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Toyo Open Country R/T

The warrant officer of tires

Joe Burnside
Feb 20, 2015
Photographers: Courtesy of the Manufacturer, Joe Burnside
The U.S. Army Warrant Officer is a technical expert, combat leader, trainer, and advisor in 45 basic military occupational specialties. The Army uses Warrant Officers to serve in specific positions that require greater longevity than the billet duration of commanders and other staff officers. The duration of these assignments results in increased technical expertise as well as increased leadership and management skills.
The engineers at Toyo have managed to create a new tire that fills a significant void within the light truck segment. The Toyo Open Country R/T on-/off-road Rugged Terrain tire is poised to attack the no-man’s-land between the all-terrain and mud-terrain tire marketplace. The Open Country R/T has respectable on-road characteristics, is aesthetically pleasing, and handles extremely well off-road. As a retired Army Non-Commissioned Officer, I consider the Open Country R/T to be the Warrant Officer of tires. They were born from the mud trenches (Open Country M/T) and understand quite well what is needed to survive, but when not in battle they clean up nicely and have a level of professional sophistication (Open Country A/T II) that quickly adapts to the surroundings.
Photo 2/5   |   Lowering the tire pressure to increase the contact surface between the ground and tire is a common practice when rockcrawling or traversing deep sand. This technique of reduced tire pressure is only approved for slow speeds. The tires must be inflated to proper pressure before normal driving is resumed.
Gathering inspiration from the Open Country M/T, the Open Country R/T employs similar strategy. To prevent mud and snow buildup, the R/T uses wide shoulder grooves, which contribute to the tire’s ability to provide exceptional off-road traction. Warrant Officers typically have wide shoulders to carry the responsibility they are charged with, and in similar fashion the scalloped shoulder lugs on the R/T not only look tough and intimidating but also provide added traction in terra firma. A burp of the throttle works in conjunction with the stone and mud ejectors to keep the lugs clean so they can continue to maintain forward progress. A 3-ply polyester casing design provides the necessary armor to protect the tire from the damaging terrain typically found in the off-road battlefield. We performed most of our off-road testing in the great Southwest, where soft sand and heavily rutted desert roads prevail. The Open Country R/T performed quite well. Most of the dirt trails, sand hills, and rock trails were tackled at street pressure. We are true believers of reduced tire pressure when the terrain requires but, to be perfectly honest, when driving a rig towing a trailer, airing down is a pain we’d rather avoid. With disciplined throttle control to maintain optimal tire momentum, we didn’t have to air down to get to our off-road rendezvous point with our trailer and toys.
Photo 3/5   |   The Toyo Open Country R/T is poised to attack the no-man’s-land between the all-terrain and mud-terrain tire marketplace. The Open Country R/T has respectable on-road characteristics, is aesthetically pleasing, and handles extremely well off-road. The scalloped shoulder lugs on the R/T not only look tough and intimidating, they also provide added traction in terra firma. Notice how the tread on the sidewall is now employed as a traction aid; this works equally well in mud and snow.
Not all skirmishes are fought off pavement. Let’s face it—in today’s world, most trucks spend the majority of time on pavement. The large lateral voids found in most mud-terrain tires typically result in loud tire hum and tire wobble. The Open Country R/T does not fall victim to these flaws. Toyo’s proprietary Advanced Tire Operation Module (A.T.O.M.), strategically placed center blocks with necessary siping, and Toyo’s high standard for tire uniformity give the Open Country R/T exceptional on-road manners. Tires that are not uniform require excessive weight to balance and have extremely poor ride quality. The tire technicians at Discount Tire in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, were impressed with the minimal weight required to balance the R/Ts. Not only is the ride nice and smooth thanks to the uniformity, but the Open Country R/T is exceptionally quiet, too, similar to its brother in arms, the Open Country A/T II. The 3-ply design not only serves as side armor protection, but it also strengthens the sidewall and affords a load rating of E. For our application, 35x12.5R17LT translates to a maximum load of 3,195 pounds per tire, meaning our hauling and towing capabilities are not reduced. Thanks to the siping, the tires performed well in wet road conditions, even while towing. The R/T has good lateral grip, too; pushing the 2500HD hard into corners resulted in extremely minimal tire scrub. We maintained lines not achievable in other mud-terrain–specific tires. A unique aesthetic feature of the Open Country R/T is its two distinct sidewall designs—just another hint of the duality of this tire.
Photo 4/5   |   Neither mud, sand, snow, nor heavy towing is a problem for the Open Country R/T. The R/T is always ready for battle. With a load rating of E and a maximum load of 3,195 pounds per tire, it is an adequate replacement. Better yet, lower inflation pressure at the specified load rating translates to a softer ride, and tire noise levels are kept to a minimum.
Success on the battlefield is dependent upon a well-established garrison. Understanding that concept, Toyo Tire North America Manufacturing Inc. has embarked on a $371 million expansion of its White, Georgia, tire plant, where the Open Country R/T is manufactured. This will expand the manufacturing and warehouse portions of the plant to a staggering 3 million square feet. The expansion is a direct result of the increase in demand for Toyo tires. At the groundbreaking ceremony, Toyo Chairman Jim Hawk said, “We are proud to manufacture tires for North America, on North American soil.”
I once overheard a Commander tell his Lieutenant, “If you want a job done correctly, give it to a Warrant Officer.” The Open Country R/T gets my nod of approval. It embodies the best traits from Toyo’s Open Country M/T workhorse and the recently redesigned Open Country A/T II. The aggressive tread is designed to overcome off-road obstacles, and the skillfully engineered on-road manners set this tire in a rank of its own. Address these tires as Mister R/T or Chief R/T, as they have been designed to earn that level of respect.
Tire as Tested
Tire: Toyo Open Country R/T
Size tested: 35x12.5R17LT
Type: Radial
Load range: E
Maximum load: 3,195 pounds at 65 psi
Sidewall plies: 3 polyester
Tread plies: 2 nylon, 2 steel, 3 polyester
Approved Rim Width: 8.5 to 11 inches
Tread depth: 19/32 inch
Section width: 12.5 inches
Overall diameter: 34.8 inches
Revolutions per mile: 598
Weight: 75 pounds
Test vehicle: ’07 Chevrolet Silverado Available Sizes: Currently, only 8 SKUs are available to fit the most common 17-, 18-, and 20- inch wheel sizes
Photo 5/5   |   The tire technicians at Discount Tire in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, were impressed with the minimal weight required to balance the tires. Toyo’s high standards for tire uniformity give the Open Country R/T exceptional on-road manners.

Sources

Discount Tire
888-544-9235
http://www.discounttire.com
Toyo Tire (U.S.A.) Corp.
Cypress, CA

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