Off with the old. It was time...
Off with the old. It was time to get rid of the factory Bridgestone Duravis tires.
I was looking at the factory Bridgestones on our 2500HD the other day and realized I was going to have to do something about the old skins before the first snow. You see, in addition to pulling a trailer, this truck pushes snow, and we need all the traction we can get. Who knows when snow will be back, as the weather here in the Mid-Atlantic is unpredictable at best.
It would have been a simple matter to drive over to the nearest tire shop and have the worn-out tires replaced with the same ones or put on whatever was on sale, but what fun would that be? So I hit the bricks (virtual that is) and scoured the Internet and magazines in search of tires. I had certain demands, and it would be hard to meet them all. First and foremost, it had to be an E-rated 10-ply tire. We tow, and we tow heavy. Second, we wanted to go up a size. Our 2500HD came from GM shod in LT265/70/17s Bridgestone Duravis rubber. That’s not a wimpy tire by any means, but they just didn’t fill up the wheelwells to our satisfaction. They served us well, but with only about 27,000 miles on the ticker, we felt they should have gone further. Our next tire would be a 285.
The crew at Hanagan’s got...
The crew at Hanagan’s got the factory tire and wheel combination unbolted quickly.
I posted inquiries on www.DieselPlace.com
and a few other sites and found that opinions were all over the board. Since we rarely go off-road, we did not want an aggressive (which usually includes loud) tread. Lots of folks liked the Nitto Terra Grappler, and we were leaning toward it but thought we could get more wear out of the tire. Then we came across its kin, the Nitto Dura Grappler. It seemed perfect for us and came in the size and load rating we wanted.
This tire is designed as a highway tire, which is where we spend the lion’s share of our time, but it is still tough and aggressive looking enough so we wouldn’t feel embarrassed pulling into the parking lot with the guys. We priced them here, there, and everywhere—locally and online—and the best price we found was on eBay. Since we like to spend our hard-earned dollars locally whenever possible, we took that price to our local guy who not only matched the price, but threw in mounting and balancing as well! Our project could have, and probably should have, stopped there. But I was eyeing those factory wheels a little doubtfully and was hoping for something with a bit more sparkle. So back to the forums I went in search of a set of eight-lug wheels to score. I could have grabbed a set from any of the dozens of online shops, but I still like the factory style. What a conundrum! Lots of folks like factory Hummer H2s on their 2500 and 3500 GM trucks. What’s not to like? They bolt right up, and in many cases, they use the same factory caps. Better yet, they can oftentimes be found relatively inexpensive. While trolling the pages of DieselPlace.com, I came across some folks discussing a set of Hummer wheels I had not seen before. Seems there was a supplier of H2 upgrade wheels having a closeout of rims since GM was no longer making the Hummer. These wheels are known as Boulder H2s. They were offering brand-new wheels at a fraction of the original cost of around $520 each. I hit the site quick before they sold out and was lucky enough to score five of them (delivered) for $405! What a smoking deal!