Pro Pickup

April 2013

Propickup Digital Magazine

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TIRETEST By John Tiger SPECIFICATIONS TIRE TESTED: Cooper Discoverer M & S SIZE: LT265/70R17 DIAMETER: 31.65" WEIGHT: 49 lbs NOISE: 63 db(A) @55mph* SNOW/ICE TRACTION: 7/10 DRY TRACTION: 8/10 RIDE: 7/10 TREAD WEAR WARRANTY: N/A WHEELS: Vision Warrior 17" * Sound readings taken at the driver's seat in a 2011 Dodge Ram 4×4 hemi Cooper's Discoverer M+S helps snowbelt contractor deal with difficult winter driving conditions J ames Thompson, a local flooring contractor in New York's Adirondack region, is often faced with navigating steep, snowy driveways when servicing the needs of local homeowners. But he's never been happy with the Goodyear Wranglers that came on his 2011 Ram 1500 4x4, saying winter performance is "less than satisfactory." To get out of slippery spots, Thompson utilized four-wheel drive. He'd never thought about switching to more dedicated winter tires until Mike Stoltz, product manager at Cooper Tire (, suggested running a set of Cooper's premier snows, A slight application of Never-Seize will ensure that the wheels are removable without Herculean efforts next time. Discoverer M + S studdable models in the stock 265/70R17 size. The switch from a good allterrain to a dedicated snow tire (it has the mountain peak/snow flake symbol) was a real eyeopener for both Thompson and myself. Given that the Wranglers had a pretty aggressive tread pattern, we didn't expect to notice a big difference in traction or overall driving performance. We were dead wrong: The Coopers were so good, that after a week of driving on them in the snow and ice that my bud remarked, "I'll never go without snow tires again." SLICK STUFF We tested the Coopers on a warmish January day a week after Ma Nature dumped a little over a foot of snow on our local area. The test bed was my driveway, a pretty steep grade a few tenths of a mile long, and coated with a few inches of hard ice and slick snow. With the Coopers installed, Jim's truck scampered up the Cooper's tread is clearly more aggressive and deeper than stock Wrangler's tread. drive like a clawed cat in both 2WD and 4WD, leaving us with an overall feel of sure-footedness and security. While we could easily get the tires to spin in 2WD if with a heavy foot, in no way did we have to baby the Hemi to get the tires to bite. Braking was surprisingly secure, as well, when we performed a hard stop test from 10 mph heading down the drive. The ABS barely engaged as the Coopers bit hard and stopped us within a few feet. Back at the shop, we quickly removed the Coopers and mounted the stock Goodyears. We were not prepared for the dramatic difference in performance. The truck did not feel nearly as stable, and our trips up and down the long driveway proved that our subjective opinion was well founded. In 2WD, the Ram would barely make it up the drive as the slightest application of throttle caused the rear tires to spin. In 4-Hi the Ram made it up easily, but not without lighting up the traction control light on the dash a few times. On the way down, our braking test revealed that the ABS system deployed almost immediately after we hit the brakes, showing the Wranglers were slipping substantially. On open road, clear of snow and ice, the difference in tire noise at 55mph was barely perceptible, the Coopers being 2-3dB louder than the factory treads. While that may not seem like a big difference, there was a decidedly louder and more defined note to the ear when running the Coopers. As for bare pavement handling and ride, neither tire showed a discernible difference 34 PROPICKUP April 2013 PP0413_Cooper M&S Review.indd 34 3/8/13 10:59 AM

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