June 29, 2020

A Cautionary Tale About Truck Tires

Do you know what kind of tires are on your tow vehicle? Have you ever taken the time to read tire reviews? I have a cautionary tale of a near-mishap I had while trailering recently for you!

On my old truck, I had Michelin Defender LTX MS/2's on it, which I carefully chose after reading hundreds of reviews. They're one of the best-rated light truck tires available, and with a 70,000 mile tread warranty to boot.

Those tires were so sticky, I couldn't get that truck's backend unstuck even when I was trying to goof off in a snowy empty parking lot. It was the ultimate boring driving experience, which is what I want out of my tow vehicle.

Michelin Defender LTX MS/2 reviews on TireRack.com

My new truck came with the factory Goodyear Eagle LS-2's with only 28k miles on them and great tread depth left. Since I got it, I'd been experiencing some oversteer on fast turns on dry pavement and some skitteryness on gravel that I felt was inappropriate, but I chalked it up to me learning to drive the new truck, with its increased torque at the wheels thanks to its 8spd transmission (vs 4spd in my old truck).


They had performed great while hauling, but I hadn't yet gotten the chance to drive in heavy rain. On the last 10 minutes of my trip home from CGP's two weeks ago, a torrential rainstorm let loose. I made a slow, careful left turn at a big 4 way stop on a state highway, and felt the back end fishtail!

Goodyears

Luckily the trailer stayed straight while the truck shimmied, but I was so mad, especially since it let loose on such a slow, careful turn. I knew immediately it was those f****** tires. To add insult to injury, on the 55mph state highway, I couldn't go faster than 35-40 without hydroplaning, and even when the vehicle was under control my normally solid steering felt floaty and not connected to the ground.

As soon as I got home, I hopped on TireRack.com and read the reviews on the Eagles. "Plan on parking your vehicle if it rains," and "worst tires I've ever owned," and "hydroplane city" and "replaced these with only 3,000 miles on them, if that tells you how bad they are." Alrighty then, it's not just me.

Goodyear reviews - a lot less green!

I did not plan on dropping $1,000 on new tires this month, but I do NOT jack around with safety issues like that. Less than 24 hours after I fishtailed I had replaced those MF'ers with the Michelin Defender LTX MS/2's, and I have since TRIED to get skitter and oversteer out of it in the same situations, and I can't. They are just simply better tires, and the relief of knowing I can trust my tires is worth every penny.

So especially if you don't haul enough to find yourselves towing in truly adverse weather conditions often, I encourage you to read the reviews on the tires you're putting on your tow vehicle! (I highly recommend TireRack.com even if you're not buying there). It might save your life someday - this situation might have ended badly if the torrential rain had hit just a half hour earlier when I was still on the interstate.


17 comments:

  1. Good grief, that is so scary. So glad you both made it home in one piece.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, me too! My adrenaline kicked in at the time so it didn't seem scary at the time, but it sure did afterward.

      Delete
  2. That’s terrifying and a really good reminder that not all tires are created equal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For sure, I hope that's the takeaway from this. Having probably three years left on their lifespan and lots of tread depth left wasn't enough to overcome the fact that these tires were 1. shitty and 2. not appropriate for towing (they're grand touring tires).

      Delete
  3. Good tires are so worth the extra money in the long run!

    ReplyDelete
  4. wow - that sounds scary! Tires are 100% worth getting the best ones you can. I've bookmarked the michelins for my next set. Thanks for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! I'm sure there are other good tires out there besides the Michelins, but I've had such a good experience with them, I keep buying them.

      Delete
  5. ugh glad nothing happened! hauling in crappy conditions is never ideal, but definitely no good whatsoever with the wrong equipment!!! :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely. In my old rig, I hauled in the absolute pouring rain for 2.5 hours on the interstate on the way to Kentucky Horse Park and it was a non-issue. Couldn't imagine doing that on those Goodyears.

      Delete
  6. My husband's truck has similarly crappy tires. I end up towing with my older and not nearly as powerful or fancy truck simply because I don't trust his on our windy roads.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just, why? Haha. I get that there are different tires meant for different situations/road feel preferences/etc, but I don't get inappropriate tires. I would make the same choice you did!

      Delete
  7. Yup, those are the tires that we have (the Michelin's, I mean). I think we're on our... third set? On two different trucks. They are the best!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good advice and thanks for the website tip! Our Ford needs new tires and we will check out this site first.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yep, tires is one place I never go cheap! Admittedly I'm not positive off the top of my head what's on my truck, but they are the ones it came with. I'll have to do some research and make sure they're decent!

    ReplyDelete