Bridgestone Corp. has been making rubber-based products such as tires,V-belts, golf balls, rubber hoses and much more since 1931. With the acquisition of the Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. in 1988, Bridgestone became the largest tire and rubber manufacturer in the world and created its largest subsidiary, Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.
With and advertising campaign that boasts “ferocious off-road traction and durability for serious off-road performance” we just had to find out more about them. We contacted Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. in Nashville, Tenn., to find out more about their tires. After hearing details about their Uni-T technology such as delivering outstanding comfort and control behind the wheel, giving drivers precise handling, outstanding wear, increased fuel efficiency, reduced noise, and a smooth, quiet ride, we just had to try a set and see how they worked. We received our Dueler M/T’s and immediately installed them on a 1974 Toyota Land Cruiser. Now after driving on BFGoodrich Mud Terrains for several years and seeing what they were capable of, I was somewhat skeptical. The first thing I noticed on these tires were the open channel that rides down the center of the tire and the tread pattern that continued halfway down the sidewall. The next thing I noticed about these aggressive tires is how soft the tread is. This should make for some serious traction in the rocks I thought to myself. As soon as I climbed into my rig and started driving, I also noticed the lack of road noise as compared to TSL Super Swampers and BFGoodrich Mud Terrains. Further, these tires followed road ruts much less than the other two. We continued street driving for the next month and a half to measure the tread wear and it was minimal which should result in a long lasting tire.
The next vehicle we installed these tires on was an older Toyota pickup truck which recently took these meats wheelin’ at Chiva Falls in Tucson, AZ. Chiva Falls offers some pretty tough rock crawlin, dirt trails and usually a little mud too. We were extremely impressed with how well these tires stuck to the rocks like glue, especially when we only aired the tires down to 20 p.s.i. The sidewalls bulged nicely and the tread wrapped well around the rocks providing us with a sure-footed, stable and super grippy run. I would have to say that these tires gripped the rocks as well as TSL Super Swampers and BFGoodrich Mud Terrains on the rocks. They don’t, however, offer the super open tread blocks like that of the Super Swamper which tends to grab rocks a little better when only part of a tire has traction.
The next run was through a little mud and water to see how well they “self-cleaned.” We were impressed with how quickly they shed themselves of the goo. While they don’t sling hash like the Super Swampers, they do provide good traction in our limited Arizona mud. Better so, than BFGoodrich Mud Terrains. While the tires were still muddy and wet, we attacked some more rocks to see if they would still grip well. All I can say is… “Boy are these tires sticky!” They performed just as well on the rocks wet as they did dry.
The last terrain attacked was the dirt trails. On the trail they performed the same as a BFGoodrich Mud Terrain offering good lateral stability and bite.
With a 2-ply sidewall we are a little concerned about the carcass strength and puncture resistance, but time will tell with this. We will be writing an update for these tires in a few months to tell you more about their long term wear and durability.
[EDIT: These tires were run for another 2 years on various vehicles, in various terrains. The Bridgestone Dueler M/T’s performed admirably, all the way down to the wear blocks. The tires lasted with considerably longer than most other tires in the same class.]
We’re not sure if it’s the Uni-T technology, the rubber compound or the alignment of the planets, but these tires are superb! Bridgestone/Firestone has done a wonderful job making a great multi-purpose tire that is street friendly. A definite buy for the daily driver that loves rock crawling, a little mudding and trail riding.
|NOTE: All ratings on a scale of 1 to 4 with flat tires equal to a half.|
|Ease of Install||N/A||N/A|
|Ease of Use||N/A||N/A|
|Performance||On and off-road, these tires performed superbly. Well above what we expected|
|Durability||A little too early to tell yet, but so far they are wearing well. Look back in a few months for an extended wear and durability test.|
|Appearance||I like ’em! They offer a unique and aggressive look that should compliment any rig well.|
|Driveability||Just shy of ignoring all but the worst road ruts, these tires track well on the street. Additionally, they provide the owner with a really good off-road tire too.|
|Comfort||With less road noise and better tracking then their competitors, they provided us with a quite and comfortable street ride.|
|Price in comparison to related products||Dependent upon where you buy your tires of course, these tires are comparable to the price of BFGoodrich Mud Terrains and cheaper than TSL Super Swampers.|
|Was it worth it???||Yes, see editors notes.|
|Editors Notes||If you are looking for a great all around and all weather tire that sticks well to rocks, offers good mud shedding and superior trail ride, then the Bridgestone/Firestone Dueler M/T’s are for you…RW|