Our often used and usually abused tow rig, a 1999 Chevrolet Silverado, was desperately in need of some new tires. On what little tread was left, our old tires were showing their cords and had more curves and cups than a sumo wrestler feasting at Krispy Kreme. We made a call of desperation to Goodyear and were surprised by their suggestion; the Goodyear Wrangler GS-A. Our requirements were simple; we needed a high mileage tire with good street manners, but still had an aggressive enough pattern for use on dirt roads. Oh yeah, did we mention we needed tires in a D load rating? As suggested, the Wrangler GS-A’s were all this and more. Loaded with features like extra tread on the outside shoulder to improve cornering and increase shoulder life, they also sport deep, wide grooves in the center for improved wet road handling, steering, tracking stability, and extend rear-tire tread life. Finally, the GS-A’s also include heavy, inside tread lugs and a squared-off inner shoulder, which increases traction in the rain and snow, and during acceleration and braking off road. Their suggestions sounded like the perfect combination of tame, quiet, on-road manners and aggresive, durable trail tires that would allow us to take our two wheel drive tow rig onto the trail for camping, hunting, fishing and of course, to fetch our broken Jeep.
Our first test of the Wrangler GS-A was 22 plus hours of driving to and from Moab, UT for the 2002 Easter Jeep Safari. Of course our truck bed was loaded to the gills and our 16 foot trailer was sporting our renowned 1977 Jeep CJ5. Right away we noticed the GS-A’s were quieter and smoother than the previous tires on the truck when new. They showed no tendency to follow or track any irregular road surfaces. As well, the braking traction on uneven paved surfaces was superb.
Our off road testing consisted of several high-speed blasts down one of our favorite, local dirt roads. The GSA’s cornered well in the dirt, had great grip during acceleration, and held on tight during heavy breaking/cornering/gas-ing. Yeah, we pretty much beat the snot out of these tires the first couple of weeks we had them. Being that we reside here in southern Arizona, we’ve yet to test the tires in heavy rain, but from the open tread pattern and the siping on the lugs they should perform just as well.
As of the writing of this article the Wrangler GS-A’s now have over 3 thousand miles on them; a combination of dirt roads, city streets, and highway miles, and show no measurable tread wear. If your truck sees mainly on-road travel, light off road use, and tows heavy loads, the Goodyear Wrangler GS-A should be at the top of your shopping list when you need new tires for your truck.
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