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Toyo Open Country R/T Tire Test

Posted in Product Reviews on March 25, 2015
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Without doubt, you have bought a set of tires, and if you haven’t and your last name is not Goodyear or Hankook, you will be at some point in the near future (we’re assuming, in this case, you’re 16 and your tires on your first car/truck are still good). Tires do a lot for us, and we ask a lot of them. They also have this bad habit of wearing out or developing leaks that have a way of putting our fun to a halt. Despite tens of thousands of miles, sharp rocks, sticks, glass, and more, we expect them to sometime perform sometimes miracles.

On gravel roads, our big Dodge handles like a rally car, holding the road or sliding in a controlled manner whenever we want. The Open Country R/Ts are perfect for our big truck because while we use it primarily on-road, dirt, mud, sand, snow, and gravel are all something we will encounter. We’ve also detected basically no wear on the tires in the roughly 5,000 miles we’ve put on the tires thus far. The tread voids do have a tendency to pick up small rocks much the same as almost any tire does. On paved roads the Open Country do make some noise, but it is less than we expected. The long center treads help spread the rolling tire over the road for reduced noise.

We often get asked what kind of tires a person should buy, and our answer always starts with a question: What do you plan to do with them? The fact is we all want a tire that can do everything all while being easy to balance, long lasting, with great traction, and oh, it better be quiet too. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? The fact is mud tires are not quiet, and quiet tires generally don’t do well in the mud or on the rocks. At the same time, tire companies have been making great strides in developing new tires that better fill the job of “doing-it-all” than ever before. One such tire is the new Toyo Open Country R/T. This tire was specifically developed to span the gap between an all-terrain tire and a dedicated mud tire. So what do we think of the R/T? Well, friends, allow us to show you the best way we can, by using and abusing our own set on our own truck. The tires in question are a set of 35x12.50R17LT Open Country R/Ts on forged factory ’12 Ram 8-lug wheels. These wheels and tires live on our ’98 Dodge 2500 12-valve Cummins 4x4. The truck sees duty as a tow rig, daily driver, and occasional tow rig. We ask a lot of the truck and the tires, and here’s how they’ve performed over the past 5,000 miles or so.

Our 3⁄4-ton Dodge is not really a rock crawler, but we did stick the Open Country on a few local rocks, albeit at full road pressure. The treads stuck well to what rocks we put them on, and based on our experience and the tread pattern, we’re going to bet these tires are pretty good in the rocks. They may not be a dedicated heavy rock tire on a rock buggy but they are darn close.
In even very sticky mud, most of the tread voids clear quickly with a little wheel speed. Stone and mud ejector bars between the large outer lugs help mud clear the voids. Center lugs that help keep the tires (relatively) quiet on-road are also shaped like chevrons to help with traction in mud and loose dirt or sand. Our tires are a 35x12.50R17LT flavor, and larger sizes are available ranging from a 33-inch for a 17-inch wheel to a 37-inch tire for a 20-inch wheel, with similar sizing for 18-inch wheels.
The Open Country R/T’s sidewall is constructed with a special durable compound, and a fairly aggressive sidewall design helps add strength and prevent tire-killing sidewall damage. All in all, we feel that Toyo did exactly what they set out to do by creating a tire that bridges the gap between a hard-core mud-terrain and an all-terrain tire.

Specifications
Tire: Toyo Open Country R/T
Size: 35x12.50R17LT
Type: Radial
Load range: E
Max load (lbs): 3,195
Sidewall construction: Three-ply polyester
Tread construction: Two-ply steel; three-ply polyester; two-ply nylon
Approved rim width (in): 8.5-11
Tread depth (in): 18.9/32
Section width (in): 12.5
Overall diameter (in): 34.8
Maximum psi: 65

Sources

Toyo Tires
800-442-8696
www.toyotires.com

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