Tyre Choice

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 21:28
ThreadID: 29298 Views:2763 Replies:11 FollowUps:21
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I drive a 3.0l GU Patrol (III Series). I currently have the Desert Duellers that came from the factory and expect to get about 45,000 - 50,000 km. I am planning to do a trip around Australia in 2007 and want to put tyres on that will do the job for that trip. From the initial planning I expect to do about 5,000 - 7,500 kms off road in the trip. This driving will consist of offroad trips in the Esperance, Pilbara, Kimberly, Savanagh Way, Cape York etc... I have been looking at various tyres and would wecome people's opinions on the following tyres.

* Cooper ST
* Cooper STT
* Mickey Thompson Dick Cepek
* Goodyear Wrangler MT/R

I plan to run 265/75R16.

All opinions welcome on the above (and other possible tyres).

Thanks in Advance.

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Reply By: Willem - Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 21:40

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 21:40
Offroad or dirt road/tracks? There is a difference.

Maybe an All Terrain tyre would be best suited for your needs.

My next lot of tyres will most likely be Goodyear Wrangler MTR's but I do some extreme stuff.
AnswerID: 146240

Follow Up By: gurich - Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 22:07

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 22:07
I guess the large majority of the travel will be blacktop, gravel roads. I also expect some rough tracks like the track into the Bungle Bungles. On the basis that you would suggest an AT, does that really leave it (from the ones I stated) to the STs and Dick Cepeks.
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Follow Up By: V8Diesel - Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 23:06

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 23:06
Cooper ATR's maybe?
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Reply By: Outbacktourer - Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 21:56

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 21:56
You will open a can of worms with a question like that around here mate, seems many have an entrenched opinion on rubber.

All the ones you mention willl have supporters.

I'd question why you would want a MT and not an AT tyre when you will be doing primarily blacktop or gravel.

Check out current 4WD monthly for a comprehensive 4WD tyre test.

Also consider availability of a replacement if you need one (shait can happen); it may alter your list.

I don't have any personal experience with any of the tyres you mention except the original Desert Dueller passenger rated 265/70's which were at 10K after a tread puncture from a piece of 20mm aggregate gravel on well graded road.
AnswerID: 146247

Follow Up By: gurich - Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 22:14

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 22:14
I read the review you refered to. The Pirrellis out performed the STs in this test. But I remember a test some 12-18 months ago when the Pirellis didn't even get an honourable mention. The thing about the tests is that none of them ever talk about longevity. In this last review they did a puncture test (and the ST-Cs topped that category) but never gave an idea of how many km's you should look to get out of them. I know it is impossible to test multiple tyres at the same speed over identical terrain, but it would be good to know what to expect. In regards to what to expect I believe the ST-Cs still chipped and cut a fair bit on test., which means that they may not get anywhere near the 90,000km psuedo warranty. If that happend on the test how would they fair across a long trip that I am planning. Also for $300+, I would expect to get at least 70,000 km from them.
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Follow Up By: Member - David 0- Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 22:44

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 22:44
In a lot of cases chipping is a result of too high pressure. I don't think there is a huge difference in longevity with tyres of similar type. eg A/T. The addition of silcon seems to give longer life as does increased tread depth to an extent.

But seriously, if you take em off-road on a long trip like that, pay lots of attention to pressures suitable for the terrain, and you will come back with tyres in good nick regardless of brand.

Don't mind the pressures, and you may be lucky to get back with the same set. I know of people who have destroyed as many as 8 tyres on a similar trip incorporating the GRR!

Good luck with the trip.
FollowupID: 399788

Follow Up By: ev700 - Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 23:13

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 23:13
David O

What rulews of thumb do you have with the various types of conditions?

Would your Patrol would run similar pressures to a 100 Series?

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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 00:11

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 00:11

Good to see your smarter than to believe the "TESTS" in magazines.

As you said, last test 12 mths ago, Pirellis' didnt get a mention. I have them on the Pathfinder, and I wouldnt DARE take them offroad! There is NO chance they could handle any form of mud, or slimey conditions. They are nothing more than a HT.

