Dunlop Radial Mud Rovers
We had very mixed emotions about the Dunlop Mud Rovers. The on-road manners of the 35x12.50R15s we tested were excellent. In fact, they endured an eight-hour (each way) highway trip, providing a great ride with no visible wear at all. Thus far into the test, we were in love. The tires didn't wander at all, were very quiet for a mud tire, and seemed to wear like iron. That eight-hour drive, however, was on the way to the Rubicon Trail where we learned the aspect of the tires that didn't impress us so much.
On the rocks, the tires slipped much more than we liked, even aired down to 12 psi. They just didn't have the bite of the other tires tested and caused a bit of frustration in tricky rockcrawling spots. In addition to the Rubicon, we also used an extremely gooey mud hole for our tire testing. None of the trucks were able to drive all the way through, but the Dunlops had the worst performance of the mud tires. The Mud Rovers weren't able to clean themselves, which left the truck stuck in a hurry.
In the sand and gravel, the tires shone once again. In this terrain, the lugs were able to keep the dirt moving and motivate the truck. We also found that the sidewalls would take a pretty good beating from rocks and tree limbs without puncture.
•Quiet for a mud tire
•Awful in the mud
We've run Goodyear MTs in the past but learned even more with this set of 35x12.50R15s that came from 4 Wheel Parts Wholesalers and were mounted on 15x8-inch Rock Crawler wheels.
The sidewalls of the MTs are generally regarded as the weakest point, but we tried repeatedly to rip them on rocks and tree roots without success. The tires proved to be as sticky on rocks as anyone could need, and they dealt really well with sand, gravel, and mud as well.
The tires' asphalt manners were almost flawless. They provided the great ride that we've come to expect from radials and wore fairly well. We drove 17,000 miles on this set, which definitely put a dent in the tread depth, but tire chunking was minimal and they still handled the road well after the wear. The tires hardly wandered at all and were hands-down the quietest of the mud tires we tested.
The last comment we have is that we dig the look of the tread pattern. The military-looking tread blocks have a distinct appearance that set this tire apart from the other mud tires.
•Quietest mud tire on the road
•Very good traction
Super Swamper Radial TSLs
Just say the words "Super Swamper" and most enthusiasts start drooling, but do the tires really live up to the expectations? We ordered a set of 36x12.50R16 Radial TSLs from Tyres International to put through the wringer. We've used bias-ply Swampers in the past and looked forward to trying the radials. While the radial design didn't cure all of the quirks Swamper owners have come to love in their tires, it did mellow a few of them without creating any real drawbacks.
On-road performance is this tire's worst point. The ride is nice, but that's the only good thing we can say about these tires' asphalt manners. The only thing louder than a radial Swamper is a bias-ply Swamper, and the only thing louder than a bias-ply is a worn-out bias-ply Swamper. If you're considering these tires, however, noise on the pavement probably isn't too high on your list of demands. Other low points include a tendency to wander (which is exaggerated by the extra-large sizes available), and the tires wear out quickly if you put a lot of highway miles on your 4x4.
It's a real feat to beat a Swamper off road. Aired down to 12 psi, no other tire equaled the traction (dry or wet) offered by them on rocks. We also found that we could air down to 6 psi and keep the tires from pulling off the beads of the 16x10 American Racing Type 767 steel wheels. The truck shod with the Swampers was the first one through the mudhole, and we were all disappointed that it made it in only 18 feet before the tires dug down enough for the truck to stop. Disappointed, that is, until the next closest tire fell a full 7 feet behind that. The Swampers were still flinging mud when the axles hit the goo, while the other tires became packed.
•Great selection of large tire sizes
•Wears quickly on pavement
400 W. Artesia Boulevard
National Tire & Wheel
Mickey Thompson Tires & Wheels
4600 Prosper Drive
Stockton Wheel Service
648 W. Fremont St.
10 Sheridan Drive
4637 Allen Rd