I'll be needing to replace my Bridgestone HT Duelers pretty soon, and I checked on Tirerack.com for reviews of current tires. Seems the Kumho HT's are well thought of and cheap.
Most of my driving is 2x4 going on errands, or hauling a trailer to the dump. My 4x4 is mostly used in highway snow and getting around in a soggy pasture, sometimes with a trailer. No real 4 wheelin anymore. So highway efficiency and comfort is a plus.
The guy at my local Big O tire store (who steered me right on shocks for the Lincoln) told me he had a better tire at a better price. It's called a Mesa which he claimed is built by Goodyear. Said it's quiet and roadworthy, but a bit more aggressive offroad if I need it. He put it somewhere the Bridgestone Dueler and the Kumho.
Anyone used these? Other opinions while we're at it?
Ok, so I did an FTE public service and purchased the Mesa AP (all terrain) tires from Big O. So far they are good on the highway, very quiet and stick well on mountian curves, sidewalls seem stiff enough (load range C). Dry roads only so far, but I'll report back when it rains and after we go to Tahoe for some snow time. I'll see if I can find a muddy road too.
They look like they're well siped, and the tread blocks are similar to the Kumho AT's. They look like they ought to shed minor mud ok, with tapered walls on the tread blocks. Overall, they look and are described as a less aggressive AT/LT tire, good for guys like me who don't go mudding or deep snow but need something more aggressive than a SUV highway M&S, and don't want to sound like a 19 yr old kid going down the road...
The decision was informed more by bald tires and an empty wallet, and I did talk to some locals who had the Mesas and like 'em, including one Toyota owner who said they did great down in crappy Mexico roads. Four 31x10.5x15's cost $424 out the door.
Funny thing is the Santa Cruz Big O manager swears they are Goodyear made, but the Los Gatos owner thought they were Cooper, but couldn't be sure. Duh.
The BigO guys here said they were made by Cooper. I'd have to go find the link to the government web site, but the manufacturer (and plant, for that matter) are encoded in the DOT # that's on each tires sidewall. Let me see if I can find it (it's on another site).
Here's what I wrote:
Originally Posted by MrShorty
I'm sure most of you are aware that off brand tires are really made by the big boys -- they just put a different name on them. Ever wondered how to tell who makes a given off-brand tire? Ever wondered how to tell where your name brand tires were made? Ever wondered how to tell when your tires were made? I did some research, and have figured out how to partially decode the DOT code so you can get this information. I didn't see this information posted here, so I thought I'd put it up in case anyone was interested.
1st locate the DOT code: It will usually be on only one side of the tire, down by the rim. If you don't see it on the outside as you have your tires mounted, it should be found on the inside. It will look like this:
DOT MC(XX XXXX) WKYR
as an example: I have a Firestone tire with this as its codeOT 8XHL xxx 3900
Here's what it means:
MC -- These first two characters after DOT designate the manufacturer/plant. Take these two characters and enter them into the DOT ID search field of this NHTSA search page http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/manufacture/ For my example, it shows 8X as Bridgestone/Firestone in Graniteville, SC.
The X's are extra digits used by some manufacturers to identify individual tire lines and stuff. From what I can gather, these digits, when present, are only meaningful to the manufacturer.
The last four digits designate the week (WK) and year (YR) the tire was manufactured. I've seen some indication that older tires (pre-'99 or something) will sometimes only use 3 digits, where the first two indicate week, and the last one year. So a date code of 414 would be the 41st week of either 1994 or 1984. So, for my sample tire, it was made in the 39th week (late sept/early oct) of 2000.
Hopefully someone will find this information of interest. It can seem pretty trivial, but I enjoy finding trivial pieces of information like this.
Last edited by mrshorty; 10-17-2007 at 11:59 PM.
Reason: add NHTSA link
I too just purchased a set of Mesa tires from Big-O...
Fantastic deal for those looking for a generic tire...out the door at $415!!
I'm hoping they perform as well as a brand name...my tire guy seems to think so. I read some of the posts here...and most were positive.
Tread pattern is substantial, but I hope they do well on slick Vegas city streets...coated with oil...after rain showers.
Great website...glad I bumped into it... aloha, kurt.