Subscribe to the Free

Nitto Dura Grappler Tires - Road Test!

Nitto's Dura Grappler Highway Terrain Tire

Mike Finnegan
Sep 1, 2008
Photographers: R. Joyce
Photo 2/9   |   nitto Dura Grappler Highway Terrain Tire 1998 Chevy Silverado
The world needs more tires that look cool and still last a long time. We admit it: We'll often choose a tire that's better suited for the dirt than the highway just because it looks aggressive. We know a lot of you out there think just like we do, otherwise there wouldn't be so many pavement-pounding sport trucks running around on mud-terrain rubber. The truth is we spend most of our time on-road and very little time mobbin' through the dirt or mud. In the past, it was tough to find a long-lasting and aggressive tread design that could satisfy our sense of cool and our bank account. Well, Nitto has the answer.
The Dura Grappler Highway Terrain tire not only looks aggressive with its side lugs and sculpted sidewall design, but the staggered block tread works equally well off-highway and on. On the road, this is a quiet tire that offers a smooth ride and really good wet-pavement traction. In the dirt, the Dura Grappler provides a pretty wide footprint, which is great for silt and sandy conditions. This tire works best in hard-packed dirt conditions. Perhaps its best attribute though is the steel-belt-reinforced tread area, which according to Nitto prevents uneven tire wear. Nitto is so confident in these tires that they are offered in an E load rating for you guys who want to haul a heavy load. Depending on the size you choose, a 45,000- or 60,000-mile treadwear warranty is included.
We stuffed a set of 17x9 Boyd Coddington billet wheels into four 285/70R17 Dura Grapplers to see for ourselves whether the new rubber was indeed the bomb. Out test truck was a '98 Chevy Silverado 1500 that had just wore through its last set of mud-terrain tires. Here's what the owner had to say after putting about 5,000 miles on the Nittos:
"The tires are extremely quiet, even at high speeds. They feel a lot smoother than a mud-type tire, and they certainly grip better with the road. When accelerating from a stop at an intersection or anywhere there is street paint (you know, crosswalk lines), I have not noticed any slippage on wet surfaces like you would feel with a mud-type tire. In the rain, these tires do a great job because they have some deep water grooves on them to filter out the water. I drove through 5-inch-deep puddles at 30 mph and only one front tire had a slight hydroplane effect. I think that was due to the speed at which I was entering the puddles.
I would say the only other thing I have noticed, and this might sound funny, is that the truck rolls easier and smoother, with less friction. That's probably due to my other tires being worn out."
LT235/85R16 E 120R '97-'04 {{{Ford F-250}}}/350, '00-'02 {{{Dodge Ram 2500}}}
LT245/75R16 E 120R '98-'04 {{{Ford F-150}}}, '97-'06 GM 1500/2500/3500,
'97-'02 {{{Dodge}}} {{{Ram 2500}}}, '05-'06 {{{Jeep}}} WranglerRubicon
LT265/75R16 E 123R '05-'06 GM C/K 3500, '00-'05 {{{Ford Excursion}}},
'99-'04 {{{Ford}}} {{{F-250}}}/350
LT285/75R16 E 126R '97-'06 GM C/K 2500, '99-'04 Ford F-250/350
LT305/70R16 E 124R '99-'04 Ford F-250/350
P265/65R17 110T '05-'06 {{{Dodge Dakota}}}, '02-'06 {{{Nissan Frontier}}},
'05-'06 {{{Toyota Tacoma}}}
LT235/80R17 E 120R '03-'06 {{{Dodge Ram 3500}}}
LT245/75R17 E 121R '05-'06 Ford F-250/350
LT245/70R17 E 119R '03-'06 Dodge Ram 2500/3500, '04-'06 Ford
{{{F-150}}} HD
LT265/70R17 E 121R '03-'06 {{{Dodge Ram 1500}}}/2500/3500, '02-'06 Ford
LT285/70R 17 E 126R '05-'06 Ford F-250/350
P265/60R18 109H '04-'06 Ford F-150, '06 {{{Dodge Durango}}}, '03-'06
{{{Infiniti FX35}}}
LT275/70R18 E 125R '05-'06 Ford F-250/350
LT275/65R18 E 123R '06 Ford F-250, '05-'06 {{{Ford F-350}}}
P275/55R20 116H XL '02-'04 Dodge {{{Ram 1500}}}, '03-'06 GM 1500 SS,
'06 Ford F-150
LT275/65R20 E 126R '05-'06 Ford F-250/350
LT285/50R22 E 121R '05-'06 Ford F-250/350
Photo 9/9   |   nitto Dura Grappler Highway Terrain Tire 1998 Chevy Silverado
The Final Word
After testing on asphalt for a few weeks that included a welcome Southern California rainstorm, we journeyed into the hills for some sessions on hard-packed dirt. The Dura Grapplers responded well in the dirt, giving us good traction for hillclimbs even though they aren't Nitto's most aggressive tread design.


Subscribe Today and Save up to 83%!

Subscribe Truck Trend Magazine

Subscribe to:

Truck Trend

Subscribe Diesel Power Magazine

Subscribe to:

Diesel Power

Subscribe Truckin Magazine

Subscribe to: