A/T tyres-BFG v Coopers ???

Submitted: Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 08:01
ThreadID: 86787 Views:23747 Replies:15 FollowUps:15
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A lot has been spoken about tyres but here I have a specific question.
My Toyota LC 200 V8 Diesel is due for a new set of tyres (4) and my local tyre man has suggested BFG A/T or Cooper A/T.
The BFGs are $40 each dearer than the Coopers and my specific question is:

Will the $40 "extra" spend for each tyre be money well spent?

I am sure there are other worthwhile (and maybe cheaper) tyres available for a LC200 but please, rather than any long debate, I would prefer that the replies be based on the BFG v Coopers question from those who have had experience with either or both.



PS: For those who like a tad more info the tyre size is 285/70 R17 to replace current 285/65 R17 116H.
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Reply By: Mick O - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 08:27

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 08:27
Struth Peter, did you do a search of the forum. This is one of the most asked questions on the forum.

The BFG A/T has a more aggressive pattern than the Cooper A/T. The nearest Coopeer to the BFG A/T is the Cooper ST. I've used both. If you're cruising 80% highway, 20% dirt then the Coopers will be a good buy for you. If it's more like 50/50, spend the $40 on the BFG or go up to the Cooper ST's.

Cheers Mick
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AnswerID: 456532

Follow Up By: Brian Purdue - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 11:22

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 11:22
I am always amused by the question of "Wot tire is best?" To my mind it depends what you want to do. If you want to spend hours digging yourself out of bogs, both wet and dry, you probably will settle for the big names.
I am a little different. I travel to see things - old mine workings - abandoned towns - cemeteries and wildlife. I drove a Range Rover for three years of travel and used Roadstone tyres. No bogs. I am too "B" old and "B" lazy to spend my day on the end of a shovel. Smashing over huge rough rocks? No, not me. Still too old and lazy - besides I like my comfort hence the RR. I have been places and met up with others who have asked me "How did you get here in THAT?". The answer is simple. Look before you go and if it looks like trouble go another way. I still laugh at the answer to the question, "How do you get to....?" Answer: "You can't get there from here". And of course you can. Maybe a few more kms sitting in the airconditioned comfort of your 4by but it sure beats sweating at the end of a shovel or winching yourself off a rock.

In all what you have to consider is what you really need and compare that with what you want.
FollowupID: 729599

Follow Up By: Stevesub1 - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 11:35

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 11:35
I agree with you 110%. We use exactly the same philosophy with our travels. Makes for a much easier life.

If you get to a dodgy bit of track with the possibility of getting stuck OR doing damage, I ask myself the question do I really really need to go this way??? There has always been an easier way in my experience.

The only problem I have had with tyres were with a dud batch of Bridgestone Desert Duellers and I have used Coopers, BFG's, Goodyears, Michellin's, Pierrelli's and el cheapo Chinese tyres in various 4x4's over the years.

I am now on Cooper AT's and happy with them.

FollowupID: 729601

Reply By: Skippype - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 08:30

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 08:30
A lot depends on how much road use verses off road. Then what kind of off road country you will be in.
I have tried both the BFG AT and Copper STC (STC is no longer available in this country).
I do most of my off road work in the Cooper Basin. The ground varies from hard sharp rocky to sandy. 80% off road 20% highway.
I got more than double the Kms out of the Coopers.
I have also tried Maxis Bighorn but the are only marginally better than the Coopers.
I will be putting a new set of Cooper STT's on when I get home after this trip.
Hope that helps and I am sure there will be many who disagree but that's' my 2 bob's worth.
AnswerID: 456533

Follow Up By: Skippype - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 08:33

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 08:33
FollowupID: 729587

Follow Up By: Gossy - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 14:55

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 14:55
ST-C's are still on their webpage. Had to quickly check because I have them and very happy with them for the type of terrain in S.A. (rocks etc). Chipping issues with the ST but the ST-C has been very good to me.
In saying this though I have 6 weeks off next year where we are touring around W.A. (was to be the Canning but long story). Knowing this now I'll go back to ST's due to their longevity of bitument compared to the softer compound of the ST-C's.
FollowupID: 729642

Reply By: Peter W - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 08:40

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 08:40
Thanks Mick and Skip.
To quickly add.....my needs could be considered a 70 (bitumen)/ 30 (off road...but not serious 4WD) mix and I tow a 21ft van weighing approx 2.8 t for a major portion of the time.
And yes Mick I did do a check of the site but as I am looking to buy now I was really wanting up to date "specific" info and something away from the seemingly usual argument of comparing all the tyres around.

AnswerID: 456537

Follow Up By: Tonyfish#58 - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 17:25

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 17:25
Try Maxxi 753's Save yourself a bit of money :-)

So far they performed very well, a lot better than my Coopers

Maxxi Bravo 753

Cheers Tony
FollowupID: 729668

Reply By: CraigB - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 09:24

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 09:24
Hi Peter,

Being a current Cooper tire/tyre owner it's my opinion that BFGs will give you better mileage and will chip less than the Coopers.

