Testing the New Firestone Transforce AT2 TirePosted in How To: Wheels Tires on February 7, 2019
What is in a name? Many have asked; few have gotten a solid answer. When it comes to tires a name that you recognize carries quality that other companies with unfamiliar names have yet to prove. Nowadays there are more and more tire companies you’ve never heard of all around us. Sure, some of them offer a great product for the price, but it’s next to impossible to separate them from the new-name or no-name tire companies that, when the public realizes the tires are junk, might disappear as quickly as they appeared.
Enter a company we know you’ve heard of: Firestone, with a new Transforce AT2 aimed at light- and medium-duty trucks that see off-road use. Almost all tires require the buyer to make compromises. Few tires have nearly bulletproof sidewalls on the trail while also being quiet on-road and lasting 40,000 to 70,000 miles—especially on a big heavy four-wheel-drive pickup. And while we like to take every vehicle we own off the paved road and even off the beaten path, chances are we won’t be venturing too far up the Hammer Trails or a trail in Moab in our tow rig (so bulletproof sidewalls may not be needed).
Our tow rig is unique rig. It’s an old ranch truck from Idaho, a 1998 Dodge 2500 4x4 Diesel with a five-speed manual. It’s rough, tough, and doesn’t have a lot of frills. It gets the job done. The last set of tires we ran on it were mud-terrains and definitely more aggressive than these Transforce AT2s, but at the same time we didn’t use them or the truck off-road as much as we thought we would. We used it to tow trailers, run parts, and haul junk to the dump. Sure, it occasionally saw and will see the sloppy wet Forest Service road, or a soft sandy campsite, but it’s proven to be more of a pavement pounder than a trail rig.
Luckily for us, the Transforce AT2 is will carry this truck a whole lot farther down a trail than we will ever take it. These tires (ours are a 285/70R17 LT size) are built with a chip- and tear-resistant rubber compound that is tough enough to deal with rough road conditions like rocks and gravel. These tires also feature deeper tread than the original Transforce AT, said to improve traction in wet and muddy conditions as well as providing more snow traction. Wide voids between siped and closely packed tread blocks help with water shedding and tread clearing, all while an innovative tread-to-road contact footprint helps to retain performance longer over the course of the tire service life. Sounds like a perfect match to us. Here’s how these tires have worked for us over several months of testing, mainly towing on asphalt roads with the occasional romp into sand, mud, gravel, and rain.
SpecificationsFirestone Transforce AT2
Size Tested: LT285/70R17
Type: All-Terrain M+S
Load Range: E
Maximum Load (lb): 3,195 @ 80 psi
Sidewall Construction: 2-ply polyester
Approved Rim Width (in):
Tread Depth (in): 18/32
Tread Width (in): 8.875
Section Width (in): 12.125
Overall Diam. (in): 32.8
Weight (lb): 53
Sizes Available: 15 sizes available from LT225/75R16 (29.3 inches) to LT275/70R18 (33.2 inches) for wheels 16, 17, 18, and 20 inches in diameter.