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

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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.
Those are choice #3 behind the Defender and Continental HT. :cool:
 
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I put 295/65/20 Toyo CTs on my 2500 a couple of years ago on 20x10 Fuel wheels. The tires weigh 72 pounds each and are tough as nails. They measure out to 11.6x35.4
 

Snoozer

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I put 295/65/20 Toyo CTs on my 2500 a couple of years ago on 20x10 Fuel wheels. The tires weigh 72 pounds each and are tough as nails. They measure out to 11.6x35.4
I wasn’t even aware of that particular tire. Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll have to add that to my list to look at! (y)
 
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My brother tows heavy and often with his 3500 Chevy, he likes the Michelin's you listed as your top choice.

I think a 35" (or larger) tire will likely have rub issues at stock ride height. A larger tire will also make the truck behave as if it was geared a bit "taller", although you probably won't notice if it is only a slight increase in diameter. Going from 33" to 37" you would probably notice.
 
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Look into a 275/65r20 they’re a 34.5” tall tire and a factory size so the prices are about as good as you can get in that size range.

We had issues at my former dealership with Ford Superduty trucks chewing through BFG KO2s in no time. Moving them to General ATx tires solved the issue. The Toyo at3 seemed to be really good as well.

For a more highway oriented tire the Firestone Destination HT2 was really good. That was the only thing we found that could last on the E series chassis buses.
 
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For a more highway oriented tire the Firestone Destination HT2 was really good. That was the only thing we found that could last on the E series chassis buses.
Quite a few reviews online talking about poor tread life out of the Transforce HT2, if that's the same tire you're talking about.
 

Snoozer

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Look into a 275/65r20 they’re a 34.5” tall tire and a factory size so the prices are about as good as you can get in that size range.

We had issues at my former dealership with Ford Superduty trucks chewing through BFG KO2s in no time. Moving them to General ATx tires solved the issue. The Toyo at3 seemed to be really good as well.
My “rock crawler” background won’t let me stick with a stock size, unfortunately. :LOL:
I’ve tried to let that bug die, and it just won’t.

When setting up and adjusting the weight distribution hitch on my TT, the trailer tongue height now prevents me from opening my tailgate while I’m hitched up. If I can raise the truck ride height by 3-4”, I can re-adjust the hitch setup accordingly (lower it a notch) and regain tailgate functionality while hitched up. Kinda sucks not being able to use the tailgate while hitched up.
(At least that’s the excuse I presented for wifey to sign off on bigger tires and a modest 2” suspension mod). 🤫

These newer HD trucks are big and tall, and fortunately, fitting a 35” tire on them is an easy task, even in stock form with factory wheels. The GMC AT4HD and Chevy High Country trimmed trucks come from the factory with LT275/65R20 (34x11), so a 35x12.50 (34.5” typically) or even a 295/65 (35.1x11.8) is easy on a truck with diesel torque and 10-speeds, according to people who’ve done it. I have read that jumping to 37s you can just start to feel a bit of lag off the line.

Honestly, I think GM puts way too small of a tire on these newer trucks (for “profit margin” purposes, I’m sure). But they just look “correct” with a 35 and even a 37. It doesn’t look “showy” unless wide, negative offset wheels are installed. My new wheels are a 20x9 +20 offset, so the tires will still be tucked in under the fenders with only the sidewall bulges peeking out from them.

@Rob_Roy nice Suburban in your profile pic. Long ago, I owned a ‘99 Tahoe and two ‘98 Silverado 1500s of that era. Great platforms.
 

Nick1994

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Be careful with bro-dozing out with the big tires, can affect gear ratio for towing. @ls1mike saw this with his previous Silverado I believe, although your Duramax has quite a bit more power.

I had the Cooper Discoverer AT3 on my Grand Cherokee and hated them, they were super loud. They also had chunks taken out of the tread all over from desert offroad driving.

Not sure if they make them in the sizes you're looking at, but I've been a fan of Continental tires lately. Have some TerrainContact A/T on my Grand Cherokee now and love them, they're really quiet too.
 

Snoozer

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Be careful with bro-dozing out with the big tires, can affect gear ratio for towing. @ls1mike saw this with his previous Silverado I believe, although your Duramax has quite a bit more power.

I had the Cooper Discoverer AT3 on my Grand Cherokee and hated them, they were super loud. They also had chunks taken out of the tread all over from desert offroad driving.

Not sure if they make them in the sizes you're looking at, but I've been a fan of Continental tires lately. Have some TerrainContact A/T on my Grand Cherokee now and love them, they're really quiet too.
Totally agree with you. I have no intent on sacrificing my truck's towing prowess. Its an absolute pleasure to tow with in the mountains. Up grades, down grades, and everything in between. Loaded. Unloaded. I really like my truck/camper combo too, and so I've all but written off a "lift kit" per say. I consider my intentions "modest" with respect to what this truck already is. My desire to have it sit a few inches taller is both for function (honestly) but also (honestly) for aesthetics. These trucks "look" incredible with a bit larger tire and modestly offset wheels. I've seen my exact truck around town with 38x14.50s on wide, negative offset 22s and although it catches your eye, I wouldn't want it for what I do with my truck. All practicality is out the window at that level.

Thanks for the input on the Coopers. Were yours the XLT variant of the AT3? Saw many resources saying that the XLT is a different carcass than the other lighter duty versions of it. Lots of people make mention of that in their reviews.

