Time for new tires... suggestions? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 11-17-2015, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Time for new tires... suggestions?

My 2010 Tundra is due for new tires and I'm wondering if any of you have some wisdom to share on how to pick them out. The main concerns for me are performance on wet pavement, strength for towing (2 horse slant, ~5500 lbs fully loaded), and performance on light mud (not talking about off-roading, just gravel roads that don't have nearly enough gravel). I do drive this truck quite a bit, so I'd like to avoid anything that will adversely affect fuel efficiency noticeably. A friend recommended I pay special attention to getting a good, quality tire since I don't have 4WD.

Currently I have the OEM tires that came on the truck (P255/70R18): Michelin LTX A/S They're expensive and get so-so reviews. No real complaints about them- I've gotten stuck in mud with them while towing (only once badly enough where I had to unhook and have someone else extract my trailer), but I'm not sure how much difference other tires would have made.

I admit I'm not 100% sure about what to look for in a new tire, but bookmarked these a little while back:
General Grabber HTS (Apparently it's on closeout now so I may not be able to get 4 of these anyway)
Continental CrossContactLX20

Any opinions on those two? Other suggestions? Advise on what specs matter most? Best places to buy them (not the dealership, obviously!)

I do plan on getting my alignment adjusted when the new tires are installed (current tires have an uneven wear pattern). Anything else I should be considering?

“The horse is a mirror to your soul. Sometimes you might not like what you see. Sometimes you will.” - Buck Brannaman
"Nothing forced can ever be beautiful." - Xenophon
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post #2 of 25 Old 11-18-2015, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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*Bump*
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post #3 of 25 Old 11-18-2015, 04:58 PM
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I think that you need to find a tire store. I get all of our tires rotated on all of our cars and two trucks, and they give me pretty good advice.
I think that because your truck is NOT a 4-wheel drive, so the tires will not ever give you the same traction as a 4-wheel drive.
I own two trucks. My older truck is 3/4 ton Dodge Cummins and it is not 4-wheel drive. My newer truck is a Full ton Dodge Cummins, doolie 4 wheel drive.
My older truck has always been a beached whale off of pavement, unless it's bone dry.
My newer truck can push you out of a snow bank, and we have done this.
It's just the nature of the truck and the power that you get from a 4-wheel drive.
I once drove a set of Michelins on a car for 95K miles, because I just didn't think about replacing the tires. That was much further than was recommended for those tires and I am sold on Michelins.
I would advise putting on a new set of Michelins.

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post #4 of 25 Old 11-19-2015, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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I went to a couple tire stores today and was not particularly impressed. No one could really explain what load rating I needed... they kept talking in 'ply rating' but looking tires up in their system by load rating, even though they couldn't explain the correlation between the two. Apparently my current tires are "4 ply" and they want to sell me "10 ply" tires (E rated, from what I can tell). If that's what I need to get to safely tow then fine, but they couldn't explain why I would need that.

My truck's GVWR is 6700 lbs; if all weight were evenly distributed (although in reality it never is) that would be 1675 lbs on each. My current tires are rated at 2469 lbs each. This seems like an adequate margin of safety to me, even knowing that the rear axle is going to be carrying more weight when towing. The load range E tires are rated at 3415 lbs. That really seems like overkill.

Am I thinking about this right, or am I missing something?

“The horse is a mirror to your soul. Sometimes you might not like what you see. Sometimes you will.” - Buck Brannaman
"Nothing forced can ever be beautiful." - Xenophon
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post #5 of 25 Old 11-20-2015, 08:52 AM
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Find a store that sells tires for semi's. We didn't know that the trailer company went cheap on our trailer tires UNTIL we travelled to the 145th Gettysburg Reenactment with three horses, and bought one more and went home with four. 50 miles towards home we blew one tire. 400 miles further and we blew the second. We travel with TWO spares for our trailer. We got on our Garmin and found a tire store that serviced semi's, and they replaced them with the horses still in the trailer.
I am SURE that one can help you with your truck tires. =D

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Hope that you fall in love with "Trot", like I did! https://www.horseforum.com/general-of...queens-617793/
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post #6 of 25 Old 11-25-2015, 05:15 AM
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Michelin is in my opinion the best tyre. I have driven in Continental winter tyres as well and was quite happy with them too (but they do wear out faster, though not "fast" - only relative to Michelin).
The General Grabber is OK, but there is a good reason for it to be cheaper.

