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We have remarked often on the astounding capability of modern heavy duty diesel pickups in general and the current generation of RAM Cummins trucks in specific. Our project truck, the Hardworking Hauler, is rated to tow almost 30,000 pounds and can handle almost 6,000 pounds of load in the bed. They call our 3500 Laramie crew cab dually a “one-ton” pickup, even though it’s really a three-ton pickup. Fully loaded with people and luggage in the cab and fuel in the tanks our truck weighs close to 10,000 pounds. If we were towing the maximum rated load, we’d be nearly 40,000 pounds rolling down the highway. Think about that: a big rig tractor-trailer is limited to 80,000 pounds on most highways, so your HD RAM truck can legally be half of a big rig.
We’re not quite that heavy, with our 40-foot gooseneck race trailer fully loaded with race car, tools, spare parts, generator fuel and water tanks topped off, we’re about 30,000 pounds. That’s still a big vehicle and we’re always pleased with how easily and comfortably our RAM transports us and our trailer to races. In fact, it’s done this for almost 50,000 miles, wearing out its first set of tires in the process.
Purchasing race tires is easy for us; we have years of success and data with our Mickey Thompson tires. Others may like Hoosier or Phoenix or Goodyear, but the point is drag race tires are limited in their function and are designed to do one thing well—accelerate down the quarter mile. Street cars are easy to put new shoes on as well; do you want long lasting tires for a commuter vehicle? Or high performance three season tires for a muscle car? Whatever you’re looking for the market has provided lots of options from which you can choose, most of them very good tires that don’t require a lot of thought before purchasing.
But tires for our big Cummins truck, well, that’s a different story. We know that the tires RAM put on the truck at the factory had to meet all of RAM’s requirements and specifications. The tire has to be rated for the load it may have to carry, it has to have construction that can handle the prodigious torque of the turbo 6.7L Cummins engine while trying to accelerate up to almost 40,000 pounds. And conversely, the tires need to be able to bring that load to a halt as quickly as possible when the brakes are applied. And for long distance towing the tire needs to be quiet and comfortable as well.
When you’re looking for tires for your HD RAM, safety must be your paramount concern. Who cares if the tires look good or were a bargain if one of them delaminates or blows out on the road? All of the weight and all of the power and torque of your truck and trailer ultimately have to be borne by the tires. The tires are the only part on your entire truck that are actually in contact with the road. We kind of feel sorry for truck tire manufacturers, they have to engineer, design and build tires that can handle huge loads, last a long time, work in all kinds of weather and do all of this and provide comfort as well.
The new Toyo Open Country C/T combines commercial grade toughness and off-road prowess with long haul comfort and mileage expectancy.
Enter Toyo Tire’s new Open Country C/T (C/T stands for Commercial Traction). This tire features an all-terrain tread pattern with commercial grade durability. Toyo developed this tire for on- and off-road usage on heavy duty trucks that haul and tow. The tire is “Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake” qualified for severe snow conditions. In fact, it’s pinned for studs and able to accept TSMI #15 studs for ice conditions.
Toyo made this tire for owners like us who need a strong, tough commercial grade tire that will work anywhere we go and anytime of the year we go there. The tire’s construction features high turn-up 3-ply polyester construction which means that the ply cords overlap and extend high up the sidewall of the tire. This results in exceptional durability, bruise resistance, stability and steering response. The Open Country C/T also features two full width high-strength steel belts. It’s clear that this 10-ply tire is built tough enough for owners like us.
So the basic tire carcass is as heavy duty as our truck. Let’s move to the outside of the tire. Like every technology in the world, tire compounds and chemistry are approaching the point where they appear to be magic to those who aren’t tire engineers. The Open Country C/T has a balanced tread compound that helps resist cutting, chipping and stone drilling while remaining flexible in lower temperatures. Yet somehow, Toyo also made the compound long lasting and serviceable year round, summer and winter. The design features dual-angle shoulder blocks to enhance traction in snow, mud and other bad road conditions. And the open shoulder design helps provide traction in mild mud, slush and snow.