By DOUG SCHMITZ
ANKENY, Iowa – The Iowa Soybean Association recently equipped three Ankeny Police Department vehicles with sets of Goodyear Eagle Enforcer All Weather soy-based tires.
“The donation of Goodyear Eagle Enforcer All Weather tires with soybean oil by the Iowa Soybean Association means that the department will be able to continue toward its goal of using equipment that is more sustainable, and eco-friendly,” said Corey Schneden, sergeant with the Ankeny Police Department.
With Soybean Checkoff support, U.S. soybean farmers recognized local law enforcement during National Law Enforcement Appreciation Month in May, while drawing awareness to soy’s versatility in everyday products, said Randy Miller, Iowa Soybean Association president, and Lacona, Iowa, farmer.
The tires donated by the Iowa Soybean Association were placed on an unmarked Ankeny K9 unit, and two fully-marked patrol vehicles.
“We appreciate the hard work and dedication of local law enforcement, and are proud to know the department can rely on soy, while keeping our communities safe,” Miller said.
These specific Goodyear Eagle Enforcer All Weather tires incorporate soybean oil within the tread compound to deliver “superior traction in dry, wet and snowy conditions, while enhancing tread life and reducing petroleum usage when compared to other tires,” according to the Iowa Soybean Association.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. discovered that soybean oil could improve tire flexibility at low temperatures, helping the rubber to remain pliable in cold weather, and enhancing traction in rain and snow simultaneously.
Andy Traicoff, Goodyear vice president of North America sales, said the Akron, Ohio, company’s cooperation with the United Soybean Board yielded a first for the tire industry.
He said the new Eagle Enforcer All Weather police tire provides “year-round, responsive performance for police vehicles that handle demanding operating conditions,” adding that the soy-based rubber compound with silica helps “deliver commanding traction in all weather conditions, while enhancing tread life.”
“This tire is for law enforcement agencies that need the enhanced winter traction of a mountain snowflake tire, and the reliability and responsiveness of a pursuit tire,” he said.
With financial support from the United Soybean Board through checkoff investments, Miller said Goodyear championed the use of soybean oil in its tire products in 2017, calling it a “naturally-derived, cost-effective, carbon-neutral and renewable tire technology.”
“The United Soybean Board supported Goodyear research into the use of soy in tires,” he said. “The company also discovered using soybean oil can improve tire manufacturing efficiency, given its ability to mix more easily with other rubber compounds, requiring less energy to be used in the process.”
He said the use of soybean oil in tires is a perfect example of checkoff dollars driving soybean demand and innovation.
“Because of the potential for bio-based products to create new markets for soybeans, U.S. soybean farmers have invested millions of dollars to research, test and promote bio-based products through the soybean checkoff,” he said. “These products range from lubricants, cleaning supplies, paints, energy-efficient roofing materials, spray insulation, and more.”