Tread Wars

An in-depth look at tires and the different types available

Published in the March 2014 Issue March 2014 News Katie Burke

Tires are an important aspect of your truck for a number of reasons. Some tires are more fuel-efficient than others. While tires aren't the largest factor in fuel economy, they are one of the easiest things to change. That's why so much attention has been focused on using tires to improve fuel mileage for diesel drivers.

But even more important than efficiency is safety. Choosing the right tire for your preferred application is vital for a number for reasons. The type of tire you choose depends on your truck and driving conditions. Make sure that your new tires meet your needs. There are a lot of things to think about. Not only should you consider your typical conditions, but also think about the worst conditions you anticipate driving in. What performance criteria are you looking for? For example, is wet traction more important to you than cornering capability on dry roads?

For this particular roundup, we’re going to consider three tire types: winter, all-season and all-terrain. Winter tires are specifically designed to perform in cold, icy, wet and snowy weather. They are optimized for handling and traction in wet conditions, but thankfully can be used in dry conditions as well.

Most truck tires are all-season tires and meet the needs of most road conditions. They have the deep water channels for wet traction, but also harder rubber compound for greater tire life in warm weather.

Off-road tires are built for the driver who takes his truck off the road, yet still does plenty of on-road driving as well. These tires have stiffer sidewalls for greater resistance against puncture when traveling off-road. The tread pattern offers wider spacing to help remove mud from the tread.


Nitto Tires


Mud Grappler

The Mud Grappler Extreme Terrain provides off-road traction over various terrains, whether it’s dirt, rocks or mud. The massive side-lugs and 3-ply polyester sidewall construction add more protection to help prevent sidewall punctures when facing the most challenging off-road obstacles.

The Mud Grappler comes equipped with high void ratio to efficiently clear mud and dirt from the tread area to provide excellent traction. The three-ply polyester sidewall construction and high strength steel belt tread package improve puncture resistance need in aggressive off-road and rock-climbing environments.

It is available in 21 sizes ranging from 32- to 40-inch overall diameters.


Terra Grappler

The Terra Grappler offers year-round all-terrain performance through a balance of wet and dry performance and on-road comfort with minimal road noise. The Terra Grappler All Terrain provides balanced performance in all weather conditions over various terrains.

The tread pattern void ratio is balanced for off-road traction and on-road handling. Coupling joints between tread block elements, reduce excessive flex for better traction and steering response, on and off road. Deep sipes and lateral voids effectively channel away water. Siping helps resist hydroplaning by cutting through pockets of water on road surfaces. This technology provides all-season traction. The lugs on the shoulder are staggered to improve traction in deep sand and loose dirt.

The Terra Grappler is available in 51 sizes ranging from 28- to 37-inch overall diameters.


Dura Grappler

The Dura Grappler is a highway terrain tire that provides a combination of tread life and ride comfort. The Dura Grappler is suitable for a wide variety of trucks. All P-Metric sizes in the Dura Grappler line come with a five rib pattern.

This tire is intended for your tow vehicle or daily driver more so than for trail use. Suitable for wet roads, the Dura has three wide circumferential grooves for water dispersion and a fair amount of siping in the tread.

Whether you're working on a construction site or towing your toys, the Dura Grappler was designed to meet your needs.





Trepador is an extreme off-road tire designed to conquer the tough off road terrain but excels more in the sand/dirt. The Trepador Bias is a true off-road performer that’s been tested in off-road races. While the Trepador Radial inherits the aggressive tread pattern of the Trepador Bias but gives a nice ride comfort on road with its radial structure and joint less spiral-wound cap ply maximizes ride refinement and durability. The Trepador's nylon belt-reinforced tire construction improves puncture resistance and prolongs tread life, giving it full ability to function in mud, snow, sand and rocky terrain. Sizes range from 20 to 40 inches tall with a 15- to 18-inch wheel diameter.


