Hercules Tire busted onto the off-road scene with areal winner, the new Trail Digger M/T. Many of Hercules' tires are manufactured to their specifications by outside suppliers, and whether by them or for them, the Trail Digger is a great blueprint from our initial testing. Though we couldn't find many specifications on the tire itself, we were told they have a two-ply sidewall which gave them a very pliant carcass. We had zero puncture issues though we would have been a little more protective of them than usual knowing they have the softer sidewalls. In addition to its own tires, Hercules also markets and distributes many great tire brands such as Cooper, Toyo, Yokohama, Dunlop, Goodyear, Kumho, Mickey Thompson, Dick Cepek, Dirt Gripz, and Denman. Thus by assembling the experience of their clients, they seemed to have taken note of what works and mixed it together into a great product of its own. With such a new product, information is still slim, but we'll be sure to update you with everything we turn up.
At 10 pounds in the mud the Trail Digger M/T immediately started chucking clods while providing forward momentum. We could actually feel them grabbing rather than slipping. The directional control was good as well; it was a point-and-shoot type of ride where you gain the confidence to go back through the pit again, even to try a deeper spot for a real challenge.
In the rocks they were amazingly pliable, with a ride quality that was astounding. At 10 pounds these tires flexed and folded around obstacles without slithering off smooth surfaces. Traction was impressive, as gription on different rock surfaces with different coefficients of friction proved that this was a tire made to rock. Even at low pressure and without bead locks, the tire stayed on the rim with severe side loads, and pinching and squishing the sidewalls had no negative effect. We did see the normal abrasion on the leading edges of the lugs, but this was similar to all of the tires due to the abuse we subjected them to.
On the street the Hercs were downright amazing, such that at varying pressures from 15 to 20 psi they proved they were still a fairly quiet tire considering the lug pattern. Handling was impressive with the tires sticking instead of sliding, leading to some scary attitudes around a few corners we tried to power out of. We like the overall size and performance of these tires, and wish they made a larger variety. The traction and performance on various terra firma and not-so-firma was surprising and noteworthy. Since they're such a new offering from Hercules we're excited to report they are on the right track and should take you up any track you wish to explore.
Make and Model: Hercules Trail Digger M/T
Size on Sidewall: 35-12.50R17LT
Load Range: D
Tire Hardness: 66 on tire durometer
Tread Depth (in): 21/32
Number of Plies in Sidewall: Two
Number of Plies in Tread: N/A
Weight of Tire (lb): N/A
Measured Dia. Unloaded (in): 34 3/4
Measured Width Unloaded (in): 12
Measured Tread Width (in): 10
Mounted On: 17x9 Pro Comp Extreme Alloy's series 1023 wheels
Available Tire Heights (in): 31-35
Available Wheel Fitments: 15-, 16-, and 17-inch-diameter wheels