With the numerous options available, choosing the correct tire for your light truck or SUV can be overwhelming. Should you choose a tire that focuses more on highway driving with some light off-roading, or vice-versa? For starters, what will fit your truck will depend on the type of vehicle, and if any type of modifications have been done to the suspension, fender liner, etc.
While most off-road experts will agree that Off-Road Maximum Traction tires (or mudders) are the right tire for deep mud, bogging and loose rocks and soil, On-/Off-Road All-Terrain tires offer the versatility of a highway tire with the capabilities of some light off-roading. Keep in mind that these tires are more aggressive than your regular Highway All-Season tires, so you will be trading some ride quality in favor of a more rugged, aggressive all-around tire.
The BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 has been a perennial favorite in this category. Lots of traction on gravel roads, an aggressive tread design featuring high voids between the knobby blocks makes the BFG one of our most popular tires. It's currently the number one tire according to our consumer survey results. It also meet the industry's severe snow service requirements and is branded with the mountain/snowflake symbol.
I've had personal experiences with the next two tires: the Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo 2 and General Grabber AT 2. I drove the Bridgestones on an old Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 that saw lots of snow and ice and that tire turned the Jeep into a tank! I also did some backwoods off-road driving on mud and it performed really well. Compared to the BFGoodrich, the Bridgestone is also slightly quieter on the highway. I drove the General Grabber AT2 in the same type of climate for a couple of years, but on a different truck. It's very similar in design to the BFG, but in my estimation, it doesn't have the same type of grip, especially during the winter months. Another nice feature is the price point. Depending on the size, they're a little bit less expensive, so if you drive mostly in the city and on the highway, the General is a great choice.
Of all the tires I have had a chance to test, the Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S is one of the quietest and most comfortable, and the one which will perform like a Highway All-Season tire. It also features possibly the least aggressive tread design in the bunch, so there's a tradeoff. A new player in the game is the Hankook Dynapro AT-M. With its scalloped grooves and lateral zig-zag sipings, it provides lots of biting edges for traction in snow and on ice. One nice feature is that the Hankook tire meets the industry's severe snow service requirements and it's one of the most affordable ones with that feature.
Whether you're looking for improved winter traction, some off-road driving or on-road aptitude, an On-/Off-Road All-Terrain tire may be your ticket.