Big Tire Demand May Become a Big Problem for Caterpillar

Tire supplies for giant earthmovers expected to tighten as global economic recovery continues

The wheels on the giant, yellow trucks go 'round and 'round, but a looming tire shortage is threatening to tread on the toes of Caterpillar Inc.’s booming off-road vehicle market.

The problem comes just as demand is surging for monster trucks such as the 400-ton capacity 797 and others built at the company’s Decatur plant. Tire industry experts say it’s this very demand that is causing the shortage as tire manufacturers can’t keep up with vehicle sales.

(More on the risk of an earthmover tire shortage . . . )