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Testing the Hankook Dynapro MT in a LT285/75R16 10-Ply

Posted in How To: Wheels Tires on February 9, 2018
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Photographers: Trenton McGee

It’s no secret to anyone paying attention that the number of new tire companies popping up over the past five or so years is flat-out staggering. Name recognition and product reputation is not something easily earned in a market flooded with newcomers, and we generally abuse tires, so we need a product that will last.

Hankook tire is no newcomer to the tire industry, even if the name may not be familiar to many off-roaders. In fact, Hankook, a South Korean company, can trace its roots in the tire industry farther back than many more recognizable tire company names, all the way back to 1941. The company, originally called the Chosun Tire Company, was renamed the Hankook Corporation in 1953 and has been here ever since. For those of you keeping score that means Hankook weathered most of WWII and all of the Korean War.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s Hankook tires were popular all over Asia and Africa, where the product was put to the test. With continued growth Hankook made its way into the American tire market in the early 1980s and has been here—and all over the world—ever since.

Over the past couple of years things have been ramping up at Hankook’s 469-acre Clarksville, Tennessee, tire production plant. That’s right—Hankook is literally here to stay, and is bringing jobs and tires to the U.S.

We have used Hankooks in Africa during the 1990s and 2000s on expedition vehicles that we asked a lot of. In our past experience Hankooks work and last despite being used in a harsh environment.

Fast-forward to the present. We jumped at the chance to test a set of Hankook Dynapro MTs in our home state of Arizona. With sizes ranging from 30x.50R15 up to a 38x5.50R20, for a total of 30 sizes, there are plenty of Dynapro mud-terrains to choose from. We decided to run our test tires on our 1978 Ford F-250, RedFerd, with a LT285/75R16 size featuring a 10-ply sidewall rating. So far we have been happily surprised. These Hankooks show a ton of tire-based innovation and have proven to be a product built to last the test of time and heavy use.

Living in the Southwest means that we haven’t had rain since we started testing our set of Hankook Dynapro MTs, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have experience with how they work in the mud. Our pal, the freelance writer Trent McGee, ran a set of 33x12.50R15 Hankook Dynapro MTs on his Jeep for several years. Lucky for us he absolutely buried that Jeep in a hidden soft spot in Moab one year all while we had a front row view. The tires did admirably digging the Jeep out with a little help from a winch and another Jeep. McGee says he likes the Dynapros very much and they seemed to shine in Moab except from this particular bottomless pit.
We like the blocky face of the Hankook Dynapro MTs. The mini chevron-style tread blocks help the tires dig out of the mud. Large voids help clear mud and stones, while tread-cleaning bars in the tread voids reduce surface tension. Zig-zagged shoulder lugs help grab whatever surface you’re driving on all the way to the edge. Sidewall lugs help protect that more vulnerable area of the tire while grabbing looser substrates at speed. The compound is supple, yet resists the cutting and chipping that we have seen in other tires used in the same environments. Finally, road noise and wear are good-to-great for a mud-terrain tire.
A close-up of the side of the tire shows better detail on those tread-cleaning bars, sidewall tread lugs, and what Hankook calls its patent-pending Under Groove Protector Bars (the circumferential bars at the edge of the tread voids). Hankook claims that the Under Groove Protector Bars serve to protect the tires from sharp sidewall impacts and also soften the shock to the tire and thus the vehicle. Internally the tires uses high-strength nylon-reinforced belts with 10-plies under the tread and two along the sidewall. These belts provide puncture resistance as well as steering stability in a turn.

Tire Specifications

Hankook Dynapro MT
Size Tested: LT285/75R16
Type: All-Terrain
Load Range: E
Maximum Load (lb): 3,750 @ 80 psi
Sidewall Construction: 2-ply
Approved Rim Width (in): 7.5-9
Tread Depth (in): 18.5/32
Tread Width (in): 8.7
Section Width (in): 11.6
Overall Diameter (in): 33
Weight (lb): 59
Sizes Available: 30 sizes ranging from 30 to 38 inches for wheel diameters of 15 to 18 inches.

Sources

Hankook Tire
Wayne, NJ 07470
615-432-0700
http://www.hankooktireusa.com

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