Dick Cepek F-C II All-Terrain Load Range E Tire
THE BIG PICTURE:
Dick Cepek’s second-generation of the Fun Country all-terrain tire
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
TESTING GROUNDS: We ran the F-C II tire on our 2012 Ram 2500 4x4 Mega Cab Cummins, and selected a 35x12.50R20 for this truck. We installed the tires in September and have ran them for just over eight months leading up to this review. That allowed us to cover all types of road conditions and terrain that we encounter in Idaho over the course of a year. And just in case you’ve never been outside of Texas in the winter, let us elaborate: Summers here are hot and dry. Some of the other magazines we’re involved with have us driving dirt roads with a trailer loaded with side-by-sides in tow two or three days week through summer. That and a lot of highway miles. When fall (and spring) roll around, those dirt roads get muddy, and the dirt around here is clay. It gets slimy and slippery real quick. We’re told that winters here are harsh… although we wouldn’t know any different. Snow comes early and cold temps and a minimal use of road salt means we deal with a lot of ice and snow packed highways and backroads with trailers full of snowmobiles.
Additionally, we mounted our F-C II tires on a set of Dick Cepek Gun Metal 7 wheels.
NOISE: The first thing we noticed after getting our tires mounted at our local Les Schwab in mid-September was how quiet they are compared to the last few sets of tires we’ve tested. For an aggressive all-terrain tire, the F-C II rolls without much road noise, which is a plus. Noisier than an all-season, but not bad for a meaty all-terrain.
SNOW: These tires caught the attention of pretty much anyone with any knowledge of tires who rode in the truck or followed the truck. On packed snow (which is our main focus when choosing tires given the time we spend on the road with snowmobiling) the F-C II has amazing grip. And we’re not patronizing anybody here. The horizontal tread pattern offers a lot of tread block edges to grip the ice and snow with. A lot of all-terrain tires feature smaller tread blocks with curved edges. The F-C II tread block design is far superior for snow and ice. We felt very confident pulling trailers and cruising down highways in adverse weather conditions with the F-C II tires.
MUD: We’re not mudders by any stretch, but we don’t drive pretty-boy trucks on city streets, either. Mud is just a part of getting places here. And the F-C II tire doesn’t impede any destinations. One particular trip to Preston, ID, with this truck and Tech Editor Nate King’s Ram 3500 had us driving both trucks out through irrigation roads bordering farm fields. The mud was so sloppy and slimy that you’d feel the entire truck slide sideways on the slightest off-camber. But the F-C II tire kept the Ram in on the right path. When we stopped to check some equipment, Nate’s first comment was, “Look how clean your tread is! My tires are caked an inch thick.” The F-C II tread blocks were 90 percent clean of mud. We attribute that to the unique design, long spacing and Dick Cepek’s Stone Kickers—small ridges between tread blocks that keep rocks from wedging in and collecting mud.
WEAR: Ram Cummins trucks are heavy, and we don’t go many places without added tongue weight on the bumper. We’ve rotated the tires every 5,000 miles and have just shy of 18,000 miles on them so far. At this point, mud tires we’ve ran in the past would be showing significant signs of wear. The F-C II has held up very well, and thanks to consistent design, has stayed balanced well. Our tires are in excellent condition for the miles so far. The tread edges are still square and the shoulders aren’t cupping.
APPEARANCE: From the DC sidewall tread to the squared-edge tread blocks, the Dick Cepek F-C II tire looks as good as it works. If you want a tire that helps your truck stand out from the crowd.
This will be a 5-star tire if we can get 50,000-plus miles out of them.
Easy to say, this is the best all-terrain tire we’ve used in the winter. And it’s summer performance leaves nothing wanting.