I happen to also be currently running the Continental TerrainContact A/T tires on our 2014 Sequoia. They do alright! Kinda squirrelly sometimes, in my experience. I think those two big circumferential grooves on the outer 1/3 of the tread like to grab road imperfections. I don't know though. I've played around a lot with tire pressures using the Chalk Test method, and I've got it as dialed in as I can with 55/60 psi (front/rear). Helped a ton, but still kinda squirrelly on certain roads. Probably doesn't help that ours are LT285/60R20 (33.5x11.5).
 
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Another vote for the G015. They list as an AT but have the manners of a highway tire. The balanced superbly and their feel/precision may be the best driving tire I’ve had in the truck. we tow a smaller TT, about 4500 wet; the tires don’t care.

they come 2nd to the continental contitrack All Terrain for wet grip. If they make those in an LT, I’d consider them too, but the G015 is a sturdier, stiffer tire in P form.
 
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While I run a couple of different tires on on 2002 GMC 3500 dually and my 84 K30 dually, my company F-350 runs the Falkens Wildpeaks. It's my second company truck with the Wildpeaks. Like you I wasn't crazy about the made in Thailand, but we have some reciprocal arrangements with them and get a good deal. Saying all that, they are a great tire. Balance well, really long life, and excellent in snow. I have 20,000 miles on my current set and they still look almost new.
 

Snoozer

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While I run a couple of different tires on on 2002 GMC 3500 dually and my 84 K30 dually, my company F-350 runs the Falkens Wildpeaks. It's my second company truck with the Wildpeaks. Like you I wasn't crazy about the made in Thailand, but we have some reciprocal arrangements with them and get a good deal. Saying all that, they are a great tire. Balance well, really long life, and excellent in snow. I have 20,000 miles on my current set and they still look almost new.
That's the second report I've heard about the Falken Wildpeaks having a long life in an LT version. Thanks.
 
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I have G015's on my Ranger. It is a far cry from what you have but they are perfectly satisfactory tires, including in light snow. They wear well and tow well even with a 6x12 U-haul trailer which is ignorantly heavy for a 6x12.
 
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My brother tows heavy and often with his 3500 Chevy, he likes the Michelin's you listed as your top choice.

I think a 35" (or larger) tire will likely have rub issues at stock ride height. A larger tire will also make the truck behave as if it was geared a bit "taller", although you probably won't notice if it is only a slight increase in diameter. Going from 33" to 37" you would probably notice.
Wouldn’t be an issue. He has no torque or gearing deficits in that truck!
 
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Quite a few reviews online talking about poor tread life out of the Transforce HT2, if that's the same tire you're talking about.
Yes, those are the ones. We serviced a fleet of E series cutaways with the bus chassis and wheel chair lifts along with a few similar ones from the local sheltered workshop. Those things destroyed tires. The Firestones would go about 30k. Sounds terrible I know but the longest I saw a Michelin go was 24k, Goodyear and the “discount” brands were lucky to make 20. So we put the Firestones on all of them.

That was my experience with them. I’m pretty sure these aren’t gonna be available in the sizes the OP is looking for. He’s most likely gonna be dealing with at least ATs in order to get in the 35” plus range, it’s rare to find a highway tire in those sizes.
 
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My preference would be to one of the USA made tires, I personally have Michelin LTX Defender tires on my Ram for spring/summer, then dedicated Toyo WLT1 winter tires for the snow & ice. I tow an enclosed aluminum snowmobile trailer as well as 10k trailer for transporting the tractor/implements around.
 
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I wasn’t even aware of that particular tire. Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll have to add that to my list to look at! (y)
I put a set of 265/70/17s on a railway truck running around at a pulp mill. They got chipped out on the ballast and didn’t last as long as I thought they would. No flats which was an improvement.
 

ls1mike

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Be careful with bro-dozing out with the big tires, can affect gear ratio for towing. @ls1mike saw this with his previous Silverado I believe, although your Duramax has quite a bit more power.

I had the Cooper Discoverer AT3 on my Grand Cherokee and hated them, they were super loud. They also had chunks taken out of the tread all over from desert offroad driving.

Not sure if they make them in the sizes you're looking at, but I've been a fan of Continental tires lately. Have some TerrainContact A/T on my Grand Cherokee now and love them, they're really quiet too.
When I purchased this truck, they had and I can't remember who makes them, some name brand Extreme duty tire. They were horrible.
I have Cooper AT3 XLTs on the truck now. I love them. We do some forest service road stuff and they are good in the snow. Having a crew cab/long bed I really don't get much noise from them. Not sure much will make the 3500HD ride smoother, although I don't think it rides bad. I always run the stock size tires on the truck. Mostly because I use it to tow. I had 6000 miles last year between the travel trailer and the Submarine Vets float.

The 02 2500 HD came with aftermarket rims and tires. I couldn't get a load range E tire for that rim. The tires were 6 ply and worked well for what I did. When it was time to get tires I ended up getting a set of the stock size rims and Les Schawb Back Country A/T2. I like the Coopers better.
 
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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 DuraMaxforum.com 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!

Adam

Have you considered Firestone Transforce HT's? I have them on my 2012 Ram 2500 and like them They are wearing much better and are way quitter than the Transfor AT's I had on the truck before them. I tow an 11K TT with the truck but 95% of it is on highway's. The truck is also my DD.


just my $0.02
 
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