Track-And-Field Tested: Nitto Terra Grappler G2 40,000-Mile Tire Review
For anyone that racks up miles on a vehicle, they tend to keep track of the tires that outlast the others they’ve tried. They also don’t forget the sets that are quiet, comfortable and live up to the hype. This is why Ken Phillips exclusively runs Nitto’s Terra Grappler G2 on his ’06 Dodge Ram. He’s had such good luck with them—including several sets on multiple vehicles—that he won’t even consider purchasing another tire. “It would be very hard to buy another tire because I know exactly what the G2 can do,” he told us. “It offers the right mix of on-road comfort and off-road capability for my needs.”
On top of providing ample traction when traversing the fields around the farm or cutting through 10 inches of snow, Ken also relies on his G2’s for consistent 4-Hi launches at the drag strip. And thanks to their E load range and 3,195-lb load carrying capacity, the multifaceted all-terrains have no problem handling the burden of a fully-loaded, tandem-axle gooseneck trailer. Not surprisingly, the Terra Grappler G2’s were chosen for all of the above duties—and according to Ken they handle all of them exceptionally well.
Dependable Launches, Repeatable ET’s
Many wouldn’t picture the Terra Grappler G2 in a drag racing environment, but that’s exactly where you’ll find the set under Ken’s third-gen Cummins. In his 500 to 600hp application (his horsepower level is adjustable on-the-fly), the G2’s are never overpowered by the truck’s 1,200 lb-ft of torque, which makes for dependable launches and repeatable elapsed times. Perhaps the biggest upside of running the G2’s is the fact that Ken never has to swap tires at the track. The same tread he uses to tow 15,000 pounds with is employed when he chases his ET Bracket class championships.
Sound Maintenance, Maximum Longevity
As we alluded to above, Ken is sold on the Terra Grappler G2 for a host of reasons, but tread wear (or a lack of it) tops the list. “I’m at six sets total so far, and that’s spread out between several trucks,” he tells us. “Wear is never an issue.” Tread wear is certainly less of an issue with a sound maintenance regimen, and Ken is religious on his 6,000-mile tire rotations (whether he’s towing or not), along with checking air pressure at least once a month. For towing duties, the G2s see 70-psi. For a bit of added ride comfort when cruising empty, he drops them to 55 psi.
Preferring his tires be no wider than 12 inches, the LT285/75R17 size Terra Grappler G2’s (which measure 11.26-inches) fit the bill just fine. “Everything I have is set up to work any day of the week, or dig through the snow if needed,” Ken said. He also told us the 33-inch plus diameter of the LT285/75R17’s brought a little rpm reduction into play on the highway, which certainly didn’t hurt the Cummins’ fuel economy.
48K And Counting
As proof that Ken’s ’06 Ram is anything but a garage queen, we present to you the truck’s odometer. His current set of Terra Grappler G2s were produced in the 45th week of 2016 and were installed back in early 2017 with 125,000 miles on the Ram’s ticker. Over the past four and a half years, the G2s have provided him more than 48,000 miles worth of trouble-free service (there are 173,000 miles and change on the truck now).
Winning On Nittos
So how lights-out is Ken and his G2-equipped Ram on race day? We’ll just say it’s not uncommon for him to be standing next to his truck holding a trophy after the final round of ET Bracket. After winning the ODSS ET Bracket championship in 2018, Ken made a strong push for the ring in 2021, ultimately finishing runner-up in points. As far as race-prep is concerned with the G2s, they see a slight pressure drop but nothing drastic. “I drop a little pressure for racing, but I’m nowhere near under-inflated or anything,” Ken said. “I don’t need that much footprint, my power level isn’t anything excessive and I launch in four-wheel drive.” Of course, Ken makes his diesel drag racing hobby a family affair whenever he can. Above, Ken (third from the left) celebrates a big win at the 25th Scheid Diesel Extravaganza with the fam.
All-Terrain Tires, All-Purpose Truck
It’s not asked to perform all the towing tasks around the farm, but each autumn you can find Ken’s silver bullet Ram somewhere near the cornfields. Year-round, the truck is always on call in case he needs to drag a gooseneck, take the family on a road trip or safely navigate him through harsh weather conditions. The all-terrain Terra Grappler G2s have proven a perfect match for Ken’s all-purpose truck.
On a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being the best score possible, this is how Ken rates the Terra Grappler G2:
Road Noise: 9
Tread Wear: 10
Ride Comfort: 9
Wet Weather Performance: 8
Our final question posed to Ken looked like this: Would you buy them again? “Yes. 100-percent, I will be buying them again. The G2 performs exactly as advertised. If you want a tire that can do ‘all of the above,’ the G2 does it.”
More From Driving Line
- Didn’t know the Terra Grappler G2 was available in an F load range? We put a set to the test on a late-model Super Duty right here.