The tire that threaded the journey

But these mud tires look so awesome and aggressive!

Listen, we all love the look of an aggressive mud tire. Growing up we all had that monster truck that looked awesome with it’s gigantic tires. Alas I digress, typically the hum of a mud terrain tire is annoying at best on any trip over 10 miles. Tread wear is annoyingly atrocious due to the soft compounds used. There are some that are excellent tires, just not the type I was looking for.

What tires has Generation Overland chosen to be the workhorse of the road?

April 23 of 2015 I purchased my first set of all terrain tires for my “then” new to me 1998 Toyota 4Runner. I was replacing the factory sized Michelin MS2. They were half worn and had more dry cracking than I was comfortable with, not to mention the fact that I had just completed the lift for my truck. The Internet search was on for a worthy tire.

I searched high and low in many a forum and read many a review. I came across Goodyear Duratracs, Bfgoodrich All terrains, General Grabber AT2. Finally I happened to come across a review on Expedition Portal named Where The Rubber Meets The Road. It named and compared the very tires i was in limbo about, With just a single tire receiving the staff pick/ editor’s choice. The Cooper Discoverer AT3. That was it I was sold.

Working at an Auto Repair shop, I searched each of our tire vendors for the best price and availability. After a little digging I found a local vendor with a set at an amazing price. I placed my order and had them the next day. Having a great friend for an employer has its perks, the first chance that came along that day he let me mount and balance my tires. I was ecstatic. Now fast forward a collective 55,000 miles or so between my truck and Anthony’s. They’ve had some hard interstate miles, Mine have been all the way to the Southernmost Point in Key West, then as far north as Jacksonville.

Onsite Reviews aren’t all they’re cracked up to be

Often times we see great reviews on sites right under that purchase button. Be watchful of that 5 star product. Often times we find ourselves finding a product with a good review and immediately thinking “That’s the one, I need it and i need it now!”. I will just say do your due diligence and check out what people are saying on forums, groups and in articles. You may just find that the one area you were not willing to give up on 

Load rating,  tire size, oh my!

Once you find a tire you like and that will suite your needs you need to make a couple extra decisions. Some may or may not know about all of the facets that can come when buying new tires. Especially when you go online to find the best deal you can you are faced with gamut of options.  For my truck I chose a 265/75rR16 E.  Now you look at that and you say, what does it all mean!? Well, lets break it down 265 is the tire section with ( thread with) .

So 265/24.5 = 10.43″ wide.  On to “75”, this is the side wall height from the rim to the thread represented in a percentage of the thread width so for ours the thread width is 10.43. so lets take 10.43 x .75 = 7.82″. Onward and forward to “R”. The R stands for the construction of the tire, in this case Radial construction which is about 98% of the tires on the market. Now to that “16” this is the easy one, is is the rim diameter it will fit on. See, that one was really easy.

You may hear people talking about “I have 31’s…” or “I have 37’s!” and a bunch of other things. What all they are referring to is how tall their tire is. Based on the calculations we had before the 7.82 + 7.82 + 16 = 31.64″  so we have a approximately a 31.5″ tall tire.

But what about that E!? That little guy is the Load rating, all it states is how much of a load the tire is rated for. Most SUV and Light trucks are C rating. I chose the load E rating for the number of sidewall plys that is normally constructed with, 10 plys. The higher sidewall ply count can help to prevent sidewall penetration on the trails, giving more plys for an object to have to pierce on the trail gives the tire a bit more durability on an area where tire repair is near impossible.

Final “thoughts”

After many a trail ride, my Cooper Discoverer At3”s have seen their fair share of the rough stuff; Mud, dirt, rocks, slick inclines and a couple of times being just plain stuck. I’ve never had any flats on the trail. I had my first flat after being forced by traffic flow at an accident scene to proceed through the debris in the road.  The At3’s have exceeded my expectation for what i purchased them for; so much so that I just purchased a fresh set four my upcoming journey. I now have new thread and some good broken in tires for any issues, not that I see any,  Journey from Florida to Colorado for FJ Summit.