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2006 4x4 Tire Buyers Guide

Posted in How To: Wheels Tires on February 1, 2006
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Tires-what can we say? They're round, full of air, and, well, we have the cavemen to thank. But nowadays tire technology has graduated with honors from its rocky start to becoming monster meats that can even offer a smooth-handling and silent ride on the street-and with durability built in if there are also daily-driver chores. All-terrain tires have developed a reputation of being able to perform strong in literally all types of terrain-versus that just being a marketing phrase-while some mud tires can be impressively effective at walking over boulders too. Here's a look at the mix of rubber that's out there, including old favorites with new sizes.

Krawler T/A
Who Makes It: BFGoodrich
Features: The CORR-inspired Krawler T/A has nylon sidewall piles, deep lugs, and a special tri-polymer compound for traction and grip.
Sizes: 35 inches up to the new-for-2006 39x13.50R17.
Designed for: Rocks, mud, and dirt.
For more info:

Dirt Grip
Who Makes It: Parnelli Jones
Features: Besides the neat PJ initials running throughout the center of the tread, these radial tires have 21/32-inch tread depth.
Sizes: 31 to 38 inches.
Designed for: Mud, rocks, sand, or whatever is on the ground.
For more info:

Dueler A/T Revo
Who Makes It: Bridgestone
Features: Uses UNI-T AQII technology, which means it's built with a dual-layer tread compound with an exposed inner tread layer for extra-grabby performance. For durability off the pavement, there's two polyester body-ply designs.
Sizes: Includes 31 to 33 inches.
Designed for: A good upgrade for snow and rough roads.
For more info:

Discoverer ATR
Who Makes It: Cooper
Features: Rugged five-rib tread pattern that goes over the shoulders for more traction, as well as deep, wide sawtooth circumferential grooves with lateral slots.
Sizes: Includes 31 to 35 inches.
Designed for: All terrain, all weather.
For more info:

Who Makes It: Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels
Features: Self-cleaning tread with "stone kickers" for traction, an extra-wide footprint, and Sidebiter sidewall protection.
Sizes: 31 to 40 inches.
Designed for: They call it a mud- and all-terrain hybrid.
For more info:

Who Makes It: Goodyear
Features: SilentArmor Technology is the big deal with this tire, meant to keep it functional off-pavement but quiet on the street. There's also Durawall rubber compound to reinforce the sidewalls (borrowed from the Wrangler MT/R), and Rim Guard to protect the wheels.
Sizes: Includes 31 to 33 inches.
Designed for: It's got the MT/R's bulletproof sidewalls, but it's on everything.
For more info:

Road Venture MT
Who Makes It: Kumho
Features: Side claws, mass quantities of pitches for more biting edges per revolution, nylon sidewall reinforcement, and dues paid in CORR racing.
Size: Includes 31 to 35 inches.
Designed for: Its deep tread feels comfortable in anything from mud to ruts.
For more info:

Destination A/T
Who Makes It: Firestone
Features: Polyester body cord for a smooth ride, plus a special design method for a tread pattern that can handle wet and dry roads.
Sizes: Includes 31 to 33 inches.
Designed for: Rocks, sand, and mud.
For more info:

Super Swamper IROK
Who Makes It: Interco
Features: Directional tread, scooped lugs, blade and molded siping, and compounds that ward off punctures.
Sizes: 33 to 49 inches.
Designed for: Mud, snow, and rock.
For more info:

Terra Grappler All Terrain
Who Makes It: Nitto
Features: Staggered shoulder lugs, two full-width steel belts, two spiral-wound nylon cap plies for high-speed stability, and coupling joints between tread blocks to reduce excessive flex.
Sizes: 29 to 37 inches.
Designed for: Sand, gravel, mud-it doesn't care.
For more info:

Who Makes It: Maxxis International
Features: Radial with a multistage, staggered shoulder pattern, nylon belt reinforcement to avoid punctures, and directional tread.
Size: 35x12.50R15, with more sizes coming soon
Designed for: Bring on the rugged and rocky.
For more info:

Baja MTZ
Who Makes It: Mickey Thompson
Features: Radial construction; self-cleaning, high-void, siped lugs; three-ply sidewalls; and six-ply tread.
Sizes: Includes 33 to 38 inches, with more arriving in 2006.
Designed for: Have fun in mud and snow.
For more info:

Who Makes It: Pitbull
Features: Deep lugs, "Tear It Up" construction for cut, puncture, and heat resistance, and rim guards. Also "All Bite No Bark" technology to keep things quiet.
Sizes: 35 inches, although moments after you read this, 33-inch sizes will be available.
Designed for: They call it the "All Terrain Extra" tire.
For more info:

Scorpion A/T
Who Makes It: Pirelli
Features: It's made up of a specialized, robust compound, and has a heavily blocked tread pattern with serious siping and broad central channel.
Sizes: Includes 31 to 33 inches.
Designed for: Light-duty challenges.
For more info:

Geolandar M/T+
Who Makes It: Yokohama
Features: Big ol' shoulder buttresses with protectors, larger scoops from the shoulder blocks to help the tread edges chuck dirt and mud, taper-cut lugs, and an additional groove within the blocks for extra traction and stability.
Sizes: Includes 31 to 35 inches.
Designed for: Mud and rocks.
For more info:

Open Country M/T
Who Makes It: Toyo Tires
Features: The radial has hook-shaped tread blocks, scalloped shoulder blocks, and hi-po cap ply construction, as well as something called CASPAN (Computer-Aided Simulator for Pattern Noise). In other words, shhhhh.
Sizes: 33 to 40 inches.
Designed for: Roll it over mud, sand, and loose gravel.
For more info:

Xtreme A/T
Who Makes It: ProComp
Features: The directional tire has opposed-angle steel belts, is three-ply, and sports XTC, although not that kind of performance: That stands for a special extreme-traction compound.
Sizes: Includes 33 to 40 inches, with a new-for-2006 38.5-incher.
Designed for: Hit the trail-or any terrain.
For more info:

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