General Grabber X3: 8,000 Miles of Rocks, Roadways, Sand, and Snow

    When the tire has "Mud-Terrain" plastered across the sidewall, our first question for the General Grabber X3 was "but what else can it do?" We installed a set of 35x12.50R17 X3s on our two-door '17 Wrangler and went through our typical weekend routine—driving far and near in search of wild terrain. Whether it was a high-altitude dumping of snow, beach cruises, grinding over boulders, or slick muddy ruts, we made sure to put the tires through every abusive environment we could get our tread blocks into. After nearly 8,000 miles of torture, we had a logbook filled with notes and a tire repair kit that remained unzipped. Did the General Grabber X3 mud-terrains prove useful in more than just mud? Read on for what we found.

    When we sat down to crunch the numbers, if the Jeep was off-road, chances are it was bound for gravel. Whether that means the path leading to a gnarly crawling trail or a 100-mile push through the backcountry, miles spent on kumquat-sized bits of geologic goodness nearly outnumbered those spent on blacktop. With the windows down, it was common to hear stones plinking from the fender flares as they were punted from between the tread blocks by what General calls "Stone Bumpers." The raised rubber ribs spaced among the tread blocks kept stones from becoming trapped in the voids and drilling into the carcass.

    For the four-wheelers outside the tropics, snow is something we are privileged (or forced) to drive through. We took the first chance we could and ran for the hills when the forecasters hinted at winter storms, hoping for some powder pushin'—and the Grabber X3s did not disappoint. Hard-packed snow was the tire's only downfall, since the mud-terrain lacked the intricate siping and softer-to-the-touch compound that is normally found on a dedicated snow tire. Disclaimer: the Grabber X3 is not a snow tire and does not come with a Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake. However, when the snow piled up, the tread blocks dug and plowed like we wanted them to, transforming our JK into the horsepower-drawn sleigh that we needed to ride merrily through the white stuff.

    Mix two parts soil with one part water and you have the exact compound for which the Grabber X3 was designed—mud. We let the 21/32-inch-deep voids and formidable sidewall lugs sink their fangs into the goo to see if we'd continue forward. Spoiler—whether the task was holding lateral stability on off-camber slopes of slime or punching through a soupy hole, the Grabbers were scarcely challenged. With some application of wheel speed, the voids cleared out and we chugged forward.
    When our plans included driving over some of the famous sandstone formations of southern Utah, we dropped the pressure in our Grabber X3s from the streetable 28 psi to between 12 and 15 psi, which let the load range E sidewalls take on the chore of enveloping the obstacles. In the name of tire testing, we made sure to get our rubbers into some jagged crevices enough to let the sidewalls really rub shoulders with the rocks. We put some scuffs in the red "General" lettering on the three-ply sidewalls, but nothing more than cosmetic damage was sustained.
    Between beachfront cruises and laps through the sand dunes, the Grabber X3s showed no signs of weakness in the sand. We ran 'em both at street pressure and at the same 12-15 psi we used for the rocks with no issue and enough flotation to keep us moving.
    Checking in with the treads after 8,000 miles revealed what we observed to be normal signs of wear (and a healthy dose of silt). The shoulder lugs showed some distress in places from grabbing onto the rockier trails and the blocks were only beginning to lose the crisp edges that came from the factory. General's Duragen technology seems to have kept chipping and cuts to an absolute minimum—we could find nothing of the sort, even after all those miles.
    After returning the Grabber X3s to highway-appropriate pressures, we found that they tracked straight and rolled well at higher speeds. At 77 pounds per corner, we saw the JK's fuel economy drop to about 15-17 mpg on the highway, compared to the 18-20 we got with our former 33-inch tires. The Grabbers continued to inspire confidence even when standing water covered the interstates as we avoided hydroplaning and maintained control. Noise from the tires was most noticeable at parking lot speeds and we found nothing more than the typical lower-pitched hum when we were moving quick.

    Specifications (as tested)

    Tire: General Grabber X3
    Size: 35x12.50R17 LT 121Q
    Type: Radial mud-terrain
    Load range: E
    Max load (lb): 3,195
    Approved rim width (in): 8.5-11.0
    Tread depth (in): 21/32
    Overall width (in): 12.5
    Tread width (in): 10.1
    Overall diameter (in): 35.0
    Maximum psi: 65
    Weight (lb): 77.0

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