Big Horn

Maxxis flagship mud terrain tested weekly by off -road racers and is backed by multiple championships—a tried and true mud terrain that delivers terrific performance and durability on- and off-road. The Bighorn is a radial construction tire with a wide footprint providing better shock absorption and excellent traction. The Bighorn contains extra-large shoulder lugs, protecting the rim and sidewalls from unnecessary cuts and abrasions, while the raised white letters on the sidewall give it a sporty look. Designed to provide a smooth ride suitable for desert, dirt, rock, snow and mud applications, the Bighorn is suitable for all terrains. Sizes range from 29 to 35 inches tall with a 15- to 17-inch wheel diameter.



Not merely another highway terrain tire, the Maxxis HT-770 is the result of over three years of market research and engineering. Maxxis improved the finer details to provide a true all-season premium highway terrain tire for the most discerning truck owner. The tire manufacturer started by using feedback from its customers and increased the casing stiffness and added tread reinforcements to improve overall braking performance and more importantly, to increase braking confidence when hauling or towing. The sidewall was also fine-tuned to improve the overall ride as well as stability under emergency maneuvers or heavy cross-winds. To deliver a premium driving experience, the tire features closed-shoulder design and multi-pitch technology for minimized pattern noise, effectively reducing driver fatigue. Sizes range from 25 to 33 inches tall with a 15- to 20-inch wheel diameter.




i*Pike Rw11

Winter i*Pike is a high performance studdable winter tire, which is designed for a wide range of trucks. A unique ‘V’ shaped tread design delivers exceptional traction and control in all winter driving conditions. This tire is a leader in stronger braking power and superior traction in snowy conditions. The powerful driving and braking forces will give you more protection on wet or frozen roads.

Hankook has maximized snow traction implemented with the Edge Block at the center of the tire. The enhanced ice performance with the pin arrangement is optimized through computer simulation. As a global leader in tires, Hankook Tire offers drivers an incredible line of high performance.


DynaPro MT

The DynaPro MT is designed for serious off-road enthusiasts. Special design features such as tapered "V" shaped tread blocks provide better grip in mud, sand and snow. Unique stone ejector grooves along with a rugged shoulder help prevent damage from impacts. It is this attention to design that has help make the DynaPro MT the tire of choice for extreme off-roading.


DynaPro ATm

Designed for premium aggressive all-terrain, the DynaPro ATm uses an innovative tread and sidewall design to enhance the style of your truck. Developed for high powered pickups, the DynaPro ATm offers the best grip and acceleration both on- and off-road.


Toyo Tires


Open Country H/T

The Open Country H/T is a mud- and snow-rated, original equipment replacement highway tire that delivers excellent all-around handling and stability in both dry and wet conditions. Exceptional mileage is another design characteristic along with smooth, quiet operation throughout the wear range. A wide, square tread with two deep circumferential main grooves helps to channel water and evacuate snow from the surface of the tire.


Open Country A/T II

Pavement is optional with these versatile all-terrain tires. The all-new Open Country A/T II offers over 40 percent more tread life than the leading competitors, as well as exceptional all-season performance, an aggressive new tread design and a quiet ride.

It also comes with an industry-leading 65,000-mile warranty for P-Metric and Metric

sizes, as well as a 50,000-mile warranty for LT and flotation sizes. Last but not least, the Open Country A/T II qualifies for Toyo Tires’ No Regrets 45-day, 500-mile trial offer.


Open Country I/T

The Open Country I/T is a studdable truck tire built for severe winter conditions. It uses advanced winter technology and a studdable tread design, which provides confidence, grip and stability on the most slick or snow-packed roads. Putting a great snow tire on is important for those who live in areas with heavier snow, and Toyo makes a few different options.


Falken Tire



The ZIEX S/TZ05 features the latest in tread compound and construction technology designed specifically for sport truck applications. With an advanced M+S all-season, non-directional tread design, the S/TZ05 allows rotation in all directions, optimizing tread life. With double taper cut tread blocks and staggered shoulder lug grooves, the S/TZ05 is a smooth, quiet and dynamic tire. Available from 18-inch to 24-inch applications, this tire covers many of today’s popular wheel fitments.



