New Tires and The Possibility of Redemption (1 Viewer)

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Mar 5, 2011
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Rifle, CO
One year ago today I was in Bismarck, ND running some errands. I was trying to get to the Tractor Supply Co to buy a new pulley wheel for my neighbor's craftsman riding lawn mower and realized I had missed my turn. I pulled off on to a narrow frontage road, and thought I could maximize my U-turn by pulling off into the grass. After two days of non-stop soaking rain, however, what looked like a nice grassy shoulder was actually a neatly disguised black hole. I sank in quickly as my forward momentum carried me about 15 feet into it. Realizing I was not going forward any longer and fearing I was stuck, I threw it in 4 Lo and attempted to back out. At about the same time I was coming to grips with how bald my Nitto Terra Grapplers were, and that there was no way I was getting out without assistance. Up the street to my left I saw a young guy unloading his Dodge dually, and begrudgingly, and slightly humiliated, I walked up and asked him for help. He said he'd be glad to, and I walked back and hooked up my tow strap. Minutes later, the Land Cruiser was loosed from it's earthly shackles, and I was obliged to thank the owner of the Dodge diesel.

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I rode on those same bald ass tires for one year after that day, through a Colorado winter, and even some light wheeling, giving them a grand total of 64,000 miles over 4 years.

Finally, I have the possibility of redeeming myself for that day with a fresh set of Toyo Open Country A/T2s. Bought from my local tire shop for $229/tire in the size 295/75/16s. The shop had to order them in, which meant I received 4 tires with 2014 date codes all within a few weeks of each other. These tires are slightly larger and slightly deeper tread depth than the Nittos, and come in a load range E. This was the first set of these in what Toyo calls the "Xtreme" sizes Alpine Tire had put on. We were all impressed at how well the tires balanced out, with the heaviest weight being 2 ounces. I had them fill them to 38 psi, paid, and got on Highway 82 to run up to Basalt.

First off, I think they look killer. The wider voids and slightly deeper tread makes them look more aggressive than the Terra Grapplers.

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Driving 70mph with the windows down, I didn't think they were very noisy. There is definitely a slight whirring hum, but nothing close to an MT, and not louder than the Nittos (new or bald). With the windows up the noise is unremarkable.

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On take off, I couldn't perceive any difference between this and the Nittos due to the fact that this is a heavier (68lbs IIRC) load range E tire. They feel like a smooth passenger car tire in town. At 70 mph on the highway they track straight, although they did feel a little mushy when cornering. Maybe that's due to my initial inflation of 38psi. Or maybe still getting a feel for them.

The next test is going to be to air them down and go for a trail ride. Which, if the Nittos, being owned by Toyo, were any indication, these will do exceedingly well. And perhaps, if by some weird stroke of misfortune, I ever find myself back in North Dakota, I'll be able to yank a Dodge out of a ditch.

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