Tire Review: Firestone Transforce HT

firestone-transforce-at-2Tire Review: Firestone Transforce HT

 

ROCK-SOLID ROAD TIRE

 

by Bruce W. Smith

It’s not a tire you’d find on trucks that spend a lot of time around mud, and it sure wouldn’t be one you’d run to look cool around a jobsite or cruising on Friday nights.

In fact, Firestone’s Transforce HTs would probably go totally unnoticed unless you made a point of showing someone.

The plus side of Firestone’s all-season “commercial” light truck tire is it’s stability under heavy loads and generally good all-around performance under work pickups.

That’s one of the reasons this tire is an OEM staple found under many heavy-duty pickups.

I put a set of them on my 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 to see how thy fair under a 1/2-ton. My truck was running another brand’s A/T tires in an LT285/70R17 – a plus-size that gave the truck about an inch more ground clearance.

After about 1,200 road miles I noticed switching back to the stock LT265/R17 tire size and putting on the Transforce HTs improved fuel economy by about 2mpg on the open road.Firestone Transforce HT Smith

That’s because the Transformer HT shaved about 15 pounds from what the previous tires weighed, and because Firestone’s commercial tire has less rolling resistance than the tire I was running before.

Steering also became lighter (narrower tread patch on the ground) and the road noise dropped back to the same level as my 2011 GMC Sierra 4×4 had when it was stock.

I found the HTs to be good performers on both wet and dry pavement delivering predictable handling and year-round traction.

Positive benefits, all.

These tires can also  handle light snow and are perfectly at home on your typical gravel backroads, hence the “all-season” moniker.

The only downsides I noticed with Firestone’s HT is they are designed primality for on-highway use where towing/hauling loads is a typical work requirement

Roll them into mud, wet grass, or soft sand and they aren’t happy campers. Their ride, as one would expect from a commercial tire, is also firmer than a non-LT tire.

The tire’s firmness and towing stability comes from  twin steel belts reinforced by spiral-wrapped nylon, which help maintain the tire’s shape to enhance performance at highway speeds.

As for wear mileage, I would expect the Transforce HT, which cost about $200 in the size I tested,  to give a good 50K-60K if tire pressures are maintained and rotation schedules followed.

Towing stability, keeping fuel economy as high as possible, and having tires that provide a reasonable tread life is why  you’d slap a set of these FIrestones on your work truck.  They are all about functionality.– BWS