Open Country A/T
Toyo’s venerable all-terrain light-truck tires thrive in the terrain their name implies…
By Bruce W. Smith
Forty to 45,000 miles on a set of tires pushes the safe limit for most pickups used in the construction and contracting world. By then the top of old Abe’s head is probably showing, and what used to be sharp blocks of tread are now just rounded nubs that have lost their tractive abilities.
If this describes your truck’s tires, one replacement worth considering is the LT “E” version of the Toyo Open Country A/T. This is an all-terrain with an “E”-load rating and a 40,000-mile tread-wear warranty in the 16- and 17-inch rim sizes.
We slid a set of OCs on Project Bedrock’s 17×8.5-inch Vision Wheels’ V-Tec Warlord wheels to see how they fared compared to the Cooper Destination S/T MAXXs that we’d been running.
The LT265/70R17E Toyos we selected were an inch shorter and 10 pounds lighter than the LT285/70R17E Coopers and a little less aggressive in the tread design. Hence, we gained a little in some areas and lost in others.
In-cab noise levels at 70mph on smooth pavement were 1-2 dBa lower than the old tires. The Toyos also lacked the high-pitched whine from the competitor’s more aggressive tread.
The Toyo A/T seemed more sensitive to rougher asphalt than the tire we took off, bumping in-cab readings from 68 dBa to 73 dBa when we subjected them to an old section of interstate. This is probably because the Toyos have more tread on the surface.
Ride quality, especially when hitting expansion joints and road cracks or driving over 2-inch-minus road beds felt very similar to the Coopers – and very typical of “E”-rated LTs – slightly harsher than the traditional light-duty SUV/pickup tire found on street vehicles.
Toyo adds an extra nylon cap across their “E”-rated tire’s caps, which accounts for a hefty 3,195-pound load capacity at 80psi and the firmer ride. (We tested the tires at 35psi on our Sierra 1500 Crew Cab 4×4.)
I was pleased with the Toyo Open Country A/T’s traction. I sought out numerous construction sites and gravel back roads while putting about 1,000 miles on the treads.
They performed better than your average “all-terrain” in the typical summer jobsite conditions and average in heavy rains on pavement. The tread bock design evacuates water really well and the tires feel well-connected wet pavement or dry.
Off-pavement the more open outer tread blocks grip well in light mud, sand and over rocky terrain. However, they don’t like mud with a high clay content.
But the biggest plus for this particular tire is the smaller diameter, lighter weight Toyo A/T increased the GMC 1500’s fuel economy by 1.5mpg on our 108-mile test loop where we maintain 70mph over rolling I-20/59.
This is something fleet managers and fuel-conscious pickup owners should pay heed; lighter rolling mass and staying within OEM tire diameters can be a really good combination.
My take on the Toyo Open Country A/T is they would make a good replacement for worn-out factory or aftermarket all-terrains.
They are just a bit more aggressive than the typical A/T, but not to the level of some hybrid versions.
Treadwise, the Toyo Open Country A/T should stand up well against tread chunking when subjected to day-in, day-out use on road bases and around aggregates sites. In normal use this tire should last at least 45,000 miles.
Lastly, the Open Country A/T is a good “E”-rated LT that would work perfectly fine under ¾- and 1-ton HDs, while the standard LT version would be my pick for the ½-tons.
- TIRE TESTED: TOYO OPEN COUNTRY A/T
- SIZE: LT265/70R17E
- DIAMETER: 31.7”
- WEIGHT: 50 lbs
- NOISE: 68-73 dBa @70mph*
- MUD TRACTION: 6/10
- DRY TRACTION: 7.5/10
- RIDE: 7.5/10
- TREAD WEAR WARRANTY: 40,000 miles
- WHEELS: 17×8.5 Vision V-Tec Warlord 394
* Sound readings taken at the driver position in a 2011 GMC Sierra CC 4×4 5.3L w/ Corsa Commercial Exhaust