Auto shop workers installing tires on sheriff cruiser

(Photo: Iowa Soybean Association / Jeff Hutton)

ISA providing patrol cruisers with new tires

September 28, 2023 | Jeff Hutton

You might say it’s a full-circle moment for Marshall County Sheriff Joel Phillips and his Chief Deputy Ben Veren.

The two veteran law enforcement officers didn’t start their lives patrolling the highways, rural and farm-to-market roads of Marshall County; they spent their youth in the farm fields of Iowa, planting and harvesting soybeans.

Thirty years later those fields are still producing soybeans. But the soybeans are now employed in the manufacture and use within various products, including all-weather tires that feature soybean oil in the tread. Those tires have now been installed on three of the Marshall County Sheriff’s (MCSO) patrol vehicles – vehicles that Phillips, Veren and their deputies use every day.

Partnership established

Earlier this year during National Law Enforcement Appreciation Month, the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) demonstrated its gratitude by equipping three Ankeny Police Department vehicles  with sets of Goodyear Eagle Enforcer All Weather tires.

These particular tires contain soybean oil in the tire tread compound. This tread compound helps to deliver superior traction in a variety of weather conditions while enhancing tread life and reducing petroleum usage when compared to other tires. The inclusion of soybean oil in the tread compound results in an approximately 45% reduction in petroleum-based oil compared to its predecessor.

Sheriff cruisers near soybean field

In September, ISA continued its support of local law enforcement by donating three more sets of the Goodyear Eagle Enforcer tires – this time to the MCSO. The three vehicles selected – two Dodge Durango SUVs and a Dodge Charger cruiser – were outfitted with the new tires at McAtee Tire Sales & Service, the Marshalltown Goodyear dealer.

“The ISA appreciates the service and dedication of law enforcement to keeping our communities safe,” says Mitch Fastenau, marketing and communications manager for ISA. “We are proud to partner with the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office to support these efforts by equipping their vehicles with high-performance, soy-based tires using oil from Iowa soybean farmers.”

Phillips says the implementation of these tires speaks to the technology and the advancements in the uses of soybeans over the past three decades.

“We support our agriculture community in Marshall County,” he says. “We both started farming 30 years ago and didn’t realize what soybean products would be available in today’s world. Who knows what the next 30 years are going to bring? We’re always looking for renewable, sustainable resources.”

Safeguarding the public

With financial support from the United Soybean Board through checkoff investments, Goodyear championed the use of soybean oil in its tire products back in 2017, calling it a “naturally derived, cost-effective, carbon-neutral and renewable tire technology.”

Goodyear created the soybean oil-based tread compound which keeps the tire rubber flexible in changing temperatures, a key performance achievement in maintaining and enhancing grip between the vehicle and the road surface.

“Farmer investment and support in the research and development of new products containing soybeans continue to generate significant wins for consumers, the environment and our industry,” says ISA Past President Randy Miller. “The use of soybean oil in tires is a perfect example of our checkoff dollars driving sustainable innovation and partnership.”

On average, MCSO deputies patrol 200 miles of roadway in Marshall County daily. That equates to 35,000 to 40,000 miles on these patrol vehicles annually.

“Whether it’s low speeds or traveling high speeds, responding to emergencies to help people or pursuits, we really rely on these products for our patrol vehicles,” he says.

“It’s nice to have these American-made soy oil-based tires to help us take care of our duties out on the road,” says Veren, adding the donation from ISA is a critical component in the sheriff’s office mission to safeguard and protect the public.

Tested and proven throughout the country on various law enforcement fleets, the tires are built to take on the various speeds, conditions and pursuits that law enforcement faces.

“We thank the Iowa Soybean Association, Goodyear and McAtee Tire for making this happen,” says Veren. “We’re looking forward to putting these tires to the test in Marshall County; we now have tires that are proven and reliable and it will be nice to be able to utilize this innovative technology.”