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Unread 03-09-2012, 10:16 AM   #1
Deacon
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Tow rig tires

I'm leaning toward MT/R Kevlars.

My 2011 F250 6.7L Super Duty is often my daily driver and is always my tow rig, including a big-*** dual tandem OTW flatbed gooseneck with two Jeeps on it, weighing in at about 15k lbs total. Yes, I have installed airbags to counteract the suspension squat It came from the factory with the 3.55 gearing and 34's (275/65-20 = 34.1x10.8"), but the dealership agreed to swap them with another truck that had the 33's (275/70-18 = 33.2x10.8").

I want to run something that looks good, does well in mud on a hunting lease, has impervious sidewalls, handles the loads I'll put on it, and generally won't wreck the ride or get super noisy. I am NOT interested in lifting the truck. I could run 37's at stock height (which looks awesome), but I don't want to regear, don't want to destroy my fuel mileage too badly, and I don't want to wear out all the joints and bearings and stuff to quickly--I plan to keep this truck for many years. So I'm sticking to 35's. The sidewalls are important, by the way, because the cactus around here can be brutal; one at K2 poked a hole in the sidewall of the Nitto Terra Grapplers I had on my old tow rig.

I'm looking at Goodyear DuraTrac in 325/65-18 (34.8x13) with max load capacity of 3,860@65 or Goodyear MT/R Kevlar in 285/75-18 (35.1x11.3) with max load capacity of 4,080@80 (both load range E). I will also occasionally have to deal with mud (by necessity not for fun). Both will fit in the wheel well with plenty of space to spare, but the MT/R Kevlar will be closer to stock width.

Honestly I'd rather have the MTR Kevlars but think it would look nice with the DuraTracs as well, though I'm not sure how either would be on the road at first or after some wear has been put on them. I don't want it to be squirmy or all that jazz.

Any recommendations?


EDIT: A gratuitous pic of the truck and trailer:





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Unread 03-09-2012, 01:11 PM   #2
KKiowaTJ
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The duratrac's will melt right off along with a weak side wall. The kevlars wont last much longer but will have the side wall strength. IMO look at the cooper ST maxx. They are great at towing along with light mud and quiet as hell. The side wall strength on them are great alot of contractors run them on company rigs. Just as strong as kevlars to an extent and will net higher mileage. Good luck either way
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Unread 03-11-2012, 08:05 PM   #3
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I agree. Cooper ST MAXX or STT M/T are both great tires. The Falken Wild Peak AT also is a strong tire with super strong sidewalls.
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Unread 03-12-2012, 01:58 PM   #4
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I don't have first hand experience, but I like the Duratracs. I think they look great, should last reasonably long, and have a great aggressive all-terrain tread.

Another aggressive all-terrain choice is the Dick Cepek FCII radials.

Are you keeping the factory rims? I'm not sure I would want 325s on the stock rims. They would fit, but I wonder if they would wear in the center too much when pumped up hard for high loads.

Also, are you sure you want 35" tall tires and 3.55 gears for towing duty? I think I would stick with 33s or 34s. The first sizes that come to mind with your truck & stock wheels is 295/65R18 or 305/65R18. I definitely wouldn't want the 285/75 size -- too tall & skinny. I think I would buy the GY Duratracs in 295/65R18. My 2nd choice would probably be BFGs in 305/65R18. The Dick Cepek FC IIs might be great for you too, in any of the four 18" sizes.

Last edited by Eric290; 03-12-2012 at 02:36 PM.. Reason: sp
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Unread 03-12-2012, 03:38 PM   #5
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I'll look into the Coopers. Thanks for the suggestion. I talked to my buddy who's run the 35" Kevlars on his '06 Super Duty, and he says they've been great with no complaints, for whatever that's worth.

EDIT: According to Cooper's website, the S/T MAXX is only a 3-ply sidewall and is only available in one 18" size: 275/70-18 -- same exact size as stock. I'm looking to go larger. Otherwise I'll just leave these Michelins on. For the STT's, the only size I'd consider is 35x12.5, which is wider than stock but would probably look nice. Still only 3 plies. Why do some manufacturers advertise 10-ply? Educate me: what am I missing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KKiowaTJ View Post
The duratrac's will melt right off along with a weak side wall. The kevlars wont last much longer but will have the side wall strength.
Considering they're load range E tires (with the Kevlars at over 4k lbs at 80 psi), why would you say that? I'm assuming I'm missing something... I ran Nitto Terra Grapplers on my old truck, and they were fine, too, though they did wear down quickly. I'd run Toyo Open Country M/T's which are tough as hell, but they're a little rough and a lot heavy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric290 View Post
Also, are you sure you want 35" tall tires and 3.55 gears for towing duty?
Definitely. The 3.55 ratio is the optional deeper ratio with the 6.7 and 6-speed auto (it doesn't go deeper till F450 chassis cabs). And it came with tires that measured nearly 34.5" so why would 35's really be so bad?

Quote:
I definitely wouldn't want the 285/75 size -- too tall & skinny.
You mean you don't prefer the look?
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Unread 03-12-2012, 04:05 PM   #6
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The duratrac's and kevlars are made from a soft rubber compound. My kevlars might see 40k on a TJ, How much more will your set up weigh loaded for the trails?

I'm not saying they are not a good tire, But for the coin your going to drop, There are much better options. The Toyo m/t's are made of iron and would take the beating, I dont know what they weigh off hand, But my 35" C load kevlars are 67lbs tire alone and 89lbs with my 8" alloys.