I base this on my experience with Coopers and that of fellow club members with similar vehicles running BFGs.

Rather than consider the comparo between BFG A/Ts and Cooper A/Ts in which the BFGs have a more aggressive tread pattern, have you considered the new Cooper STMAX which has recently been released?

The STMAX has quite a different tread pattern from that of the superseded ST and would be more of a direct comparison.

Unfortunately as the STMAX is relatively new I'm personally not aware of how they are performing as yet.
AnswerID: 456542

Reply By: Great Divide Tours - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 09:47

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 09:47
Hi Peter
My first post on the forum so please be kind to me. I thought it was about time I shared a little of the experience I have gained over the past 33 years of outback travel. I've done a bit of travel on tyres as you might have suspected, and yes, I am sponsored by Cooper Tyres.
I would not recommend the Cooper ATR for outback roads, there is a new Cooper ST Maxx that has just been released and is now generally available, it has replaced the Cooper ST and Cooper STC variants. A lot of research including testing in Australia has gone into this tyre, but as it is so new on the market no-one has done much with them yet. I have a set on my Cruiser (from last week) and a set on a Cruiser about to go up the CSR, they are in Kalgoorlie at present waiting for the rain to stop.
But, this tyre should be very good for what you wish to do. The BFG A/T is a good tyre also, it may chip more so than the Cooper ST Maxx or the older Cooper STC.
When choosing your tyre make sure you get Light Truck construction and not Passenger construction, it makes all the difference. Also, when off the highway monitor your tyre pressures carefully and don't allow them to be in excess of 40 psi when hot, I prefer 35psi hot temp on roads like the Birdsville, GCR, GBR etc. Hope this helps
Vic Widman
AnswerID: 456543

Follow Up By: Member - Keith C (NSW) - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 10:02

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 10:02
Hi Vic, welcome, your experience in the outback will be appreciated on this forum,the more advice the better.
Regards Keith
FollowupID: 729593

Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 13:16

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 13:16
hi vic
yes you have certainly been around a long time and should know what your talking about
there is one problem though ! however,
and that is you are spondsored by coopers and there-fore are compelled by contact to spruke coopers and would have either been given your tyres or got them far cheaper than any of us could get them - bar stealing e'm
there-fore i would be very hesitant to believe your imfo on how well they perform
i'm a very down to earth person and intital to my views and have a heathly disrespect for salesmens jibes
im sure you can understand where i am coming from on this subject
the backpocket paydirt has always been a source of freeair propelled chatter
cheers enjoy your cooper experiences and travells
FollowupID: 729618

Follow Up By: Bazooka - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 13:50

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 13:50
'The BFG A/T is a good tyre also, it may chip more so than the Cooper ST Maxx or the older Cooper STC. '

Interesting comment Vic. A lot of internet discussion suggests the opposite in regard to Cooper tyres. Hope the new model is better.

Happy with my Bridgestone AT D694s Peter, but they are (smaller) Jackaroo boots. Won't get the BFG mileage and probably marginally 'weaker' off road but a very good all-round tyre. Coopers will not be on my list when I replace the tyres next year - the mileage guarantee rules are ridiculously restricted and as many bad reports as good on the tyres themselves.
FollowupID: 729626

Follow Up By: Great Divide Tours - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 14:51

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 14:51
Hi guys
I knew this would be a sensitive subject to launch my postings on exploroz and as I mentioned I am sponsored by Coopers, but all I'm doing is posting from my experience not from any sponsorship deal and that is honest. I have 9 vehicles in my fleet on Cooper tyres (mostly) over the past 8 years of driving all over Australia, we have until only last month paid for our tyres at a slightly reduced rate. I do not want to be leading a trip and having tyre problems in the middle of no where nor recommending a particular tyre to my clients knowing they will have problems which I then have to fix, I hope you understand that, makes sense to me. I have managed to get 70,000 K's out of 4 Cooper ST tyres used in the High Country and across the deserts, I thought that was pretty good. I have seen BFG's (which are a good tyre) on the same trip chip more than a Cooper ST. I have a mate on Bridgestone tyres in his Pajero and these have performed faultlessly although their wear rate is not as good as the Cooper tyre I used. I can't stress enough that this is my personal experience and not a paid comment, only trying to help.
FollowupID: 729641

Follow Up By: The Landy - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 14:56

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 14:56

Good to see you as a contributor to the forum... I’m sure we can benefit greatly from your experience.

We undertook a couple of courses with you over the years, as well as a couple of trips...

I ran the Cooper STCs for sometime on ‘The Landy’ and was very happy with them, having said that when I replaced recently I went back to the BFGs. Either way I think you can’t go too far wrong.

