General Tire Street Legal 37 inch Grabber: What's the difference between DOT and Race off-road tires?
Yeah, OK. The General Grabber isn’t really new. In fact, you’ve seen Grabbers all over the place for years. But what you probably didn’t know is that up until recently (very recently, in fact), any of those Grabbers you saw sized larger than 35-inch-diameter weren’t DOT legal. “But I see JKs on 37s and prerunners all over the place running 37-inch Grabbers!” you might be thinking. Yeah, but those are leftover race or promotional tires for off-road use only. We got one of the very first sets of DOT-legal 37x12.50R17s available to the general public and just had to share. The delivery truck dropped them off literally the day before we had to get this issue to the printer, so we didn’t even have time to mount them on a vehicle yet, but suffice to say, despite looking virtually identical to the race-only 37-inch Grabbers, the DOT-legal versions have a few key technical features that set them apart from the race-only tires. For starters, the 37x12.50R17LT DOT tire has a narrower tread face than the 37-inch race tire. Also, the DOT tire is much quieter on highway due to varying-sized tread blocks. Computer-optimized tread design varies the size of the lugs in pitch and sequence so the noise frequencies cancel each other out. On the race tire, the tread block sizes are all the same and they just howl away. Also, the DOT tire is a bit lighter in weight and features an improved sidewall design compared with the race tire. But most importantly, the DOT tire can be purchased by anyone at any General Tire retail location.
On casual inspection, the DOT-legal 37x12.50R17LT General Grabber looks just like its race-only cousin, but there’s more under the carcass than meets the eye.
Advanced sidewall technology keeps all the strength of durability of the race-only tires, but different construction allows the DOT tires to deal with repeated heat and cooling cycles a street-driven tire must endure.
Tread blocks that differ in size around the circumference of the tire make different pitches as they slap the ground. As these noise waves come off the tire, some of these frequencies actually cancel each other out, resulting in a quieter on-road ride with no penalty in performance. Race tires don’t bother with this added construction complexity ‘cause honestly, who can hear tires over a 900hp engine?
SPECIFICATIONS (as tested)
Tire: General Grabber
Load range: D
Max load (lb): 3,525
Approved rim width (in): 8.0-11.0
Tread depth (in): 5/8
Tread width (in): 10
Section width (in): 13
Overall diameter (in): 35.9
Maximum psi: 50
Weight (lb): 82