Perfect off-highway tire = LTX? What?

WyoCherokee

Adventurer
WyoCherokee did the trucks have any difference in weight or gear? I've had exactly the opposite experience with them. Not saying you didnt, just wondering if weight could have explained some of the difference. But maybe some other difference explains it- footprint of your old tires vs footprint of the Michelin's or something else. Just odd that it's so different for some.
Nope, same CCSB Ram 2500 6.7 cummins, G56 just 4 years in age difference. rolling across the scales, there was less than 200lbs difference in weight. same tire size, same load rating, same tire pressures. The michelins have a noticeable narrower treadwidth vs traditional AT's. IMO(and everyone has one) these tires are made for highway use with the occasional gravel road. the sidewalls already have cuts and chunks missing, simply from concrete curbs from parallel parking and gravel roads.
 

vargsmetal

Active member
For some reason, lots of folks think tire traction is simple, thus they can "intuitively" understand what works best. Hence folks with 13" wide MT big chunky swampers on their 5,000lb rigs.

The reality is that traction, especially on variable surfaces is not simple. Its a complex mix of contact pressure, mechanical keying, rubber properties, air pressure, etc.

The truth is that mud tires have poor traction on everything but mud. At least compared to an AT tire. Lots of void space done not make for better traction on most surfaces! Instead there is a fine balance that results in the best mechanical keying. Of course this is somewhat obvious by the naming scheme. If the MT was good all-around, it wouldn't be sold exclusively for mud!

The same goes for mega wide tires. Unless you need flotating on deep sand, you will get better traction (and often better ride) choosing a tire that is the right width for the weight, and airing down. At 4,000lb per axle, that is around 11", it goes down proportionally from there. Though on hard surfaces going down to 10" is likely better.

Regardless of the science involved, folks like the look of aggressive MTs, and mega wide sizes. Thus confirmation bias lends it hand to the percieved superiority.

If you need soft/deep mud traction then you need MT type tires. For everything else a quality AT will ride better, quieter, wear longer, and provide better mixed surface traction.
This is an over generalization and not really applicable to modern M/Ts. Take the STT pro for example, they have siping and fairly quiet tread design. They work great in snow/slush, and equal the AT3s I had on the truck before and the HT tires I have on my other truck. They are an aggressive off road tire, not just for mud. While I agree that an AT is the universal choice, going with an MT is not a bad choice. If you look at any competition rock crawler they will most likely have a wide MT, and most of them will be lighter than the average overlanding rig.

While I agree that going with a narrow tire gives better fuel mileage and better handling characteristics on the road, off road you want the wider contact patch. Which is why we air down, not just for the softer ride but to maximize the contact patch. Again with the rock crawler example, they run single digit tire pressures with beadlocks. So if you can live with the wider tire on road it's not a bad thing. (But once they get stupid wide I agree that it looks dumb)

Tire type and size is very subjective. Run the ones you like that do what you need them to do.


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luthj

Engineer In Residence
Airing down does not widen the contact patch appreciably, it lengthens it. Take a look at the camel trophy and baja pro cars, you will find they are much narrower on average, than what is "intuitively" chosen by many wheelers/overlanders. Wider tires do improve lateral stability in severe corning, which is why many MFGs have wide tires on their vehicles from the factory. This does not improve traction on high traction surfaces, and in many cases is detrimental to aired down performance on soft sand, and especially so on snow.

I will admit 13" wide tires can look quite good, that doesn't translate to traction in many conditions.
 

gwittman

Adventurer
One thing I like about narrower tires is; it is easier to avoid some obstacles as opposed to just driving over them. Of course, it does take some effort maneuvering around them. Wider tires take up more space and can make it more difficult to avoid obstacles.
 

pskhaat

2005 Expedition Trophy Champion
..never tried the LTX tires off-road much but did almost get stuck in some light mud in Kansas on the home farm one time with them. I have not tried airing them down but I can't imagine they would be as good off-road as my MTs.
Seriously, IMNSHO everything sucks in mud. :poop: As stated every MT I've ever driven sucks just the same, anyway:

Because I feel like a goober running my vehicle on these tires, I secretly want them to fail. I've run these at 10psi for seriously thousands of miles. 5-6psi for hundreds, they do shockingly well. They're E-rated but comform to surfaces like a C-rate.