The WILDPEAK A/T reinvigorates the all-performance sport utility and light truck tire market through its aggressive stance and unparalleled traction. A symmetric five-rib pattern and rigid block design allow for enhanced durability, exceptional on-road response and optimized off-road handling. Two stiff extra-wide steel belts enable stability, while four wide multi-angled grooves enable superb water, mud and snow evacuation. Biting block edges provide additional, unparalleled traction and control. The WildPeak A/T is available in 15-inch to 24-inch applications, up to a 37-inch overall diameter.



The R52 HEAVY DUTY incorporates specialized materials and construction techniques to endure the punishment of heavy-duty commercial light truck vehicle applications. Using a unique notched-rib tread design, the R52 HD delivers all-season traction with outstanding stability in wet and dry conditions, even under heavy loads. Available in 16-inch rim diameters, the R52 HD sets the standard for light truck heavy-duty applications where durability and all-season traction are a requirement.


Dick Cepek


Trail Country

The Dick Cepek Trail Country is a true all-terrain tire that delivers a unique five-rib tread design, aggressive off-road capabilities, confident highway control and wear, and balanced all-season performance. The familiar Dick Cepek tread pattern that has proven itself for years has been updated for the Trail Country to tackle tough off-road terrains, while providing superior on-road performance and handling. The intermediate tread elements are tied together in pairs, with our ramp-lock design. This ramped feature helps reduce stone retention by pushing gravel towards the wide, circumferential grooves for easy release. The wide, zigzag shape of the circumferential grooves provides increased soft surface and snow traction. The buttress design with alternating shoulder scallops gives the Trail Country an aggressive look and increases the off-road traction of the tire.


Mud Country

The Dick Cepek Mud Country features the latest in radial tire technology including precision laser-cut, segmented molds for uniformity and spiral wound nylon overwraps for high performance handling. It is available in a wide selection of traditional and specialty truck sizes for almost any on- or off-road application. Some of the most unique features include three-ply sidewalls with cross-ply technology, increased puncture and tear resistance at the sidewall and great towing capabilities.



The Dick Cepek Crusher Radial is the perfect tire for diesel owners who are seeking aggressive off-road traction while maintaining handling ability on regular streets. Perfect because it features a unique tread pattern, tough three-ply sidewalls and functional skull sidebiters, it’s a great tire for truck owners who want a customized look.

This tire can bear a high load while towing and comes with added traction and noise control. The high-void tread lugs are self-cleaning and perfect for traction in snow and mud.


Mickey Thompson


Baja STZ

The Baja STZ offers excellent steering response, superior grip, and great all-weather traction, making it the perfect choice for work, play, or sportsman applications. It also has an aggressive tread design, variable density nylon overwraps, serrated tie bars and shoulder scallops, and strategic siping for improved stability, long wear, and traction in wet or icy conditions.

LT metric sizes offer increased towing capabilities, and multi-drag lug angles improve self-cleaning while increasing the lug stability and reducing the stone retention.


Baja Claw

The Baja Claw is designed for extreme driving conditions, including rock crawling, mud, snow, sand, dirt, and gravel. Extra large sidebiters and a cut resistant sidewall make this the toughest tire for any truck.

This tire includes a full six-ply lower sidewall with cut-resistant compound and circumferential grooves allow flexing for better rock crawling.


Baja MTZ Radial

Extreme off-roaders will appreciate the great ride and handling that this mud tire has on the highway. The MTZ has Mickey Thompson's Power Ply sidewalls with a special angled third ply to give you high performance handling, better puncture resistance, and improved towing capability. It has advanced radial construction which creates great gas mileage and a smooth ride. It comes in a number of different sizes for almost any truck out there.


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