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DOT-Legal General Grabber Tires

Posted in How To: Wheels Tires on April 1, 2011
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Contributors: Christian HazelPete Trasborg

The General Grabber with its eye-catching red lettering was first introduced in 2008 and has been helping desert racers capture podium finishes since. Now the same tire that General has used for desert race trucks is available in a DOT-compliant version.

We mounted our 33x12.50R15 test tires on a set of 15x8 inch Raceline Rock Monster beadlocks at home, and even without balancing they rode smooth on the street. The tires are available in sizes ranging from 31 inches to 35 inches and for 15-, 16-, 17-, 18-, and 20-inch wheels.

With a seven-ply tread (three polyester, two steel, and two polyamide) and three polyester plies in the sidewall, these tires are the definition of overbuilt. Unfortunately, all those plies make for a portly tire. Our testers weighed in at 69 pounds each which is heavier than some 35-inch tires. All that weight is likely to translate into worse fuel economy, but we went from a 30-inch tire to these 33s on our test Jeep, so of course we lost fuel economy with the switch anyway.

The sidewalls tout "Duragen" technology which is General's proprietary rubber compound that is said to provide the same wear and performance characteristics throughout the life of the tire. The chevron-shaped lug design is called Acoustic Modulation Sound Technology and is intended to give the best traction off-road while not howling too loudly on the freeway. They are by no means the quietest tire we've ever tested, but they are on the quieter end of the mud-tire spectrum.

On the street, we aired them up to 30 psi for even wear across the tread; off-road we put them right down to 8 psi to get them to wrap around rocks. We found at 10-12 psi, while the footprint was good, they just didn't grab the rocks like we wanted them to. We did find that the fancy red lettering (which some love and some hate) is susceptible to rock and sun damage.

With no circumferential grooves, we were concerned how these tires would handle standing water on the freeway, but the diagonal grooving proved to be adequate at water evacuation. The tires didn't do that well on ice on-road but are OK in snow.

In heavy mud they tend to pack up and need more wheelspeed to clear out than other mud tires on the market. But then again, General never called them mud tires; that's just the segment we compared them to. The tires do well in snow and sand off-road not exhibiting a propensity to dig, but they still propelled us forward. Sidehilling in the slippery stuff left us with a confident feeling and no undue drift downhill.

All told, we put about 7,000 miles on these tires during testing and are happy with the wear and overall performance.


  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Good all-around wheeling tire
  • Inspires confidence when sidehilling in slop


  • Not great on-road on ice
  • Heavy
  • Might need beadlocks to wheel in the rocks


General Tire
Charlotte, NC 28288
Raceline Wheels
Garden Grove, CA 92841

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