When The Going Gets Tough
Firestone has been synonymous with performance for more than 100 years. The company still boasts the most Indy 500 wins on record at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and it's the current tire of choice for Indy Racing League competitors.
So when the company set out to design an all-new mud-terrain tire, performance was one of the top criteria. The result of the company's efforts is the Destination M/T. Initially designed to be a rugged workhorse tire for construction workers at remote sites, it quickly became apparent that the new tire would appeal to the hard-core trail enthusiast who finds no terrain too tough to challenge.
"We designed the Destination M/T to be a very tough, heavy-duty, maximum-traction tire for off-road work-truck applications, such as use in gas or oil fields or by border patrols, park rangers, power-company fleets, ranchers, farmers, or just for fun," commented Shu Ishibashi, executive vice president for Bridgestone/Firestone North America.
The company claims the Destination M/T is the first Firestone light-truck tire to be built with the company's exclusive UNI-T (Ultimate Network of Intelligent Tire Technology) technology for better wet handling and braking. In layman's terms, UNI-T construction is a combination of technologies that improve three primary factors of a tire's performance: the casing, the bead, and the tread.
One of the core technologies is a Computer Optimized Components System (CO-CS) that uses computer-design techniques to determine the optimal combination of tread design, casing shape, materials, and construction methods for a particular application.
As a result of this three-pronged approach to tire design and construction, the Destination M/T features a special O-bead that eliminates overlapped joints in the bead assembly, which affects the way the tire interacts with the rim, providing for a rounder assembly and improved stability; this is especially important when running rockcrawling pressures less than 10 psi. The UNI-T technology also uses long-link carbon, an advanced form of carbon black, to create a stronger tire that's better able to resist cracking, chipping, tearing, and excessive wear.
Firestone also combines its patented UNI-T technology with the company's DMR Max Traction Light Truck Tire Technologies to create a stronger tire with maximum traction and built-in protection against damage. The Destination M/T uses the company's Dura-Loc 3.0 construction, which combines three full polyester body plies with two high-tensile steel cord belts, along with a full nylon-cap ply for resistance to hazards.
In terms of tread design, the Destination M/T uses Firestone's Extraction Traction over-the-shoulder tread and lug design for maximum traction on rocks and mud. With a 23-degree pitch on the lugs, taken directly from the company's tractor-tire design, and specially designed tread element shapes and angles, the tire has excellent self-cleaning properties in both mud and snow. The M/T also features Firestone's Rim Guard off-road protector rib, which helps protect the wheel by deflecting off-road debris from between the tire bead and rim area, making for a tighter bead fitment to the rim. For snow country, the Destination M/T is also pinned for studs.