Tires for HD diesel truck (50/50 towing/not, 90/10 pavement/dirt)

Nov 30, 2022
Howdy everyone. 👋🙂

Brief introduction

Long term BITOG lurker. I'm OCD about vehicle preventive maintenance, but nowhere near the knowledge depth on UOA stuff as some of these members. -I've learned a lot. Will learn a lot more, I'm sure.

I reside in Colorado, am an avid outdoorsman and a family man that believes in taking great care of all things and members in my household.

Now, onto my question

2021 GMC Sierra 3500HD 4x4 L5P CCLB
Occasionally tows an 11k GVWR Travel Trailer in all sorts of road and weather conditions. My OEM Michelin LTX A/T2 tires have 17k miles on them and I'd be pleasantly surprised if they reach 25k mi. at the wear bars. These tires have perfomed "OK". The only time I wasn't satisfied with them was off-road (of course), but they've otherwise been "fine". Nothing impressive. My GMC is Base trim, so the tire/wheel size is LT275/70R18. The next tire set will be a 35-37" on a 20" wheel (I've already acquired the new wheels).

I'm hoping to hear from folks who have a comparable application to mine.

Some of my tire considerations and thoughts thus far

Michelin Defender LTX M/S
I have mixed feelings about this tire. I've run these tires on my old '16 Tundra and was shocked to see the tread life melt away to 1/2 life in just 15k miles. At the time, the "Defender" line had just debuted, and I've read/heard that Michelin has since "fixed" the rubber compound of the Defender line to yield more tread life. One member recently reported to me that he has 37k miles on his Defender LTX tires with 8/32 remaining. He tows heavier than me also, and may not travel the same road conditions that I do; considerations I have to account for also.

I suspect that modern diesel trucks are putting so much torque to the wheels, that all the siping might actually (in this application) be a detriment to tread life, since the tread lugs will be able to "flex" more, versus a larger tread lug with less siping and more surface area (larger lug) to stick planted to the pavement under high load/high torque scenarios. -Thinking about the tires all those big OTR trucks and dump trucks run on. The previous Generation LTX M/S2 was known to have 80k miles tread life (properly maintained). But that generation of LTX M/S was also during a period when diesel pickup trucks were producing half the torque numbers they are today.

Toyo Open Country AT III
I've run the previous generation AT II variant of this tire on my old '12 Tacoma. They were fine on dry roads, but I wasn't impressed with them in the snow/ice, and they weren't that impressive offroad either. However... the NEW gen AT III just looks like it is a much improved tread design. There looks to be an adequate siping count and also siping that doesn't cut all the way through the tread lugs edge-to-edge like the Michelin LTX M/S either. Adequate tread lug count, and the tread voids look proportionate and effective for an A/T. Made in the USA 🇺🇸.

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T
Looks awesome, made in the USA 🇺🇸 and appears to have appropriate tread design for my application, except for the shoulder lug voids; those look too large for a HD truck that's towing something through curvy mountain roads 🏔️. I'd still appreciate an input on this tire in a comparable application.

Cooper Discoverer A/T3 XLT
This tire's tread pattern reminds me of the Michelin LTX M/S, if it were to spend time in the gym 💪. They've discontinued the large size (325/60R20) I was considering. I was pretty well set on this tire until I learned that straight from a Cooper Tires Rep. I am still interested to hear from others experience on this tire. Made in USA🇺🇸.

Yokohama Geolandar G015
I read @john_pifer thread about this tire on his Tacoma. Great thread. I also PM'd him directly to get an update on his satisfaction with it. He says he has "no complaints", but encouraged me to post up a thread here since our applications aren't 🍎➡️🍏.

Falken Wildpeak AT3W
I've admired this tire since its debut. The tread design looks like a perfect compromise for my application. I was pretty well set on running these until I learned they are now being made in Thailand 🇹🇭. They used to have quite a selection of sizes being made in the USA (per Falken's website), but that doesn't appear to be the case anymore, according to TireRack.

Long post. But I wanted to get out all of my current considerations. Thanks for any input!

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Defender LTX or Continental TerrainContact H/T
These were the two I narrowed it down to for my 2016 Ram 2500. I went with the Michelins from Costco due to a slight price advantage.

I had the Michelins on my '96 Ram 2500 that I had before the '16, I had to replace them right before I sold it due to age. They were 10 years old and both fronts started getting tread separation. I can't remember the mileage they had, but don't remember them wearing quickly.
toyo open country AT III. my brother in law has a fleet of chevrolet 2500HD with duramax. these trucks are used in the logging industry in northern canada. these tires are tough as nails and they have the snow flake symbol. if i had a heavy duty truck, i would have these tires on my truck. but your choices are all good choices. the falken are also very good.
I have the Yoko G015s on the rear of the F-450, they've done really well with a HUGE amount of weight on them. I used to swear by the Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revos (I've had Revo Ones & 2s), but I don't know a lot about the 3s, unfortunately. I just know a 3PMS LT tire is what I would run if I had to tow in any kind of bad weather, at all!
Why are you only considering all terrains when it's mostly on pavement? You mention tread life many times, a highway tire will last much longer than an A/T
Poor life is usually the bros doing burnouts or lousy lift kits without a proper alignment. The balancing issues I've not had with KO2's. Previous gen AT KO did get a highway vibe when they got old
Why are you only considering all terrains when it's mostly on pavement? You mention tread life many times, a highway tire will last much longer than an A/T
Exactly the reason I went with a highway tire. When I go hunting I chain up all four when it gets snowy/muddy.
Why are you only considering all terrains when it's mostly on pavement? You mention tread life many times, a highway tire will last much longer than an A/T
I included the Michelin on my list of considerations. It’s definitely more highway focused. It USED to be well regarded for its long tread life, but my last experience with them on my Tundra wasn’t so.

I consider the scenario when I’m driving 6 hours on the highway to Elk Camp towing my TT, hauling my ATV in the bed, and then jumping on a dirt road for 2 hours to get back to camp. Might see snow, rain, ice. But my application isn’t a mid-sized truck. It isn’t the heaviest rig either, that might warrant something entirely different.

Much more to consider than tread life, but it is a consideration. and thus a post like this in a forum like this. Real world people with real world input. :)

Thus… my considerations.
I have the G015's on my F150. Was reccomended them by my local mom and pop tire dealer. They are great tires. At this point I wouldn't look at anything else.