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BFGoodrich Rugged Terrain T/A Tire Test

Tread Shot
Sean P. Holman | Writer
Posted September 1, 2011
Photographers: BFGoodrich

All-terrain look, everyday performance

BFGoodrich, long one of the iconic tire brands in the off-road market, has recently expanded its light truck offerings beyond the popular All-Terrain KO and Mud-Terrain KM2. The new Rugged Terrain T/A is now part of BFG’s mainstream portfolio as an all-terrain with a different mission.

For the hardcore wheeler, the KO and KM2 have been stalwarts for the brand. But what if your rig doesn’t need that type of capability? Maybe you use it as a daily driver that and don’t have aspirations of climbing the slickrock of Moab or churning through the boulders of the Hammers, but you still have a need for a rugged tire that can take you confidently down the occasional beat-up dirt road.

If this is your situation, then you’ll want to take a good, hard look at the new Rugged Terrain. Aimed at the daily driver and towing market, the Rugged Terrain is a two-ply tire for the everyday guy who still likes to play warrior on the weekends. The Rugged Terrain was designed with an aggressive-looking, but noise-reducing, tread pattern with an emphasis on wet-weather traction. Two large circumferential grooves eject water to prevent hydroplaning, and molded-in rock ejectors keep the tread free of road debris. The Rugged Terrain also uses BFG’s proprietary Equal Tension Containment System (ETEC). The ETEC System is way of manufacturing the tires to help them retain their shape at speed for durability and responsive handling. Also sweetening the pot is a 50,000-mile tread wear warranty.

BFG recently invited us out to Surprise, Arizona to test the Rugged Terrains in a variety of conditions ranging from highway to trail. We were impressed by the just how quiet and smooth the ride was on our Nissan test vehicles. On the trail, we were able to find a little bit of mud where we found the traction more than adequate for a tire in the all-terrain category. Leaving Surprise left us with a good idea of the tires’ capability, but we needed some more time to truly evaluate them, so BFG sent us a set to test on our own.

The vehicle we chose was a ’07 Ford Super Duty F-250 Crew Cab 4x4 with the 6.0L Power Stroke engine wearing LT285/70R17 All-Terrain KOs. The owner of this particular truck uses it to commute in, as well as for towing his 27-foot, 7,100-pound travel trailer on weekends, with a little bit of dirt road thrown in on occasion. His use presumably makes the Rugged Terrain a more appropriate choice than the All-Terrain KOs they would be replacing.

After 2,000 miles of testing, the owner couldn’t agree more. During the time frame, he has driven the truck empty and towing, both in warm weather and in cold. A wet winter gave him an opportunity to verify BFG’s wet-weather performance claims. The owner told us that the wet traction is noticeably improved and that the tires track much better on the highway, with the previous wandering eliminated altogether.

The greatest difference was felt with his trailer hooked up. Just this change in tires has made the tow rig more stable, and he says the sidewalls have less deflection under load. As a bonus, he tells us that the Rugged Terrains have made his truck notably quieter and that he has seen a slight improvement in fuel economy since making the switch. Overall, he couldn’t be happier with the performance, and considers the Rugged Terrains to be a perfect match for his needs.

The Rugged Terrain is not replacing the All-Terrain KO in BFG’s line-up, but rather supplementing it, giving truck owners a choice to better match a tire to their use. Whether your 4x4 is used primarily for on-road or off, BFG no longer has a one-tire, all-terrain strategy—it offers two strong choices.

The Details
Tire: BFGoodrich Rugged Terrain T/A
Size: LT285/70R17
Type: Radial
Load Range: E
Max load (lb@psi): 3195@80
Sidewall construction: 2-ply poly
Tread construction: 2-ply poly, 2-ply steel, 1-ply nylon
Approved rim width (in): 7.5-9.0
Tread depth (in): 14.5⁄32
Section width (in): 11.5
Overall diameter (in): 32.3
Revolutions per mile (@ 45mph): 3,195

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