Cheers, The Landy
FollowupID: 729644

Follow Up By: Crackles - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 21:10

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 21:10
G'day Vic. You'll have to live with the skepticism on this site in reguards to Cooper Tyres as the experience of many here is at the opposite end of the scale to yours. A quick search will show by far they are the most complained about brand with many examples of premature wear, sidewall damage, chipping, bulging, radial splitting & poor performance in the wet. (not to mention the warrenty claim issues)
Will be interesting to see if this new maxx tyre lives up to the all it's claims. (certainly ticks all the box's) Something the old range didn't quite do at times.
Cheers Craig..............
FollowupID: 729712

Follow Up By: Great Divide Tours - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 22:00

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 22:00
I'll be happy to post updates on the Cooper ST Maxx tyres on my Cruiser (I'm driving to Arnhem Land in August via Lake Gairdner - yes the long way round) and my sister's Cruiser which is about to go up the CSR as of tomorrow, if you wish and if you believe I am giving an honest report.
FollowupID: 729727

Reply By: Member - John G- Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 09:57

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 09:57
G'day Peter

I've used BFG A/T LT tyres for eight years on a Hilux.

The original owner used the vehicle for urban travel. I bought the vehicle at 80000km, and the original BFGs required replacement at 90000km.

Since then I have continued to use BFGs for the same onroad/offroad ratio that you state, including most of the iconic 4WD tracks, but nothing more serious. (I count the Old Telegraph Track as serious, but that's just an indication that I'm a bit of a pussy in the 4WD stakes). With that ratio I get around 70000km a set.

Since 2005 we've done about 70000km of travelling towing a camper trailer, together with friends towing a caravan with a Jackeroo on Cooper tyres. We've had two puntures, they have shredded two tyres. The joint analysis was that the shredding was due to issues around speed (too fast) and inflation (too high) and not so much tyre quality/brand.

I'm not an expert, but my reading of previous threads on this topic is that both are good tyres and worth the money. When folks spend +$300/tyre, whatever the brand, they will tend to back their decision.

AnswerID: 456544

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 11:10

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 11:10
I firmly believe that either tyre will serve you well, IF you care for them (of course you will :-o)...... you know the usual - slow right down when indicated, adjust pressures up and down when indicated, dodge the nasty stones (the ones that can't be seen at speed). I've been on BFG AT's for ages and love them - recently opted for some Cooper ST's ...roughly equivalent tread (the AT is a bit less aggressive)...... the Cooper's saved me $200 all up at the time. One thing - the Cooper AT's on my car when I bought it had 15% tread left when I took them off - but they just got too old (6 years) - cracking of the rubber was 'taking over' - I didn't notice that with the BFG's - they seemed to age a lot better. Only an issue for tyres that do low k's over many years I guess - hard to get the value out of them.
AnswerID: 456562

Reply By: TerraFirma - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 12:25

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 12:25
I don't like the Coopers had them on my Hilux. They were dangerous in the wet however on a fulltime 4WD this may not be as big an issue. I personally think the Pirelli Scorpion ATR's are the best road based tire by a long way, the BFG A/T if you are more off road.
AnswerID: 456574

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 12:35

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 12:35
The Coopers are long lasting no doubt, but seem to get dodgy in the wet as they age. we still have two on the back of the Nullarbor that came with the vehicle two and a half years ago. We have found you have to very carefull on wet roundabouts as the back will slide out. On the front we puntured one so replaced with 693 bridgies which are much better on wet tar. Still you can not get long life with out a hard compound.
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 729607

Reply By: member - mazcan - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 13:01

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 13:01
hi peter w
i have tried many different tyre brands over many years
i am an avid fan of bfg's they have proved they are the best imho
i have used 2 sets of st coopers but was unable to wear either set out due to faults eg chipping on first set and casing failure on others and coopers didnt and wouldn't give an inch claiming it was my fault
supprise /supprise- no !
and low and behold now in the latest 4x4 aus mag there is a full page ad on the brand new st cooper maxx tyres
claiming armor tek 3ply angled construction 2.5 times more tear strength and 66% more impact resistance than the older ones

/super tensile steel belts 15% stronger and yes proprietary cut and chip resistant tread compound
well blow me down
so what this add says is they were liaring their butts off in the past and fobbing of claims by not only me but hundreds of other dissatisfied users while they were trying to resolve the problems that we were all complaining about
and even if their new tyre is better
i will never buy them for the simple fact of the way they treatedme and previous customers claims
once bitten twice shy from now on
cheers barry
AnswerID: 456581

Reply By: Member - Kevin S (QLD) - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 20:06

