Radial mud tire fine fit for winter work and play
by Bruce W. Smith
Brown water filling ruts and mud creeping through a layer of two-inch-plus base rock might cause some pickup owners pause as they drive along a freshly cut access road.
But there weren’t any traction concerns on my end.
The big Ram Crew Cab 4×4 diesel I was driving felt quite planted with little hint of slipping, sliding or spinning of tires despite the road conditions.
I expected nothing less from the Firestone Destination M/Ts. As the name implies, Firestone’s mud tires are designed to get you to a destination when road conditions would be impassable for pickups shod with less aggressive tires.
That makes the M/T a great winter tire choice for those who make seasonal switches for both work and recreational needs.
We logged more than 2,500 miles on the 33-inch-tall Destination M/Ts, which were mounted on 18-inch Dick Cepek Torque rims. The road and off-road conditions were quite varied, from pavement to dirt, from gravel to mud. The Firestones performed well in all situations
In fact, several aspects of these “E”-range mud tires are surprising: They are quieter than we expected; they improved the Ram’s ride quality; and they improved stopping distance on dry pavement over the factory all-terrains we took off.
Our 60-0mph emergency braking tests at Holiday Raceway showed the 3-ply Firestone M/Ts brought our Project Big Boss Ram to a stop seven feet shorter than the BFG All-Terrains that came stock on the truck.
Improved stopping power is nice when towing or hauling heavy loads. The added bonus for heavy-duty pickup users is this “E”-rated tire has 455 pounds more load-carrying capacity than the OE tires, so it will not hinder towing or hauling to your pickup’s max OEM ratings.
Better ride quality was also a bonus we weren’t expecting. These tires have just the right sidewall flex and aggressive-lug pattern to soften the impact of rocks, potholes, expansion joints, and other road irregularities, making the ride quite comfortable.
The tread also cleans really well and rolls through standing water without the sense of hydroplaning.
The trade-off for better ride and traction, as expected, is an increase in in-cab noise as the lugs set up the typical mud-tire drone at speeds above 35mph. (We noted a 4dBA noise increase over stock at 70mph.).
But we’d gladly accept the slight increase in tire noise for the benefits the Firestone Destination M/Ts bring to the table. These Firestones fit right in with the needs of a pickup owner who doesn’t let winter’s weather impede work or weekend recreational pursuits.
Make: Firestone Destination M/T
Metric Size: LT275/70R18
Weight: 58lbs. (+3)
Load Range: E (Same)
Max Load: 3,640 lbs (+455)
Max PSI: 80 (Same)
Rim Size: 6.5”-8.5”
Section Width: 11.0” (+0.3)
Tread Width: 8.5” (Same)
Diameter: 33.2” (+1.4)
Tread Depth: 20/32” (+4/32)
Stopping Distance 60-0mph: 139.2 ft (-7.0)
Noise @ 70mph: 72dBA (+4)
(Notes difference related to OEM take-off: BFG T/A KO LT265/70R17E)