I have also driven a Defender in Cooper Discoverer, which were also not bad, but not at Michelin level for sure.

There is one underlying principle for me when I choose tyres: good expensive tyres pay off the first time you manage to stop and they make the difference.


Not sure how big Kumho tyres are in your area, but I would not go for them anymore - have had two different sets on two different 4x4 vehicles and was not happy with either.
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post #7 of 25 Old 11-25-2015, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Unfortunately, a recommendation of an entire brand is not super helpful... I have Michelins right now and while I haven't had any major issues with them, their tread life leaves something to be desired and I think they're probably not the best match for my usage. Another Michelin model might be, of course.

After looking into it more, I think I want to get a light truck (LT) tire instead of a passenger (P) tire like what's on there now. If I stick to the current size that's on there (255/70R18) I pretty much just have one option for an LT tire: BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2

It seems like LT275/65R18 would also work (same diameter, about 1/2" wider tread) and that gives me a much larger selection. Most are load range E/10 ply, which still seems like overkill to me. There is one that comes in load range C/6 ply: Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S, which is what I'm leaning towards right now. This model also comes in a 10 ply with minimal price difference.

So... any precautions I should take when switching to a different tire size? Any reason I should really go with 10 ply? Any suggestions of other specs or specific models I should consider?

“The horse is a mirror to your soul. Sometimes you might not like what you see. Sometimes you will.” - Buck Brannaman
"Nothing forced can ever be beautiful." - Xenophon
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post #8 of 25 Old 11-25-2015, 03:59 PM
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Actually brands are super helpful with tyres. There is a clear pecking order that has been established through millions of kilometres driven by millions of people. An opinion on a tyre reflecting size and conforming to a particular vehicle can possibly be given by an owner of such a vehicle with the particular tyres on. This you will be challenged to find, especially someone who has gone through several different brands.

BF Goodrich is a good tyre from the middle class of tyres - though not a Michelin, the tyre has generated a following in the off-road circles in particular. I see that you are looking now at AT tyres... Here you really need to consider the difference between passenger and all terrain tyres. From what you have written, I do not see why you would go for AT. Passenger tyres provide better traction on asphalt, better fuel economy and the ride is smoother with less noise. AT is a compromise for road drivers that like to test their vehicle off the beaten path now and then, but do not want to switch tyres. I would recommend that you find someone around you with AT tyres and drive their vehicle, but do not drive for 2-3km - drive for 2-3 hours if possible.

I am unable to comment on "ply" as I suspect tyres are marked in a different way in Europe - what does ply stand for? It is indeed frustrating when "professionals" cannot explain what their product is and why you should buy it.
Here we have, apart from the size, speed rating and load rating. In the registration of the car all of this information is included - if the tyres on the vehicle do not comply on any parameter, insurance is invalidated in case of an accident. Not a fun situation. My car's max speed is 170km/h, but I am required to drive with tyres of up to 210km/h - do not like it as I usually do not do over 140km/h, but have no choice.

With regard to tyre width - wider tyres are generally for the summer. I drive in 245s in summer, which I replaced a month ago with winter 225s. Again, my car has two approved of tyre sizes - 245/70/16 104H (104 is load index, H is speed rating) and 225/75/16 104H - not all do - most likely have a single approved size. I am illegal with anything else - check your truck's documents/registration papers or information on the car itself. Here we have metal plaques that specify this along with pressure. Do not remember how it was on the cars I had in the US... Here it looks like this:


I currently drive in Michelin Alpin LA2 (very happy).
In the summer had Kumhos (inherited, never would touch them otherwise).
Before have driven in Cooper Discoverer M+S (not bad at all, but M+S are again a compromise - neither summer, nor winter tyres, but still legal for both seasons). Towed my trailer like a charm.
Continental Contiwintercontact (very happy)
Also other brands before, but do not remember their names anymore.

All of these are passenger tyres - toyed with the idea of AT, but decided against it.