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 20:06
This is probably a bit off topic but relevant, I think. Did a 4x4 training day recently. My Jackaroo has Maxxis 751 A/Ts with about 70% tread. Also attending was a LC100 and newish Pajaro both fitted with BFG A/T tyres that looked almost new. Both were headed for The Cape. It was wet under foot and the practice bogs were real bogs.
Came to the lesson on driving over a tree trunk. The Jackaroo went straight over. No problems. About 3 vehicles later the LC100 came through, got the LH front tyre over but could not finish the task. The RH wheel remained on the approach side and the front of the vehicle just slid along the log. After a few attempts he backed off and drove around. The Pajero had the same problem. All other vehicles went over with little problem.
I noticed that the tread on both sets of BFGs was packed with mud. I looked at mine and there was tread protruding above embedded mud. Not sure what it all meant but it was interesting. I hope those guys are not up the Cape somewhere at the bottom of a sharp slope waiting for it to dry out.
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AnswerID: 456637

Reply By: Outback Gazz - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 20:20

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 20:20
Howdy Pete -

LC 200 V8 Diesel and worried about $40 a tyre !! Please explain ??


AnswerID: 456639

Follow Up By: Peter W - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 22:36

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 22:36
Simple Gazz.
If you worry about the pennies then the pounds look after themselves and you can afford a LC200 V8 diesel.


PS: Thankyou to all those who have replied with valuable information.
FollowupID: 729736

Reply By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 20:34

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 20:34
Hi Peter. Regardles of which ever tyre you end up with your new tyre size worries me. The 70 ratio will end up at least 25mm bigger in diameter. This will have the effect of making your speed reading and kilometers read slower than it is now. It will also effect your towing torque ability (albiet to a small degree in a 200 diesel) and probably your fuel economy. At the moment Yokohama make a 285/65-17 AT. Cheers,Bob

AnswerID: 456642

Follow Up By: Tonyfish#58 - Tuesday, Jun 07, 2011 at 16:24

Tuesday, Jun 07, 2011 at 16:24
MMMM :-) This is a good question that needs to be sorted out :-)

I used to think your way until I used a GPS to check speed and then had to rethink :-)

25mm bigger should make your speedo read faster? at around 4kph - 100k with standard and read 104k with the bigger tyre when actually doing 100k. Thus 1040k traveled would only really be 1000k actual?

If speedo is set to RPM it makes sense. 1rpm with standard tyre = Distance - 1 rpm bigger tyre = Distance + Thus speedo + not -


Well at least we should now find out to this confusing issue

Cheers Tony
FollowupID: 729789

Reply By: Member - Bucky - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 21:41

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 21:41
It's on again
The big tyre debate !

Horses for courses, mate.
Covered 1000 + times on this forum....

My BFG's AT's are brilliant, and on my second set 60,000 km, and heaps of outback roads on the first set, and 1 puncture..
I am on my second set now.

There were cooper ST's on the Patrol when I purchaced it, and they had ripples in the sidewalls..
Splice joins I was told by more tjan one tyre place,..
What a croc of you know what... Took them off the rims and looked inside the tyre itself, and they were starting to delaminate. Lucky I looked eh !

The Servo owner at Marble Bar loves Coopers ..... WHY ?
Because those tyres made him a fortune..(in repairs) in his own words.

I had Cooper ATR's and got 117,000 km out of them, with no punctures, but the Navara would not hold the road properly.

My best advice is to go try BFG's, as personally I recon they are a class above the Coopers. They are smoother, quieter, and wear just right. Long wearing tyres go hard and do not grip the road as well and that to me is unsafe.


AnswerID: 456647

Reply By: bgreeni - Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 23:24

Monday, Jun 06, 2011 at 23:24
I have Cooper ATs on my Prado. Coming up to 50K and I reckon they have at least another 20K on them. No punctures and no chipping. Mainly used on road but have been on number of outings with crowd from Prado point and they performed as well as any on sand which Perth has a lot of. :-)

Agree with comment about them being a bit slippery in the wet as they age.
AnswerID: 456655

Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 07, 2011 at 15:21

Tuesday, Jun 07, 2011 at 15:21
On my 200 series I have BFG 285/70R17 TA's. On my previous GU I had Cooper ST 285/75R16. Both are good tyres but did find more chipping on the ST's, unslghtly but not a real issue. My BFG's don't aoppear to chip at all and given I have driven >50,000kms in my 200 now over similair terrain, I would have expected any chipping to have appeared.

I have found the BFG's to be marginally better on-road, the ST's definetly noiser on-road and the ST's marginally better off-road. The off-road difference was very minor, but the on-road difference was enough to notice. But this could also be due to the different vehicles so overall the tyre performance is generally close enough. Both tyres are long lasting, but I reckon the ST's lasted longer. But 800Nm vs 420Nm may have something to do with that - both vehicles were chipped :)

If I was to buy again with the benefit of hindsight, I would still go the BFG's. Not much in it, but just what I would do. YMMV.


AnswerID: 456691

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