird have a long history of producing exceptional products, and we are thrilled to be working together through this new partnership," he said.
Mark Terry, chief commercial officer at Blue Bird, said Cooper has created a product that meets their needs.
Blue Bird's buses are assembled at the company's plant in Fort Valley, Ga. The company claims to have about a third of the annual market in the U.S. for new school buses, estimated at about 31,000 units annually. It said there are approximately 180,000 Blue Bird buses in operation today.
Cooper sources the tires from its Qingdao Ge Rui Da Rubber Co. Ltd. venture in Qingdao, China.
Recently, China's Sailun Jinyu Group Co. Ltd. agreed to buy a 35 percent ownership stake in Cooper's Qingdao Ge Rui Da Rubber Co. Ltd. (GRT) joint venture in Qingdao.