With tire prices going up daily IMO i would want a tow tire that i buy today and not have to worry about it for years. To each their own, But i have seen the ST maxx go the distance, Great traction, And if you need a tire repair most tire shops and mom and pop shops have coopers easily available to get you back on the road in 24 hours or less. Good luck either way
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Unread 03-12-2012, 04:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deacon View Post

Definitely. The 3.55 ratio is the optional deeper ratio with the 6.7 and 6-speed auto (it doesn't go deeper till F450 chassis cabs). And it came with tires that measured nearly 34.5" so why would 35's really be so bad?

You mean you don't prefer the look?
Gotcha. Going to 35s probably won't hurt the final drive ratio too bad, but you had mentioned that you had the dealer go from the 34s down to the 33s when you bought the truck ---- So even though it came with 34.1" tall tires from the factory, you will be going from 33s to 35s. For you, the difference between your current 33s and 35s will likely be pretty noticeable when pulling a loaded trailer up a 6% grade.

I wouldn't want the 285/75s because of the tall & skinny look. I'm sure the 75 series tires look a lot narrower than any of the 65 series tires.
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Unread 03-12-2012, 04:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deacon View Post
I'll look into the Coopers. Thanks for the suggestion. I talked to my buddy who's run the 35" Kevlars on his '06 Super Duty, and he says they've been great with no complaints, for whatever that's worth.

EDIT: According to Cooper's website, the S/T MAXX is only a 3-ply sidewall and is only available in one 18" size: 275/70-18 -- same exact size as stock. I'm looking to go larger. Otherwise I'll just leave these Michelins on. For the STT's, the only size I'd consider is 35x12.5, which is wider than stock but would probably look nice. Still only 3 plies. Why do some manufacturers advertise 10-ply? Educate me: what am I missing?


Considering they're load range E tires (with the Kevlars at over 4k lbs at 80 psi), why would you say that? I'm assuming I'm missing something... I ran Nitto Terra Grapplers on my old truck, and they were fine, too, though they did wear down quickly. I'd run Toyo Open Country M/T's which are tough as hell, but they're a little rough and a lot heavy.



Definitely. The 3.55 ratio is the optional deeper ratio with the 6.7 and 6-speed auto (it doesn't go deeper till F450 chassis cabs). And it came with tires that measured nearly 34.5" so why would 35's really be so bad?

You mean you don't prefer the look?
The 3-ply rating is the sidewalls only. Those are the strongest sidewalls you can buy for a street truck.

The 8-ply or 10-ply rating is for the tread contact area of the tire, and it's sort of misleading these days because tires don't actually have a true 10 plies anymore...they are just the "equivalent" of a former 10-ply tire.

I assure you that the Coopers will be a tougher tire than any Good-for-a-year tire...with the exception of the MT/R-Kevlar.
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Unread 03-12-2012, 04:59 PM   #9
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EDIT: Thanks for the clarification, WXman!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric290 View Post
For you, the difference between your current 33s and 35s will likely be pretty noticeable when pulling a loaded trailer up a 6% grade.
Yeah, the more I think about it, you may be right. I pull through the Texas hill country pretty often and am planning another wheeling trip to Colorado this summer, which includes crossing the mountains to over by Grand Junction. There's lots of steep pulling. It's handled it easily with ~33's so far. I may decide not to go over 34's...

Considering I want to keep the stock 18x8 wheels, I think I probably wouldn't want to go past a 295 width. Those Toyos certainly have lots of options. The 285/70 may work without going too wide, at ~34"...
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Unread 03-12-2012, 05:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deacon View Post

Considering I want to keep the stock 18x8 wheels, I think I probably wouldn't want to go past a 295 width. Those Toyos certainly have lots of options. The 285/70 may work without going too wide, at ~34"...
The Toyo Open Country MTs might be just the ticket for you. Most people that have them love them, good size selection, aggressive but still streetable. The only drawbacks I've ever heard about them are price and weight.
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Unread 03-13-2012, 12:51 AM   #11
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whatever you get dont get nitto trail grapplers. they are e rated but the sidewalls balloon out like crazy on mine even empty. and the rubber is soft as hell.
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Unread 03-13-2012, 07:56 PM   #12
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That's a nice lookin' rig. I miss my '06 F150 since I sold it.
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Unread 03-13-2012, 11:28 PM   #13
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Thanks!

I found out a guy I know has a hook-up with a tire guy. I'm going to see what kind of deal he can get me on a set of Toyo Open Country MT's and what he'll give me for my factory tires. Or a good friend may take them to put on his F350 since the Nitto Terra Grapplers he's got on there are about down to the wire.

The Michelin "AT" tires that come with the FX4 package aren't bad street/tow tires. Just not sure about them in the mud, and I miss having better looking tires. They're boring
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Unread 03-14-2012, 06:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deacon View Post
Thanks!

I found out a guy I know has a hook-up with a tire guy. I'm going to see what kind of deal he can get me on a set of Toyo Open Country MT's and what he'll give me for my factory tires. Or a good friend may take them to put on his F350 since the Nitto Terra Grapplers he's got on there are about down to the wire.

The Michelin "AT" tires that come with the FX4 package aren't bad street/tow tires. Just not sure about them in the mud, and I miss having better looking tires. They're boring
not sure what michelins they are putting on now a days, but i had a set of michelin at's on mine when i got it and it drove through 2' of snow like it was nothing. they looked boring but performed amazingly.
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Unread 03-20-2012, 11:00 AM   #15
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They're the LTX AT2. After pulling this weekend, I think I may just stick with them till they wear out. I'm about to have to drop a bunch of money on trailer wheels and tires, and that will wipe out the option of any new truck tires anyway. So far the Michelins have been fantastic--just not sure about mud.
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