10,000-mile update: Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac

My 33-inch (285/70/17) Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs began their service life with tread blocks 18/32 of an inch deep. In my August 5,000-mile video review, I reported that depth to be 16/32, which projected a lifespan of about 40,000 miles. Six months later, with 10,000 miles now under their steel belts, my Duratracs’ tread depth has only dropped another 32nd, to 15/32″. (These are both four-tire averages, by the way. At 5,000 miles, there was a single tire among the four on the Jeep that still measured 17/32″. At 10,000, two of the four were right at 15/32″, with the other two a 32nd high and low, respectively.)

The corners of the tread blocks show only normal rounding, and I’ve not encountered any cupping, excessive pitting or any other sign of abnormal or premature wear. I’m continuing to use a five-tire rotation to maximize the set’s usefulness, and I still expect to get at least 40,000 miles’ service from the tires.

tread-comparo

I’ve used these tires in an array of environments, and have been very pleased with their performance:

On-road

The Duratracs continue to be a great choice for daily driving duties. Inflated to 28 psi, they’re quiet and comfortable. Traction on dry pavement is excellent. My street driving, imageparticularly at highway speeds, tends to demand a lot from tires that weren’t exactly designed for hard-charging corners, but I’ve never felt like the Goodyears were at risk of losing grip. The tires don’t miss a beat when the skies open up, either. Wet-pavement traction is just as solid. Dropping the 11.5-inch-wide Goodyears on one side of the Jeep into rainwater collecting along the roadway will, of course, pull the rig that direction, but this is to be expected with any wide truck/SUV tire.

While we’ve had a warmer-than-usual winter this year, what frozen precipitation has come our way has proved no match for the Duratracs. The tires have easily tackled snow up to about five inches with no slipping or other loss of control. On ice-covered roadways, I have seen occasional minor slippage, but only when starting from a standstill. I suspect this is simply my learning curve in applying the tires’ wider contact patch to the icy surface. That aside, both driving and braking are confidence-inspiring.

Off-road

rock-steps-010117I was very excited to finally move beyond the simple gravel roads to test the Duratracs’ mettle against some real off-road challenges. And, I’m happy to report they’ve not disappointed me here, either. They handled the local sandstone and other rock like smooth, dry pavement and impersonated a mud-terrain with easy when the going got just a little soupy. A big point of curiosity for me was how these tires would fare in the deep sand so common in my local wheeling environment. And, I must say, the Duratracs handled the fine sands brilliantly, never spinning a tire.

After more than a year of ownership, I continue to be impressed with the Duratracs. I’m looking forward to years of adventures with them.

 

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