Pressures are critical with any tire offroad.
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 08:29

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 08:29
The ST-C's tI have chipped heaps at 28 PSI in rocks and I mean heaps. Mr Coopersaid its not chipping, he said its something else, I reckon its rubber loss when a whole lug and many other half lugs are not on the tyre any longer.
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FollowupID: 399813

Reply By: Member - David 0- Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 23:26

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 23:26
Apart from the sand and high speed smooth gravel or black top, I have standardised on 26 to 28 psi and keep the speed down to 80k max because half the speed is quarter the impact. It is important realise that when the pressure goes down the speed should go down too. The vehicle will feel a bit wishy washy anyway so you will want to slow down.

I have done 20,000 k of that sort of outback running on my current Toyo OPATS, and so long as I run that pressure, I don't get flats. I once had one very unlucky puncture in Arkaroola from a really really sharp thumb sized rock in the Rangie. Any flats I have had are from stakes while driving off track, or from being lazy and not airing down.

I air up to 35 minimum sometimes 40 on the blacktop. I now religously air down on the rough stuff, it helps to have a really fast compressor like I had in my rangie (Aircon compressor). Te patrol doesn't have that fitted yet.

In the sand (like Simpson desert) I run 18 psi as a starting point. I have run lower to climb Big Red, but air back up to 18 straight away to avoid problems.

I run 265/70

Hope that helps you
AnswerID: 146260

Follow Up By: ev700 - Tuesday, Jan 03, 2006 at 00:31

Tuesday, Jan 03, 2006 at 00:31
David O
Thanks for the detailled reply. I bought a reasonably fast compressor recently.

I like you comment on the 80Kph and would much prefer it was you coming the other way than some of the other dills I meet.
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Reply By: Michael_FNQ - Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 23:53

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 23:53
Why not BFG Mud Terrains ? Found them to be excellent especially against chipping which can hurt All Terrains badly on some dirt roads.
AnswerID: 146265

Reply By: Trekkie - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 00:12

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 00:12
Some interesting comments from others. I would certainly NOT attempt the Savannah Way and Cape York with ATs. Did it two years ago with 2 vehicles both with Cooper STs. Apart from ONE small punctured side wall when driving back to the main Road after camping in the bush one evening near Roma neither of us had any problems. What price do you put on a tyre that will go anywhere and no blow outs or punctures. I think, value for money the Coopers STs are great (just find yourself a GOOD dealer who will stand by you if you need a warranty replacement) If you do a search on this site youi will find some interesting comments about Coopers Warranty - my understanding is there is no warranty for really heavy off road work.
The Cooper STs do chip, but thats my only complaint - Cooper will say thats because of too high pressure. The chipping does not seem to reduce the performance and on current wear, I would expect to get 60,000 to 70,000 kms from them
AnswerID: 146266

Reply By: Muzzgit (WA) - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 01:02

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 01:02
The one thing I look at with tyres is puncture resistance in the tread section as well as the sidewall. Coopers and BFG AT's have a good a record in this regard and I personally would be looking at either of these.

The cooper have a heavythan most 2ply sidewall and the BFG have a 3ply side wall. All the other AT branded tyres have the standard 2ply sidewall.

Although BFG didn't fair too well in the test in 4WD Monthly, I will continue to use them as I have never had troubles with them and they do everything I expect they should. I wonder why they didn't do a test to see how all those tyres go with being staked thru the sidewall ??????????


AnswerID: 146270

Follow Up By: Member - David 0- Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 09:31

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 09:31
Toyo OPATS literature says they have a 3 ply sidewall
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 09:53

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 09:53
Hi Muzz,
I agree that these brands are usually good tyres, but
#1 Goodyear MTR and Silent Armour are also 3 ply construction and in my opinion the MTR are more stake resistant
#2 The BFG ATKOs have a rubber lip on the edge of the tread that attracts all the sticks. Its the place where they get staked
And #3: I have some friends who won't agree with you about the Cooper - one had 4 sidewall stakes on our last trip.

Just what I've experienced :-))

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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 10:01

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 10:01
" Toyo OPATS literature says they have a 3 ply sidewall"

Hi David,
I couldn't find that in the Toyo literature, and couldn't find it on their website. Are you sure of your info?