I don't doubt what you have said here but I still have a hard time thinking a LTX tires will do everything a good AT tire does.
At least in my last few years experience on these, and over 30 years running MTs, I would not discount a full MT, but these will do all any AT/XT would do and then 10x. YMMV.
 

pskhaat

2005 Expedition Trophy Champion
If you need soft/deep mud traction then you need MT type tires.
I'd love to do a MT vs literally anything else in-mud YouTube video. All the same failure. Mud kills everything, always. Terrible stuff.
 

pskhaat

2005 Expedition Trophy Champion
i have to disagree with your conclusion for off highway uses. michelin makes great on -road tires...

sidewall chunking now evident.

... these handle great on dry pavement, and are super quiet.
They chucked off on the sidewall? I've run these on igneous rock and have not seen this.

Michelin doesn't really care at all about our overlanding or off-road ways. They make great heavy truck and car tires. I believe that their focus in those areas has unbeknownst-to-them created a fantastic sub-MT tire they never intended. Sorry about your experiences. I feel I've run the gamut on these stupid things.
 

pskhaat

2005 Expedition Trophy Champion
While I agree that an AT is the universal choice, going with an MT is not a bad choice.
Actually, I think ATs themselves are very overrated. I might counter-intuitively argue against ATs. I do still believe in MTs, in very, very specific circumstances. I used to believe that highly-siped, studded MTs were the ultimate solution for nearly everything. Even chained where the lugs could catch the chains in-place. Alas still, a super-skinny, high-aspect ratio or course.

But minus competing again in the Camel Trophy (will someone please re-intro that) I'm finding it hard to believe in MTs other than admittedly damn good looks.

While I agree that going with a narrow tire gives better fuel mileage and better handling characteristics on the road, off road you want the wider contact patch.
Someone else has already answered this one, but the US Army has run evasive and high-speed maneuvering studies on this and concludes that higher-aspect and single (vs dual) tire is superior in almost every scenario.

But once they get stupid wide I agree that it looks dumb
Totes! Anything wider than a 275mm width looks dumb to me. ;-) Of course I'm running 295s....
 

pskhaat

2005 Expedition Trophy Champion
three-ply sidewalls are a must IMO.
Plys are all just equivalent ratings nowadays. A legacy ply didn't cause nor prevent a tear or puncture, literally just a ply layer that could be composed of various levels of whatever threading and rubber stuff. Admittedly I don't know what they sidewall ply equivalency is on these. 🤔

☝ that said and as a tangent so many folks focus on the C/D/E (etc) loadings. That's awesome if you highway tow. A C-rated tire is arguably superior for surface compliance and doesn't mean a weaker sidewall as long as the load is within range (which at overlander GVWR should be).
 
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NoDak

Member
Plys are all just equivalent ratings nowadays. A legacy ply didn't cause nor prevent a tear or puncture, literally just a ply layer that could be composed of various levels of whatever threading and rubber stuff. Admittedly I don't know what they sidewall ply equivalency is on these. 🤔

☝ that said and as a tangent so many folks focus on the C/D/E (etc) loadings. That's awesome if you highway tow. A C-rated tire is arguably superior for surface compliance and doesn't mean a weaker sidewall as long as the load is within range (which at overlander GVWR should be).
Sidewall poly plys use denier as a measurement of density. IIRC, BFG AT uses three plys of 1000 denier poly in their sidewalls. General Grabber AT has two plys of 1500 denier poly. Which is better? I dunno...I think its just marketing.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
Plys are all just equivalent ratings nowadays.
You may be confusing the 10-plies equals E-rated from the bias ply days. Two vs three actual ply sidewalls is a valid comparison of construction. Duratracs have 2-ply construction while BFG ATs have 3 ply and the club (Rising Sun) experience is that Duratracs really do have a disadvantage in technical situations with sidewall damage and wear, e.g. rocks, roots.
 

pskhaat

2005 Expedition Trophy Champion
Duratracs really do have a disadvantage in technical situations with sidewall damage and wear, e.g. rocks, roots.
Interesting. I never did like the Duratracs I had, not one bit. Alas I never did have a sidewall problem though.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
I do still believe in MTs, in very, very specific circumstances.
Yes, the reason for a "real" MT exists and it's for deep homogenous mud, snow or sand. The large voids clear themselves more effectively rather than staying packed up. But even if an MT could in theory work on dirt roads and packed snow you'd have to spool the tires up throw the debris out, which isn't an ideal way to creep along I-70 in ski traffic, constantly spinning your tires to clear them.
 
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