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Dick Cepek Extreme Country - Testing Cepek’s Latest Mud Terrain Offering

Scott Thompson
Dec 2, 2015
Photographers: Jason Gonderman
We recently jumped at the opportunity to test the new mud-terrain tire offered by Dick Cepek. The Extreme Country is intended to be a mud-terrain–specific tire with streetable manners. Offered in 21 popular sizes, they sport a proven tread pattern design that provides excellent traction, handling, wear, and reduced road noise characteristics. The carcass has been redesigned with two-ply next-generation high tensile body ply cord to be stronger and offer increased sidewall strength and resistance to damage and puncture. This design allows for increased strength without added weight, rolling resistance, or heat buildup. The center tread portion is spaced tighter to reduce road noise, and the side lugs are widely spaced to increase grip in soft or irregular surfaces and aid in self-cleaning. As with most mud tires, these are mud and snow (M+S) rated for added flexibility.
Photo 2/4   |   002 Dick Cepek Extreme Country MT Test
Our friends over at America’s Tire Company (Discount Tire for those outside of California) took on the job of mounting and balancing the 62-pound 315/70R17 tires to a fresh set of Dick Cepek DC Matrix wheels. This wheel-and-tire combination looks sinister on our test truck and fit perfectly. It is important to note the tire selection we installed was a D-rated load variation. We recommend sticking to the proper load rating for your application to maintain OEM payload and towing ratings. Looking past the letter rating, the Extreme Country tires we installed have a rated load of 3,195 pounds, which is on par with a typical E-rated tire of this size. Our initial road testing revealed a relatively quiet and forgiving ride for a mud-terrain tire. There was a bit of tread movement under acceleration that is common with tall-tread tires. Cornering and hard braking characteristics were great and confidence inspiring, especially for a large 3/4-ton truck.
Testing this package off-road revealed its true capabilities. Our route featured a good mix of all types of terrain so we could get a clear impression of the combination. We aired the tires down to 20 psi and hit the trails. Impressions were immediately positive as we had excellent traction and ride characteristics, especially in deep sand and muddy conditions. We were able to push the truck hard in conditions that had our fellow rigs struggling for grip. In the sand, the tires felt as though they had paddles thanks to the widely spaced side lug design. Our testing in mud was minimal, but we needed their capabilities when we crossed a lakebed that was actually quite wet and slick. They proved excellent at shedding the sticky mud and allowed for constant forward momentum to keep us from getting stuck. In a nutshell, this is the exact application the tires were meant for and they didn’t let us down.
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Overall impressions of the Cepek Extreme Country tires were very positive, and we had no complaints. The amount of tread wear was minimal but expected for the terrain we encountered. There were no excessive cuts or chunks missing from the tread and the sidewalls looked great even after all the abuse we dished out. The DC Matrix wheels rolled through the trip without a scratch.
Size Tested: 315/70R17
Type: Radial
Load Range: D
Maximum Load (lb @ psi): 3,195 @ 50
Sidewall Plies: 3 polyester
Approved Rim Width (in): 8-9.5
Tread Depth (in): 19/32
Section Width (in): 12.8
Overall Diameter (in): 34.5
Revolutions Per Mile: 600
Weight (lb): 62
Test Vehicle: ’09 Dodge Ram 2500
Photo 4/4   |   004 Dick Cepek Extreme Country MT Test

Sources

Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels
Stow, OH 44224
330-928-9092
www.dickcepek.com

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