Tire Test First Impressions: Sailun Terramax HLT
An Economical, Functional Tire You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
We recently jumped at the opportunity to test the fairly new Sailun Terramax HLT all-season tire. To be honest, we weren't too familiar with Sailun, but upon researching the company, we learned that they are a Canada-based company that has been producing tires since 2001. The Terramax HLT tires sold in the USA are produced in Vietnam and are marketed under TBC Brands, which also peddles 17 other tire brands, among them Sumitomo and Trailer King.
For this first review, we will highlight the key features of the newest tire, the Terramax HLT, in a 265/60R18 size. According to Sailun's website, this tire is offered in 37 metric and LT sizes for wheels ranging from 15 to 20 inches. It's marketed as an all-season performance light-truck and SUV tire. We chose the 265/60R18 as a factory replacement size on our stock 2008 Ford F-150 SuperCrew truck. Previously, we had a very well-known brand set of tires on the truck and were surprised when a somewhat dangerous vibration popped up in the form of belt separation under the tread. Scary to think what could have happened at 75 mph if a blowout had occurred! Granted, those tires were getting a bit old, but we didn't think too much about it since there was plenty of tread life in them. Lesson learned—pay attention to the born-on dates.
The Sailun Terramax HLT tires are a bargain when compared to the name-brand tires we were running, with very comparable specs. Sailun claims these key features of the Terramax HLT tires: a large contact area formulated for long-lasting tread life and improved overall handling, a tread pattern designed to effectively reduce noise, and four extra-wide grooves to channel water away for better traction in wet-weather conditions. The first feature we noticed when we received the tires is the tread block pattern on the shoulder and upper sidewall areas. We will see if these really add any additional grip when we take our two-wheel-drive truck in the loose, sandy desert dirt in which we routinely find ourselves.
Currently, we are only about 325 miles into the test, but so far the Sailun Terramax HLT is demonstrating favorable qualities. The first thing we noticed is no unusual tire noise while driving at any legal speeds. Since they are an all-season tire, we didn't expect them to be noisy, like an all-terrain or mud-terrain. But while some tread patterns generate unreasonable noise, the Terramax HLT does not. The weather here in Southern California has been pretty wet this season, and we had a chance to drive our F-150 unloaded on some twisty, wet roads with the HLTs. We're happy to report that we felt pretty confident with no surprise loss of traction coming out of the apex of the curves. Anybody that drives a fullsize, unloaded pickup in the rain on a twisty road knows that it can be a bit unsettling when the rear comes around unexpectedly. Don't get us wrong though, these aren't high-performance tires, but for the price, they are performing exactly as the manufacturer claims and seem to be of good value. Time will tell.
The HLTs we are testing come with a 60-month, 50,000-mile warranty and a road hazard warranty for the first 25 percent of treadwear or one year, whichever comes first.
Please stay tuned, as Truck Trend will be publishing another, more complete update when we get some decent miles on the Terramax HLT, and we will see if the tires live up to our initial positive experience.