What you want and what you need are rarely the same. Often our eyes go for the bigger slice of cake, the higher-horsepower engine, the more extreme tire. Truth be told, most of our 4x4s live on the street, and although massive muddies may look the best and work better in the slop , when it comes to a daily driver or tow rig those tires are, as Mr. Spock would say, “simply illogical.”
However, our fullsize trucks are coming from the factory with wimpy rubber. An easy-to-install budget leveling kit for most will clear 35-inch rubber, so why not upgrade? Our ’10 Ram test truck lives most of its time in front of a trailer, so even though we like running mud tires we realized that saving them for trail use or special occasions of extended dirt makes more sense. Thus we ordered up a set of Cooper Discoverer A/T3s in a LT315/70R17 size, wrapped them around some Dick Cepek rims, and headed down the road. To our delight, the tires did exactly as we had hoped and in many ways performed better than a more aggressive tire would have.
The A/T3 is a great daily driver tire, but Cooper also offers an excellent mud tire in the Discoverer STT. We’ve covered them in the past, so we’ll just touch on them here, but these radial tires come in sizes up to 37 inches and are the most aggressive tire in the Cooper lineup.
With rim options from 15 to 20 (same as the A/T3) we had no trouble fitting the STTs on some old slot mags. The aggressive tread rolls over to the sidewall, forming what Cooper calls Scalloped Shoulder Lugs. Plus, they have bead protectors and three-ply carcass construction. We’ve found them to perform excellent in both rocks and mud and to fill a niche where an all-terrain just won’t do.