Interco Swamper SS M16 Tires
It was tire time. Nothing new there as your going to be faced with this problem from time to time and the nitto terra grapplers I had been running were starting to reach the limit of what they could do. I found myself constantly pushing the limits of mud and ruts I was getting into. I figured if I didn't do something different tire wise I'd eventually get stuck. I needed a tire that fit a certain set of requirements. Amazing how few there were to choose from once I made this list.
1. Had to be 295/75R16's. I found this the ideal tires size for my truck. I didn't need a lift and it gave me good ground clearance. Plus my speedometer was dead accurate with that size :)
2. Had to be load range E. The nitto's were actually load range D's and that always worried me when I hooked up to heavy loads like my backhoe and its trailer.
3. Had to be a MT aka mud tire. The nitto's were AT's aka all terrain so the new tires had to be more aggressive.
4. Had to have a tread pattern that wouldn't sound like a twin engine bomber going down the road. This eliminated a bunch of tires such as the nitto mud grapplers.
5. Had to have a tread pattern that would handle highway usage too. No sense in having a mud that was a horror on wet roads and maybe snow too.
6. Had to have lateral needs designed into the tread. Didn't want to be sliding sideways in the mud all the time.
I figured following this list would help me navigate through the huge list of mud tires out there. It actually worked out a ton better at narrowing the field down than I originally thought. The list left 2 tires to choose from believe it or not. My choice would be between the Toyo MT's or the new ss m16's from Interco.
The Toyo's are a proven tire. I had run tires on other trucks similar to their design and would of been a "safe" choice. The ssm16's are newcomers and I could find very little reviews from people that actually had them. Also they don't look very aggressive in the pictures I found on the net. So it was iffy if they would be what I wanted. But I went with the ssm16's since they looked tread wise like they would handle the highway part better than the Toyo's.
I found a company on the net called National Tire and Wheel at http://www.ntwonline.com.
The order process was easy and they gave me 3% off the total price for buying 4 tires at once. Very nice. The tires weighed 300 pounds and shipping was $60. Not bad. The FedEx guy didn't care for delivering them though :)
After getting them mounted and balanced the local guy at the tire shop who had run the Swamper boggers on his truck in the past kept telling me I was going to hate the ssm16's because he could tell that a tire that aggressive was going to drive like crap and all Swamper were horrible on the road. Good thing I didn't talk to him before I ordered because he couldn't of been anymore wrong. As aggressive as these truck tires are they still ride like car tires. Smooth as silk. Handling is quick and responsive. No wandering at all. These have to be the smoothest mud tires on a truck I've ever driven or ridden in. They are just as smooth if not smoother than the nitto AT's I took off. The tires are completely silent up till 45 mph. At that point the roar starts.
Course calling it roaring is kind of like calling a door squeaking an air raid siren. Its a hum if anything and similar to a small boat motor. Its hard to really describe as I've never heard tires make a noise like these do. My son said it sounds like I'm running on some kind of futuristic anti grav device or something. Its wild.
So enough babbling. Here's what they look like. I'm going to get some better pics when the suns up. It was almost dark when I took these.
The next 3 pics shows nitto vs the new ssm16. Both tires are 295/75R16's but the ssm16's are definitely a bit larger.
The verdict? I think my daughter summed it up when she walked around the corner of the wall at the place that was mounting the tires and saw them for the first time on the truck..... "BAD ASSSSS!!!"