If I couldn't have modify my Jeep I wouldn't have bought one. It is in it's ability to be modified and personalized that makes a Jeep so desirable to me. (OK, that and the fun things you can do with them.) Before I decided to buy a Jeep I already had amassed a list of major improvements I wanted to make. To make my Jeep a reality I had to put some improvements off until a later date when I could afford them and other items had their budgets trimmed.
One of the areas I decided to save some money was the tires. Tires are temporary. Love 'em or hate 'em you'll be buying new ones every few years. The prices can vary from under $300 to over $500 for 37" tires, that's a difference of over $1,000 for a set of 5. The main reason for the price difference is where the tires are made, and unfortunately this usually means that inexpensive tires are imported from Asia, but not always. My search for cheap tires lead me to three options:
When it comes to 37" tires Federal only offers one model, the Couragia M/T. At the time of this writing 37" was the biggest tire Federal offered, they had it in sizes to fit 17", 18", and 20" wheels. The 37x12.50R17 could be had for just under $300. Federal it a Taiwanese company and these tires are made in Taiwan.
Federal Couragia M/T
Kanati offers two models of 37" tires, the Trail Hog as an all-terrain and the Mud Hog as a mud-terrain. Both of these tires are moderately aggressive, with the only significantly difference coming in the area of the tread blocks along the center of the tire. The Mud Hog has larger voids and less sipping whereas the Trail Hog has tighter tread lug spacing and extensive sipping. The Trail Hog in 37x12.50R17 could be had for under $300. Kanati tires is a brand of Greenball Corp, which is an American company, however these tires are made in Indonesia.
Kanati Trail Hog
Kanati Mud Hog
Of these two Kanati tires I prefer the Trail Hog all-terrain tire for my purposes. I prefer it because of the extensive sipping and hopefully quieter operation compared to the Mud Hog. The Trail Hog has a fairly aggressive tread pattern for an all-terrain category tire, with wide tread lug voids on the outside tread blocks and side-biters for aired-down performance. The 37" Trail Hog is constructed with a 3 ply side wall which is also nice. The tread pattern looks to be heavily inspired by the Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac.
Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac Tread
Kanati Trail Hog Tread
TreadWright tires are not proper "new" tires, they are retread tires. They take good condition used tires, machine them down to a uniform thickness and put new proprietary tread on them. At the time of this writing the largest tire TreadWright offer is 35". They offer several models, the most aggressive being the Claw II. There is a good write-up about them at Rubicon 4 Wheeler done by a guy owns a set. He did extensive research and shares a lot of links to other reviews and articles about TreadWright tires. TreadWright is an American company that re-manufactures tires in America.
TreadWright Claw II
In the end I bought the Kanati Trail Hogs in 37x12.50R17 for just shy of $250 each delivered as part of a package deal with Method Racing 105 17x8.5" beadlock wheels. The money I saved by buying the Trail Hogs allowed me to upgrade my wheels from ATX 195's to the Methods. Living in Wisconsin I value the snow and ice performance of tires and the Trail Hog looks like the most aggressive tire of this bunch that features extensive sipping. I also think they strike a nice balance between street-friendly tread and aired-down trail tread. I expect some road hum but I'm hoping they are not too loud. I'll post a review of them once I've had time driving them.
© Mike Riley 2016.