How many miles did you get on your Michelins and how much thread do you have left?
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post #9 of 25 Old 11-25-2015, 04:20 PM
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As far as AT v. stock/passanger tires, I can tell you that on our RAM 1500 driving with stock tires over soggy grass or a wet pasture is like driving on ice and AT tires make a big difference. They do affect the MPG some and are, of course, noisier and less comfortable.
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post #10 of 25 Old 11-25-2015, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comfortably Numb View Post
Actually brands are super helpful with tyres. There is a clear pecking order that has been established through millions of kilometres driven by millions of people. An opinion on a tyre reflecting size and conforming to a particular vehicle can possibly be given by an owner of such a vehicle with the particular tyres on. This you will be challenged to find, especially someone who has gone through several different brands.
I think anti-recommendations are more helpful as far as brand generalizations go. Michelin makes so many tire models that choosing a tire just because it's Michelin is just as likely to get me a great tire as it is to get me something ill-suited to my needs (even if that same tire is great for someone else). On the other hand, you're unlikely to steer someone wrong by telling them to avoid Kumhos.

Quote:
I see that you are looking now at AT tyres... Here you really need to consider the difference between passenger and all terrain tyres. From what you have written, I do not see why you would go for AT. Passenger tyres provide better traction on asphalt, better fuel economy and the ride is smoother with less noise. AT is a compromise for road drivers that like to test their vehicle off the beaten path now and then, but do not want to switch tyres. I would recommend that you find someone around you with AT tyres and drive their vehicle, but do not drive for 2-3km - drive for 2-3 hours if possible.
It's not so much that I think I need all-terrain tires, but most of the load rated tires (LT) are also AT. There are quite a few passenger tires that are also AT, so it's not really an either-or. I would prefer to try and avoid the more aggressive tread patterns (like the BF Goodrich) because I don't think it's necessary and would adversely affect fuel economy. My boarding barn has a gravel drive around it that's not well maintained (read: muddy pot holes!) and is quite steep on one side. This is the worst terrain I expect to drive on but I drive on it often and it might be a bit of a challenge for strictly highway tires.

Quote:
I am unable to comment on "ply" as I suspect tyres are marked in a different way in Europe - what does ply stand for? It is indeed frustrating when "professionals" cannot explain what their product is and why you should buy it.
As best as I can tell, 10-ply is synonymous with load range E, 8-ply with load range D, 6-ply with load range C, and 4-ply with passenger tires. LT tires are supposed to be designed more for trucks/SUVs carrying heavy loads, with E being the highest load range (at least in the tires available to me). The higher the load range, the more weight it can carry. The ply terminology is an outdated term from when the tires were actually constructed with X number of plies (layers) and more plies meant stronger tires. These days tires are made from a variety of different materials, so the number of layers doesn't necessarily correspond to higher strength when comparing different tires. The ply rating people talk about today is a roughly equivalent to the number of 'traditional' plies that would have been necessary to create that level of strength.

Quote:
Here we have, apart from the size, speed rating and load rating. In the registration of the car all of this information is included - if the tyres on the vehicle do not comply on any parameter, insurance is invalidated in case of an accident. Not a fun situation.
I don't believe our laws are quite that strict here, though of course you'd be found at fault if you caused an accident because you had altered your vehicle in such a way as too cause a failure. The 2010 Tundras came from the factory equipped with both 255/70R18 or 275/65R18, depending on the trim package, and the "professionals" at the tire shops have led me to believe that both sizes would work fine on my specific truck.

Quote:
With regard to tyre width - wider tyres are generally for the summer. I drive in 245s in summer, which I replaced a month ago with winter 225s.
Why the narrower tires for winter? Wider tires seem like they would be better for the very wet winters we have here when traction is needed more. Our summers are typically quite dry and I would expect a narrower tire to work better then.

Quote:
How many miles did you get on your Michelins and how much thread do you have left?
I'm right at 35k miles now and have 4mm tread depth remaining. The listings for these tires have them guaranteed to 60k miles (but I'm not eligible for any warranty on them because I bought the truck used)

“The horse is a mirror to your soul. Sometimes you might not like what you see. Sometimes you will.” - Buck Brannaman
"Nothing forced can ever be beautiful." - Xenophon
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