As magazine editors, we travel from coast to coast wheeling different terrain. Moving towards the East, the wheeling tends to get more mud-centric. This doesn’t mean that everyone on the right coast is mud bogging, but rather, their rigs have to be equipped to handle slop on the trails. When we set out to build our ’99 Jeep Cherokee project vehicle, we knew that the Southeast would be where it called home.
Needing a tire up to the task, we decided to try on a set of 37x12.50R17 Maxxis Trepador Radials. We’d reviewed these before out West and found the tire worked great over the dry Southwest terrain but never got a chance to sink them into any tread-packing wet dirt. Mounted on a set of 17-inch ATX Chamber Pro II beadlock wheels, we put together a tire and wheel package designed for serious off-road use.
Sure, we’ve driven the directional treads on the street for some time, but for this particular rig, that’s not where the tires will see the most action. Over the course of a few thousand miles, we never found the on-road hum of the tires to exceed that of our 4.0L’s exhaust note. Despite not balancing the tires, we were definitely pleased at how smoothly they took to the highway. While the tread blocks are a bit on the stiff side, the sipes help keep the tires from feeling squirrely over the blacktop.
Aside from the aggressive tread pattern, one of the reasons we picked the Trepador was for its heavy-duty tire construction. Built with a six-ply tread weave, along with a three-ply polyester sidewall, the heavy tire carcass is designed to handle abuse. Speaking of the sidewall, one thing you won’t find labeled is a load-range. With a max load holding capacity of 3,525 pounds, the tire is plenty capable of supporting a 1-ton truck.
Under our Cherokee, the tires stay in the single-digit air pressure territory off-road. Having wheeled a variety of terrain in the southeast, we’ve been extremely pleased with how well these tires gather traction. Over one particularly moist weekend at the Gulches Offroad Vehicle Park in Laurens County, South Carolina, we managed to test just how well the tires could battle the sticky clay.
Cruising around the trails, the tires would clump up at low speeds. To clear them out, we simply applied more throttle and they cleaned out without hesitation. We never had to pull cable as a result of our tires being overloaded with mud. With the sidewalls well broken in, we never felt any unloading or strange wobble. In fact, we probably could have dropped the air pressure even more, as the tire is a touch stiff under our XJ.
At the end of the day, we are pleased with our tire choice. We could have gone with the even more aggressive Trepador bias, but we’ve enjoyed the pleasant on-road manners for those times we want to drive our XJ to the trailhead. For those looking for an aggressive set of tires that perform well in wet and dry environments, the Trepador is absolutely worth a closer look.
Make/Model: Maxxis Trepador M8060
Country of Origin: Taiwan
Size Tested: 37x12.50R17
Max Load (lbs): 3,525
Sidewall Construction: 3-ply polyester
Tread Construction: 3-ply polyester, 2-ply steel, 1-ply nylon
Tread Depth (in): 21⁄32
Section Width (in): 13
Overall Diameter (in): 36.9
More and More Tires
Here at Jp, we have been putting tires to the test for years now. If you have a question about a certain tire, we may have already answered it in our huge online tire review known as “The Burning Ring of Tire.” If the tire you want to see is not on The Ring, keep your eyes peeled—we are going to review a new tire in every upcoming issue of Jp magazine.