Surrounded by large boulders of red sandstone that have been weathered by the elements over time, the generally dry Moab, Utah was rocked by torrential rains as Hercules Tires dealers drove three of its all-terrain tires. on slippery sandstone, through mud pits. and through rocky terrain in the company’s most recent product review.

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For a week and a half, Hercules Tires hosted a total of 50 dealers across three groups to test their Terra Trac AT X-Venture, Terra Trac M / T and Terra Trac T / G Max tires on two trails with Twisted Jeeps tour operators . To give the tires more traction in slippery sandstone and wet dirt, the tires have been ventilated appropriately for increased traction given the different terrains, said Jeff Mahoney, Hercules brand manager for the Midwest region. The first trail, Hell’s Revenge, is a slippery rocky trail that features steep climbs and descents that seem very difficult, but are fairly safe given the excellent traction on the sandstone, even on a rainy day, according to the Twisted Jeeps website. The second trail, Poison Spider Mesa, is a more technical trail with steep climbs, big boulders, and a few sharp turns.

Jeeps from local tour operator Twisted Jeeps descend slippery rock on the Hell’s Revenge Trail in Moab, Utah. The Hercules Tires Terra Trac AT X-Venture, Terra Trac M / T and Terra Trac T / G Max were put to the test on the trail.

A victory for Hercules in Hell’s Revenge

After driving from the Twisted Jeeps batch for about 10 minutes to the Hell’s Revenge Trail with Camilla Jesko of Hercules, Exclusive Brands Marketing Manager, as a passenger we hiked the steep dirt road to our first rocky obstacle slipping over Hell’s Revenge . As I sat behind the wheel of the Jeep and watched a few others take the first hurdle, it looked like the Jeep was going to slide backwards. With a little maneuvering and the guidance of the Twisted Jeeps driving instructors, the tires gripped the slippery slope and reached the top.

The rest of the course, which was 16 miles in total – 12 off the highway – included obstacles such as the “hot tub,” which was a direct shot into a pool of water, and the Dragon’s Tail, a steep rocky incline. and winding. The traction on all three tires was enough for the Jeeps to glide on slopes and in sand.

That’s the kind of performance Steven Liu, senior director of exclusive brands at Hercules, described during a product preview the day before the dealership launches.

Liu said the Terra Trac AT II, ​​one of the best performing Hercules tires over the past nine years, was a staple for tire dealers, selling over 500,000 units per year at most. strong. The next generation of the Terra Trac AT was released in July in two separate models: the Terra Trac AT X-Journey for CUVs and the Terra Trac AT X-Venture for SUVs and pickup trucks, according to our July story. The models were launched so that Hercules could cover a larger part of the off-road market and attract a larger clientele. The company said the two tires cover more than 80% of the all-terrain tire market.

Steven Liu, senior director of exclusive brands at Hercules Tires, spoke during a product presentation the day before the dealerships launch.

So, why replace a top-selling tire? There are two reasons.

First, since the launch of AT II, ​​”the technology in terms of composition has changed dramatically, as well as the aspect of manufacturing technology, so it is about time,” said Liu.

Second, the dealers were asking for different sizes and layouts. Since the tire model was at the end of its life cycle, it did not make sense to introduce new sizes for this model, but it did make sense to do so for the new generation of the tire, a he declared. Both tires are made in the United States and Hercules stated in the same Tire review July story that the company will offer 57 SKUs between the two models in rim diameters of 15 to 20 inches. Liu added that it also made sense to unveil these new models given the boom in the crossover vehicle market.

Finally, the two new tires were created due to a change in the competitive landscape along with consumer behaviors and an appetite for customization given the style and performance of today’s vehicle, said Liu. The Terra Trac AT X-Venture, one of the tires used during the trip, has a design and tread wear to give SUVs and pickups the power to handle off-road action and winter conditions. rigorous, among other elements. The X-Journey has improved wet traction and tread life, as well as tri-peak mountain snowflake (3PMS) certification.

Hercules Power Through Poison Spider Mesa Products

Poison Spider Mesa is a bit more technical trail, given the height of the trail in some spots, tight turns, and large boulders making for a bumpy ride. It also has its slippery rocky spikes, which were soaked there, with water easily flowing along the rock in some places.

On this trail, as I rode with Hercules’ Mahoney and Inside Sales Representative Suzette Wohlgamuth as passengers, there was a steep slippery rock portion that was difficult to overcome even with expert guidance from Twisted Jeeps. It was so difficult that I had to back the Jeep as it was almost vertical with the front bumper pointed skyward. But, the Terra Trac AT X-Venture tires held up. I turned the wheel left, right and straight ahead, where our guides were pointing. As I accelerated and could only see the sky, the vehicle started to stabilize and I could then see the ground. We have succeeded.

The other tires that went through Poison Spider Mesa also lived up to the technical track test. One of them was the Terra Trac M / T, a mud tire designed for on-road and off-road performance. According to Hercules, the muddy all-season tire has an aggressive open-shoulder design and wide tread elements, which promote self-cleaning and increase grip. Additionally, the high void / rubber ratio tread pattern to the outside of the tire provides extreme off-road traction, Hercules said.

Hercules Tires executives and tire dealers take to the Poison Spider Mesa trails to test three off-road tires on the more technical trail of tight corners, big boulders and slippery slopes.

Liu said the tire has very aggressive sidewall elements and features a central zigzag groove in the middle that increases traction in mud and provides a superior feeling of centering.

Finally, the Terra Trac T / G Max, which was put to the test on Poison Spider Mesa, is a premium light truck tire that is “specially designed for commercial traction,” Liu said. It was created after dealers gave feedback on the need for a tire to get the job done on different types of terrain and jobs, so it is designed to withstand “the most demanding jobsite environments while offering year-round capacity, ”he said.

“The most important thing here is the cut and shatter resistant compound,” Liu said. “You are between 15 and 20 inches. [sizes]. We added a bunch of sizes last year due to overwhelming demand. There are 26 SKUs in total now, he said. Liu said another big selling point for this tire is the 18.5 / 32nd tread depth.

The Terra Trac M / T and the Terra Trac T / G Max both launched in 2016 and “are due to be replaced very soon here,” Liu said. The company plans to launch an additional version of the Terra Trac M / T in the third quarter of 2022. Although both tires typically have a seven-year life cycle, there are currently no plans to replace either. other models.

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