FollowupID: 399824

Follow Up By: P.G. (Tas) - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 12:25

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 12:25
Did some research on these tyres a while ago and found that BFG's have 3 plies, 1mm thick and Cooper have 2 plies of 1.5mm thick, so in the end don't think there is much difference overall. Not sure about the others.

FollowupID: 399837

Follow Up By: Rick (S.A.) - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 14:23

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 14:23
I have had 5 x Opats and the straight sidewall held appeal, as did the 10 ply rating. Mine are only 2 ply walls - or so it says on the case. Tyre dealer told me the same.

But after about 35 K on them, only two of the 5 tyres are left. These are now very worn looking tyres (drive on gibbers/rocks/Flinders region etc, and this is inevitable) and will do as spare spares.

There are/were tubes in all the tyres for approx the last 15 K. The other 3 x tyres have died eventually, as sidewall punctures are very hard to deal with.

I have bought Goodyear MTR's as a replacement, but no feedback available as yet.

FollowupID: 399844

Follow Up By: Member - David 0- Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 16:18

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 16:18
You know I have a recollection that they may have changed OPATS from 3 to 2 ply sidewalls, I will check my old tyres verses my new tyres and let you know
FollowupID: 399849

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 23:09

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 23:09
Opats certainly not only have 2 ply sidewalls but they also have the consistency of wet tissue paper. My experience mirrors Ricks (S.A) except I got less than 5,000k (actually probablly alot less) before i was forced to take them off, the wheels are now awaiting a set of Goodyears
I only did 4 trips off the bitumen and had dramas every time with tread blocks chipping on flat tracks and sidewall punctures and a sidewall ripped out. I might put them back on If I go down the beach this break as it will be a quick trip with only bitumen/good farmroads and beachwork which is about all they would be able to handle
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Follow Up By: Member - David 0- Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 23:58

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 23:58
My Opats have been Townsville to Winton to Opalton, Longreach Innamincka, Bore track Strzelecki track, Flinders Ranges, Oonadatta track, Alice to Finke, Simpson Desert, Birdsville to Diamantina Lakes, Diamatina Lakes to Bedouie, Boilia, Townsville, Cape York.

In that distance I got one flat.

Then they did Townsville to Boulia, Plenty Highway to Alice, Tanamin Road to Halls Ck, All over El Questro including the Kurunji (spelling) track, Gibb River Road, Wiso track -first person through in 12 months (track completely overgrown with wattle)- one flat from side wall puncture by wattle. Then Tennent Creek to Townsville on blacktop.

Still plenty of good quality unchipped tread on em.

Now I have them on the patrol, I had one flat near Slavator Rosa becasue I was too lazy to air down.

I couldn't be happier. Still, I am not endorsing any particular brand, just wanted to make the point that A/T's are pretty good for the rough touring work if you lower pressures, they just don't like mud too much. Thats fine, I don't like mud much either- too much hard work to clean it out of everything. :-)

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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Tuesday, Jan 03, 2006 at 00:08

Tuesday, Jan 03, 2006 at 00:08
Funny how you can often get stories from either end of the spectrum for the same tyre. Makes you wonder how much it has to do with batches.
I used to do alot of pistol shooting and have tried many different sorts of AMMO and it can vary with reliability from batch to batch. However over time i worked out which ammo was consistently more reliable over time. Althogh I had some Winchester Ammo that worked a treat i now wouldnt touch it as it is consistently unreliable
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Jan 03, 2006 at 00:12

Tuesday, Jan 03, 2006 at 00:12
The thing with tires, what works for you may never work for someone else.

way too many variables.
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Reply By: Martyn (WA) - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 01:59

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 01:59
You need to throw the BFG A/T into the mix, like others I've been driving on these for many years without any problems. Make sure if you decide to go with the BFG you get the ones out of the US and not Japan, they're better. My opinions others may vary and I'm sure they will. As the Truckman says you can use the mags as a guide but believing them is another matter. Pirelli's, nah, club trip we did, Pirelli Scorpions where the worst closely followed by the Dunlop road gripper. No BFG problems at all.
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AnswerID: 146271

