Tires - how aggressive do I need to go?

D

Deleted member 13060

Guest
Having spent the first 6 months of owning my 2011 FJ wrapped up in the euphoria of new car ownership and the next 3 months, still enamored with it, but pissed about the junk tires (Dunflop AT 20's) it came with. I decide to do something about them. As a result of this decision I have researched tires to the ends of the internet and back........

I have come to the conclussion that tires, like motor oil and roof racks, is and will be a much debated topic and no two people will agree on the "best tire". I finally decided, and I quote myself. "I'd rather lose 2mpg and listen to the hum of an aggressive tire every day on the way to work than listen to the sound of my footsteps in the forest on Sat when "the tire" I settled for, let me down....." Last Sunday was the clincher. I needed 4wd to move the rig on damp, perfectly flat grass.....

That being said I'm getting 5 Toyo MTs installed next Sat. Yes they're expensive, heavy and aggressive. They are also very rugged, highly rated and (for they're tread pattern) very quiet.....

YMMV RON
 

Redline

Likes to Drive and Ride
Yes, the E rating is achieved through higher pressures but the tire also has be to more robust to take those pressures, including a more rigid sidewall and tough bead.
You cannot safely air down an E enough to run like a C or P. They are different tire classes.

If you have a rig like the OP's 1/2T, you would be able to tell the difference in ride with E's coming from P's and possibly from C's, but less likely. snip...

Yes, exactly.

Each vehicle and a person's perception will make a difference but there most certainly is a difference in ride between firmer load-range-E and lighter, load-range-P, C, or D tires. Most people sensitive to their vehicle will notice the change from a P rated to a C rate tire, or from a C to an E rated tire, all run at the same exact PSI. Sometimes this difference very unpleasant.

In addition, there are many variables from one tire to the next. Some load-range-E tires are relatively soft and flexible while some load-range-D tires are firmer. Some LR D have a 3-ply sidewall. Sidewall plies, tread plies, and ply ratings are different things, though all will make some difference in how a tire feels and works.

Again, all at the same PSI, regardless of the maximum PSI rating of the tire.
 

BobA

Adventurer
I'm running Goodyear Duratrac's on my jeep. Not sure what the rating is. So far it's been a great all around tire. the tread's not to aggressive,does great in rain,snow,mud,rocks,and highway. Just did a 2000 mile highway trip and no vibes and quiet,Of course I cant hear much with my noisey soft top.
 

DirectDrive

Observer
I'm running Goodyear Duratrac's on my jeep. Not sure what the rating is. So far it's been a great all around tire. the tread's not to aggressive,does great in rain,snow,mud,rocks,and highway. Just did a 2000 mile highway trip and no vibes and quiet,Of course I cant hear much with my noisey soft top.
The Duratrac is fast becoming a very popular tire.
If it keeps turning in the good field reports and has long service life it will be a classic.
 

ReconH3

Heavy Duty Adventurer
I have Duratracs on my JK in Europe. I have driven all over Europe with them in all kinds of conditions and I have to say I'm very impressed. 95% of my driving is highway and roads. The few times I have to go Offroad to set up targets on the ranges, they also did well. Even on muddy days. I was a true BF A/T guy till I tried these. If they made them in larger sizes I would get them for the Hummer too. What really impressed me is how well they grip on asphalt and on snow. In snow I have to say they are even better than the A/Ts. The only thing the A/Ts may have an advantage is on duration, but since I haven't worn my Duratracs yet, I can't say for sure. The one weak point for the A/Ts was the side walls. They tear very easily so if you did go Offroad you had to be very careful. The Duratracs in this aspect gets top marks. I would say they are a good bet.




"Ex Umbris Venimus"

Sent from my iPhone
 

Redline

Likes to Drive and Ride
The Duratrac is fast becoming a very popular tire.
If it keeps turning in the good field reports and has long service life it will be a classic.

Agree, really looks and seems like a great tire.

Although I personally know one user who received very few miles from a set of LR E DuraTracs on a heavily laden truck. A manager at one of my local tire shops confirmed this, saying DuraTrac wear can be very application/user specific, and that heavier commercial trucks may get less wear out of the DuraTrac. He has had customers with the same short wear. As always, the driver and truck make a huge difference, and it seems for many (most?) the DuraTrac has much to offer.
 

DirectDrive

Observer
Another one that came on the LT tire scene with rave reviews a few years back was the Nitto Terra Grappler.
It still has a huge following and service life reports are anywhere from 30K to 60K.

I like to get 50K and seem to be able to do that with my tire choices these days. My crappy, issued, GranTrek AT20's on the Taco are about done at 46K with 5K rotations.
 

JCMatthews

Tour Guide
Yes, the E rating is achieved through higher pressures but the tire also has be to more robust to take those pressures, including a more rigid sidewall and tough bead.
You cannot safely air down an E enough to run like a C or P. They are different tire classes.

If you have a rig like the OP's 1/2T, you would be able to tell the difference in ride with E's coming from P's and possibly from C's, but less likely.

Been running E's since the days of the 7.50 x 16 split rims, and I love E's, but they're not the end-all do-all in light truck tires.

