General Grabber AT3 and Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac both fall under the category of All-Terrain (A/T) tires that run smooth on-road and provide decent traction during off-roading as well. Considering the tread design of AT3, it’s more focused at on-road traction due to its narrow grooves while the open tread design of DuraTrac allows better off-roading capabilities.
DuraTrac is a more versatile tire with a strong built and Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) rating. Read this article to understand how these tires perform on different terrains.
Comparing Goodyear DuraTrac with General Grabber AT3
AT3 features a symmetrical tread design with closely placed tread blocks which increases the contact area of tread with the road. This provides a better grip with the road, thus increasing its on-road traction. The closely packed tread blocks allow narrow grooves between its tread which hinders the tire’s wet traction capabilities. The tire does have multiple straight and curved sipes engraved on its tread blocks, and they are sufficient to drastically improve its wet traction. The tread blocks of the tire have cuts around their corners which somewhat increases its off-road grip but still lacks to its competitor because its narrow grooves are ineffective for throwing back mud, soft snow, and gravel.
Its shoulders are not optimized enough to allow easy passage of mud, further reducing its mud traction capabilities. The tire, however, has an edge over its counterpart on icy roads due to the higher contact patch and numerous sipes which provide good grip hence allowing the tire to move forward boldly. The tire does offer good protection on rocks with its large sidewall lugs and ribs present under these lugs for extra protection. There is a rib installed on the edge for the rim, its basic function is to provide extra protection to the wheel bead area. It is built using a robust material and provides high-strength steel belts for reliability. This tire is focused on performing better in the noise department on-road but lacks in providing comfortable off-road rides.
DuraTrac on other hand features a more aggressive symmetrical tread design which offers a higher void ratio comparatively, decreasing its contact patch. The lower contact area doesn’t ensure decent grip with the road, hence negatively affecting its on-road performance. It provides wider grooves and zig-zag sipes which bolsters the tire’s wet traction capabilities, making it highly desired for such conditions. Mud, soft snow, and gravel can also be easily evacuated through its wide grooves and its highly angled center tread blocks enhance grip, making it desirable during off-roading. It has optimally designed large shoulders which allow the mud to pass through them easily, this further boosts the tire performance on mud. This tire is made up of a rugged tread compound which makes it resistant against cutting, chipping, and tearing, etc. It is loud on-road but smoothens the off-road journey by dampening the impacts of jerks.
On-Road Traction Comparison
AT3 has a closely packed tread design that focuses on providing better grip by increasing the contact area of the tire. This causes the braking distance to be lowered and improves the overall dry traction on-road. Wet traction of the tire is comparatively lower due to its narrow grooves and straighter sipes which don’t allow the water to effectively pass through, posing the risk of hydroplaning in extreme rainy season.
DuraTrac has a tread design with a higher void ratio which decreases the contact area of the tire. This results in the lower grip on-road, increasing the tire’s braking distances, hence decreases its overall dry traction. On wet roads, the tire performs much better since the wider grooves and zig-zag sipes are efficient in wiping away the water and avoiding hydroplaning.
Off-Road Traction Comparison
Mud traction is characterized by the tire’s grooves width and shoulders design. AT3 has narrow grooves which can’t effectively throw the mud backwards. Its shoulders are also not broad enough to facilitate the removal of mud. Therefore, it is not preferred to use this tire in muddy terrain.
The higher void ratio of DuraTrac allows it to dominate in the mud since the wider grooves are effective at mud evacuation. They can efficiently throw the mud backward, keeping the grip of the tire steady. The large shoulders further boost its mud traction by allowing the mud to pass through its stud grooves easily. This tire is even effective in deep mud and outperforms its competitor.
AT3 struggles on soft snow as its narrow grooves are not efficient in throwing soft snow backward efficiently and may get stuffed, losing its traction. On the ice, however, the tire performs much better due to its higher contact patch and numerous sipes, providing the tire with the necessary grip that is required to navigate smoothly.
DuraTrac has a higher void ratio, which is extremely helpful in soft snow, as the wider grooves are much more efficient in evacuating soft snow due to their ability to effectively grab and bite it. This allows good traction of soft snow and earns the tire its Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) rating. But the tire is not that good on the ice, as it lacks a decent contact patch, reducing its grip and causing the tire to slip.
AT3 is comparably better suited to survive the harsh condition of rocky terrain as it features bolder stone ejectors which prevent the stones and pebbles from getting inside the grooves and drilling through them. The built of the tire is lower compared to its counterpart but is strong enough to survive the trail damages like cuts and chips, allowing the tire to outclass its competitor on rocky terrain.
DuraTrac has no stone ejectors which puts the tire at a major disadvantage on rocks even with the stronger built and wider grooves. The absence of stone ejectors could allow the stone and pebbles to get stuck inside its grooves and drill through them. It is not preferred to use this tire on rocky surfaces.
Durability and Treadwear Differences
AT3 has higher contact patch making it difficult to roll the tire, this causes its rolling resistance to be higher. Higher rolling resistance leads to the higher treadwear of the tire. It’s built using a robust material and provides high-strength steel belts for reliability. The strong built (lowered compared to DuraTrac) enhances the tire’s treadwear resistance but still doesn’t make up for the treadwear caused by higher rolling resistance. This decreases the durability and allows mileage up to 40,000 miles which are lowered compared to DuraTrac.
DuraTrac has a lower contact patch which means lesser force will be needed to keep the tire moving. This positively affects its rolling resistance by decreasing it, thus, causes lower treadwear to the tire. The tire is made up of a rugged tread compound which makes it resistant against cutting, chipping, and tearing, etc. which in turn improves the treadwear resistance of the tire, further decreasing its treadwear. This bolsters the overall durability and ensures higher mileage up to 50,000 miles.
Which Tire is more Comfortable?
AT3 is better equipped to handle noise problems due to its lower void ratio allowing a lesser amount of air particles to get trapped inside its narrow grooves, producing negligible sound. This improves the on-road comfort of this tire. Its off-road comfort is not respectable since its narrow grooves are not effective in dampening the amplitude of jerks during traveling over an uneven path.
DuraTrac has lower on-road comfort due to loud noise produced by the large number of air particles trapped inside its wider grooves, producing loud noises as they strike the walls of grooves. However, the tire does offer better off-road comfort by allowing the wide grooves to absorb the jerks while traveling rough terrain.
AT3 is a higher-priced tire compared to DuraTrac. It is justified by the tire’s good on-road performance and better comfort along with remarkable rock and ice traction. DuraTrac on other hand dominates on mud, also providing better soft snow traction along with stronger built and higher mileage. The lower-priced DuraTrac is made for off-road enthusiastic while AT3 was built for highway drivers.
- Both are All-terrain (A/T) tires.
- AT3 performs better on-road under dry conditions due to higher contact patch.
- Open shoulders design and higher void ratio make DuraTrac severe mud-rated tire.
- DuraTrac also grips better on soft snow, providing enhanced traction.
- AT3 got the edge over its counterpart on the icy road due to higher contact patch and numerous sipes.
- Better built strength and lower treadwear make DuraTrac superior in durability and mileage.
- AT3 produces less noise due to the lower void ratio, making it a more comfortable choice on-road.
- The jerk absorption capability of DuraTrac is superior, allowing it to move smoothly on rough terrain.