Follow Up By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 12:18

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 12:18
I have been driving on BFG ATs for about 20 years and they are hard to beat. When Michelin first took over they changed things and ruined a good reputation. I was actually recommended by the BFG rep here not to buy them. I tried cooper STs and they were good but chipped a bit and did 50k Then tried MTRs they were also good but got noisy as they wear. Ii was glad when the BFG rep told me the BFG ATs were ok again. I dont think they are as tuff or long wearing as they used to be but are better on wet sealed roads. BFGs are also available just about anywhere in OZ another important point to consider. I do a lot of klms each year and they are the best compromise tire I have found. Reasonably priced too. My GSXR1100 used to eat a set of tires every 2000 klms at $550 a pair And My Husky dirt bike gobbles a rear in about 500 klms at $100 a tire. Tires and fuel are consumables we just have to grin and bear it. Cheers Rob
FollowupID: 399835

Reply By: Footloose - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 08:31

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 08:31
What a can of worms you've opened :)) Everyone has their own requirements and experiences. e.g.
Puncture resistance
Sidewall staking
Performance in mud, on the tar, on gravel roads
Just remember that even the most expensive tyres can be turned into a pile of junk in the blink of an eye. Replacements can be hard, in some remote areas, to come by if it isn't a common type.
I've been round Oz on a set of retreads with one puncture (but I'd never do it again or recommend it to others). I've done the Cape a few times with no name brand tyres and never had a drama. (but once again wouldn't recommend it).

All tyres are a compromise. Basically it boils down to the size of your wallet :))
AnswerID: 146286

Reply By: Snowy 3.0iTD - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 10:23

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 10:23

Switch your TV on to SBS at 6pm each day, and watch the highlights of the Paris - Dakar Rally, one thing I have noticed over the last couple of years, the bulk of the field run BFGoodrich, considering the harshness of this event, I think that gives you some idea of how good they are. Bob Jane have the 265/75 R16 on special at the moment.


AnswerID: 146299

Reply By: bombsquad - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 10:53

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 10:53
The minesite I work at runs Bridgestone V steels 235/85 r16 I think. The terrain they are used on is probably worse than any track (on tyres) that I ever hope to encounter. (very sharp abrasive freshly blsted rock). 10 00km out of a tyre. Any others in this type of industry have any recomendations.

PS I wouldnt have these on my own car as they have poor wet bituman grip, but I think they would be great on the GRR etc
AnswerID: 146302

Follow Up By: bombsquad - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 13:00

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 13:00
10,000k from a tyre, oops
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Follow Up By: Rick (S.A.) - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 14:36

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 14:36
In the Stony Deserts of S.A. (where there are large pastoral holdings and Tojo taytops are king, prince and peasant -i.e. you never see anything else-) the locals use those Bridgestones also. They carry trolley jacks on the tray, along with a pack of dogs. I have heard 3 to 10,000 Km is what they expect from a tyre.

I have a mate (Station manager) who has not had a flattie for 1 year. He runs those narrow Bridgestones and regularly drives in God-awful terrain - he has no option , except to leave the ute in the shed.

He runs 40 psi, but I am not game to emulate that. In the sandy terrain that intersperses the stony plains, he will let his tyres down, but only if he has got stuck.

When with him in that terrain I had flatties in my OPATS & my Bro -in-law killed 4 x Kumho/AT type tyres. He was bleep off!


FollowupID: 399845

Reply By: 120scruiser - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 11:18

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 11:18
My recommendation is the Good Year and not by all means the MTR.
I use the MTR's on my Prado and I am very happy with them.
Have a look here www.goodyear.com.au
Have a look at the wrangler silent armour or the wrangler ATR.
My tyre supplier was having trouble getting me my MTR's prior to my desert trip so my second choice was Dunlop AT2 mud or AT2 all terrain.
Another choice would be the Terra Trak. Very popular out on the stations. Not sure of the sizing for the wider tyres though.
Just another finger in the pie for you.
AnswerID: 146303

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