I DD an '05 Tundra. I also run 265X70R17 BFG AT KO. I had my choice between the D or E rated tire. I chose the E rated because I wanted a stronger tire. On my 1/2 ton truck, I can't tell a difference over the P rated bannana slicks that were on it when I bought it, except in exceptionally better traction. I love BFG ATs and that would be my recommendation for you.
 

downhill

Adventurer
I've been running Es for about 15 years now on a number of vehicles. I currently have them on an 07 Tacoma. In every case the ride has been excellent. I usually run high profile tires like 85s, and the E rated tires track and handle far better in those sizes. I drive my Tacoma around 25,000 miles a year, sometimes putting in 13-14 hour days. I have yet to see a single case where a properly inflated E rated tire has caused a harsh ride on my rig or anyone I have known. I've seen lots of cases of harsh ride on tires running at 60+ psi. People assume that because the tire can accomodate more pressure, that it needs more pressure. In fact, they will typically run very close to the pressure you would run in a P or C rated tire. That's because the heavier sidewall is contributing next to nothing to supporting the weight of the vehicle. If the sidewalls were stiff enough to produce a harsh ride, then they would be also be supporting some of the weight. My Tacoma weighs 5,350 full of gas and with 2 passengers. The front and rear axle weights are within 50 pounds of each other. I run 36 psi in the tires, and I determined that by chalking and confirmed by pyrometer.

Really, the debate means nothing to me. I have first hand experience to base my choice on, so I'll stick with what works for me. The sad thing is that these tires have alot to offer for the overland crowd, but alot of people get scared off because of things they read. The tread on mine have 5 plies and so far I've not lost an E tire to rock cuts in the tread. Never had a blowout either. I've had 3 on C rated tires and many rock punctures. I log alot of gravel miles. The tires have proven bulletproof. I really enjoy the better tracking and cornering too.
 

keezer37

Explorer
I will probably be going with Michelin for my next purchase if I don't get dedicated winter tires.

As far as traction goes in mud/snow, this is 90% driver ability, 10% tire. If you grew up driving in snow, you know what I mean.

Not true at all. I've lived my whole life (48) in snow areas and I can say without a doubt that statement is wrong. I have had everything from stock to aggressive tires and for past 6 years I have a second set of tires and wheels just for winter. Until you run a true winter tire you have no idea what you are missing. The soft compound and sipping realy makes a huge differance and I mean huge on snow and ice covered roads. I will never again not run snows in the winter.


I'm referring to deep snow, not riding atop compacted snow/ice. Specifically, the mountains of lake effect snow. And my statement comes from the numerous times I've told friends or my sister, or my sister, or my sister how to get unstuck or to properly plow through.

I have not run a true (modern) winter tire yet, but I'm getting there. I read a bit about the compounds used. Holding me back so far has been my understanding that the good sticky stuff is only the top half of the tread, after which??? How fast do they wear when you have weather like we are having so far this winter and they are more often, not on snow.
If I was to drop the coin on dedicated winter tires, I'd probably go with Hakkapeliittas. From their website, they seem obsessed with ice. Nokian Tyres

Upcountry, That is Richardson. He worked for Farnum at the Grand Central Hotel in Deadwood.
 
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Mattm94

Observer
For dedicated winter use, NOTHING compares to a true winter tire, and ANY mud terrain is the worst you could have. Driver skill be damned.

Back to the original question.

A mud terrain is going to be great in the mud, good in the rocks, and suck at everything else, especially MPGs, sand, snow, or ICE.

An LT like the LTX M/S is going to be GREAT on the highway, and surprisingly good off road. We took our 98 4Runner MANY places with stock size LTX M/S tires. They were fantastic in the snow and on wet pavement, noticeably better on both and gave 1-3 mpg better than BFG AT (same vehicle). Best of all they were QUIET and smooth on the highway.

BFG AT is a GREAT all around tire, hence its AT moniker. It's acceptably good but not really the best at everything. Road noise is tolerable, mileage is tolerable, wet performance, snow, ice, sand, 1-2 MPGs better than MT, etc.....

It's up to you. Most who run the BFG AT would be a lot better served by the LTX MS2.... and I'd NEVER again run a BFG MT on a vehicle which saw DD use or significant time on anything other than mud and solid rock. The pucker factor on packed snow and ice was more than enough to educate me...
 

skiroc

Observer
Mattm94 - sounds like you've used the M/S off-road? How'd that work? I'm mainly FS and BLM gravel roads, with only a few real 4x4 trails. I would like to go with M/S if I can get away with it.
 

downhill

Adventurer
Just as a side note...... some manufacturers call certain tire models "mud terrain" when they really aren't. Mine are mud terrains but the tread more closely resembles an AT tread. It's the large open lugs that distinguish the true MT tread pattern. I haven't found MTs to be much, if any better than ATs in mud either. Not at the low speeds I'm typically running. If I'm going pedal to the floor through a bog they do clean better, but short of that they pack up just like everything else. If the tire carries the M&S (mud and snow) designation it indicates that the tire uses a softer rubber compound for cold weather use. Most if not all of the off road tires carry that designation. There is another even softer rubber used on dedicated winter tires, or the so called "studless" tire. Those really do work better on ice, but they wear like mad in the summer. On a hot day of driving they will actually feel sticky. They need to be swapped for summer tires if you run them.
 

Mattm94

Observer
I wouldn't even consider an AT for the type of use you're describing. Get the MS/2, enjoy the quiet, smooth ride, the MPGs, and the decent offroad performance, and don't look back.
 

Owyhee H

Adventurer
I wouldn't even consider an AT for the type of use you're describing. Get the MS/2, enjoy the quiet, smooth ride, the MPGs, and the decent offroad performance, and don't look back.

I second this. I am a big fan of the BFG AT KO but am currently using Michelin LTX AT2 and couldnt be happier. I have the E load range and the ride is smooth and quiet. Dont expect them to act like a mud terrain tire but for 99.99% of the time these are much better for my uses.
 

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