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First Look: General Tire Grabber A/Tx All-Terrain

Posted in How To: Wheels Tires on March 13, 2018
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The new Grabber A/Tx is the latest tire in the General Tire light-truck line, and is designed to be an aggressive all-terrain tire. It carries on with many of the traits of the previous Grabber AT2, but with up-to-date improvements in tire design. It has some of the proven tread elements from the AT2 combined with the improved sidewall technology used on the Grabber X3 mud-terrain tire.

Like most modern tire designers, General has worked to provide a solid overall performance compromise for those customers who use their vehicles on- and off-road. Most customers expect comfortable and quiet road manners from a light-truck, all-terrain tire. General uses a tread cushioning system combined with an engineered tread pattern to reduce harmonics and road noise. The tread blocks are also designed to remain stable under load for an optimized stiffness to promote even wear and long tread life.

Pleasant road manners are always welcome from a tire such as this that we’re likely to put a lot of highway miles on. However, as four-wheelers, we also demand quality off-road performance. In the all-terrain category, we’re willing to give up some mud and high-traction crawling performance for better highway behavior and often-improved overall tread life. General knows that, and incorporated qualities in the Grabber A/Tx to provide as much off-road performance as they could without eating too much into those road manners.

The company chose a rubber formulation aimed at providing good wear characteristics while also trying to minimize the effects of cutting or tread chunking in the rocks. The tread design offers small traction notches in the pattern to provide additional points for the tire to grab the terrain. Plus, tread siping in the blocks exposes greater rubber to the surface under more extreme conditions. Those of you that drive a lot in cold-winter climates will like that the new tire also carries a full Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake rating and can be studded for additional traction in ice.

The Grabber A/Tx is aesthetically pleasing with beefy tread blocks and side-biters rolling onto the sidewall. They come with raised, white letters or in black sidewall, depending on size of tire.

The new Grabber A/Tx is available in 40 different sizes ranging from 27 to 35 inches in height, with wheel diameter fitment ranging from 14 to 20 inches. General offers a 45-day trial with the Grabber A/Tx, and a 50-60,000 mile limited tread-wear warranty depending on size.

We had the opportunity to try the tire off-road near New Orleans, Louisiana. We drove Grabber A/Tx-shod Jeep JK Wranglers on dirt, mud, logs, and rocks; and we came away with a high opinion of the tire. The company’s target goal of producing an aggressive all-terrain seems well met. Our initial impression is that this tire is a good candidate for those drivers looking for a quality light-truck tire to tackle medium off-road duties, but not wanting to step up to the larger-tread voiding of a mud-terrain.

As expected, the tread pattern is non-directional and slightly similar to the previous Grabber AT2. General knew they had a good design with that tire and didn’t want to offer any diminished performance with the new tire. You’ll notice the outer tread blocks are larger than before and more square to the direction of travel. Siping is also applied to the blocks to increase traction.
Between the outside tread blocks are little rubber bars called stone bumpers that help release small stones and other debris that might get caught between the blocks. Deflection ribs between the side biters are used to protect the upper sidewall area and are designed to deflect hazardous objects from penetrating the sidewall.
We had the opportunity to test the common 35x12.50R17LT size that’s rated load range E. Aired down to 15 psi, the tires offered a stable feel while still conforming well to the terrain surface.
We dipped the new Generals into some gooey Gulf Coast mud and found they continued to provide good forward traction using sufficient wheel speed and momentum. With reasonably large voiding for an all-terrain, it appears the Grabber A/Tx could carry you farther through mud than typically milder all-terrain tires.
While the all-terrain tread would start to pack up in heavy mud, we noticed the wider voiding between tread blocks at the edge of the tires continued to grab. We crossed downed trees at an angle with little sensation of tire slip across the slick surface due to these tread areas and the side biters.
Once we got too deep in the Louisiana goo, or carried too little wheel speed through the slop holes, the tires would fully pack with mud and find the limits of their traction. The General team wasn't afraid to let us get stuck with their tires to see just how far we could go with an all-terrain tread. We were impressed, but if your play consists of deep mud on a regular basis, you may want to step up to the company’s more aggressive Grabber X3.
After slopping around in the mud we ran the Jeeps across a short rock trail. At 15 psi, the sidewalls of the 35-inch tires flexed well and conformed to the boulders without feeling overly mushy.
The sidewall construction of the Grabber A/Tx uses key elements from the Grabber X3 mud tire. It’s a two-ply sidewall versus a three-ply sidewall on the X3, but they both use General’s Duragen material makeup.

Specifications (as tested)

Tire: General Grabber A/Tx
Size: 35x12.50R17LT
Type: Radial all-terrain
Load range: E
Max load (lb): 2,403
Sidewall construction: 2-ply
Tread construction: N/A
Approved rim width (in): 8.5-11
Tread depth (in): 16/32
Section width (in): 12.5
Tread width (in): N/A
Overall diameter (in): 35.0
Maximum psi: 65
Weight (lb): 64.4

Sources

General Tire
Charlotte, NC 28288
800-847-3349
www.generaltire.com

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