Work and Play, Part 1: Testing Nitto’s Terra Grappler G2 on a New Ford Super Duty
Nitto’s Terra Grappler G2 is everywhere these days. Thanks to this next-generation all-terrain’s above-average performance off-road, quiet ride on the pavement and its tremendous tread life attributes, the G2 is a big hit with the masses. And with fitments available for everything from 17-inch to 24-inch wheels, it’s no wonder the G2 is so popular among truck owners. Included in the 68 different sizes currently on the market, four carry an F load range rating. This makes them ideal for today’s ¾-ton and larger pickups, which have morphed into commercial vehicles disguised as pickups in recent years (don’t laugh, many of them boast GCWR numbers in excess of 40,000 pounds).
This is precisely why we’re putting a set of G2’s to good use on a daily-driven, often-towed-with ’18 Ford F-250 Super Duty. Its various tasks include hauling a skid steer and other equipment to the jobsite, lugging a toy hauler all over the Midwest during the summer months and cutting a path through the snow each winter. To set the truck apart from the rest of the pack, the F-rated 35-inch G2’s will be mounted and balanced to a set of 20x10-inch matte black Krank wheels from Fuel Off-Road. We’ll kick things off this time with the full scoop on our test-set of Terra Grappler G2’s, the 20’s they’re fitted to and the lowdown on the 540rwhp Super Duty that will be turning them.
Next time, we’ll be putting them to work. Hard work. Stay tuned.
|Inflated Diameter:||34.53 inches|
|Inflated Width:||12.52 inches|
|Approved Rim Width:||8.5-11.0 inches|
|Maximum Air Pressure:||80 psi|
|Carrying Capacity:||3,640 lbs|
|Factory Tread Depth:||16.8/32”|
Approved for wheel widths between 8.5-inches to 11-inches, the 35x12.50R20LT Nitto Terra Grappler G2 tires we’ve spec’d out are sized perfectly for the set of 20x10-inch wheels we plan to run. Their overall diameter measures 34.53 inches. Overall width checks in (specifically) at 12.52 inches. Also notice the fact that these G2’s carry a load index rating of 125 (more on that in a bit).
Improved Looks, Performance and Stability
To illustrate how much wider the G2’s are than the 275/70R18 tires the late-model Super Duty came with, look no further. To be sure, the Terra Grappler G2’s outweigh the stockers they’re replacing, but for the improved look, performance and stability they offer it’s worth every penny. To keep the truck’s speedometer reading accurately, it will be re-calibrated electronically via a handheld SCT device.
Ready Lift Leveling Kit
In preparation for the larger tread (and eliminating the F-250’s factory rake in the process), a 2.5-inch leveling kit from Ready Lift Suspension was installed. Ready Lift’s powder coated steel coil spring spacers are shown above, with a track bar relocation bracket and shock extensions also being supplied yet out of view here. Not that we anticipated any rubbage from the larger Terra Grappler G2 tires, but the added front suspension height will certainly ensure it’s never an issue.
As one of the most popular all-terrain tires on the light truck market, the Terra Grappler G2 is known for its well-rounded capabilities and long tread life characteristics. Whether it’s being used off-road, getting you to and from work or allowing your newer diesel to tow at GCWR, the G2 is an everyday tire built for any occasion. Like the Ridge Grappler, the G2 employs variable pitch tread blocks, making them exceptionally quiet at highway speed.
Coupling Joints & Full-Depth Siping
Developed for utmost durability, the Terra Grappler G2 benefits from reinforced coupling joints, which connect the outermost tread blocks to the center tread blocks. This increases tread block rigidity substantially. For optimum wet weather performance, the G2 also employs full-depth siping, which means the appearance of the tread won’t change even as it wears. As a direct result of these design features, Nitto can stand behind a 65,000-mile limited tread wear warranty on hard metric sizes and a 50,000-mile one on LT-metric offerings.
Dual Sidewalls & Staggered Shoulder Lugs
Like all tires in the Grappler line, the G2 carries two sidewall designs. Customers can choose between the traditional thunderbolt pattern that originally debuted on the Terra Grappler (bottom) or Nitto’s new, aggressive blade design on the other. Notice that the sidewall lugs span half way down the sidewall surface. For added bite and traction off the beaten path, the shoulder lugs are staggered as well.
Load Range F
To keep pace with the gargantuan payload and tow ratings today’s diesel pickups come with, it’s wise for tire manufacturers to offer F load range tires with rigid sidewalls. None of this was lost on Nitto and each of its F-rated versions of the G2 are available in some of the most common sizes truck owners order, including the tires in this test. When inflated to their maximum of 80-psi, each 35x12.50R20 carries a load capacity of 3,640 pounds (hence its 125 load index, which is 3,638 pounds).
Tread depth is something we’ll be checking regularly, but that we expect to drop gradually (see how well a second test set is wearing here). Brand-new, the tread depth on our 35x12.50R20 G2’s checks in at just a smidge under 17/32” and Nitto lists them at exactly 16.8/32”.
8x170mm Fuel Kranks
These should spice things up a bit. They’re 20x10-inch, D517 model Krank wheels from Fuel Off-Road. Their matte black finish will add the tuxedo-like, black-on-black look we’re after, but the milled edges will help highlight the truck’s various chrome accents (badging, door handles, sideview mirror tops, etc.). This version of Fuel’s D517 makes use of a -12mm offset, 5.0-inch backspacing and is rated for 3,700 pounds.
Mounted and Balanced
Once the G2’s were mounted and balanced, we double-checked air pressure before setting out. For now, we’re running Ford’s factory recommended air pressure, which is 60-psi up front and 65-psi in the rear. Notice that we opted to face the thunderbolt sidewall design outward. Thus far, initial test drives have returned quiet, smooth and sure-footed experiences. Granted, the tires are new and nearly two inches wider than the factory skinnies, but we’ll keep you posted as the G2’s wear in a bit.
More On The Test Mule
For a little more background on the test mule, our ’18 F-250 is a crew cab, four-wheel drive model in XLT trim and has just 18,750 miles on the odometer. The tuned 6.7L Power Stroke V8 under the hood allows the truck to send roughly 540 hp and 1,100 lb-ft of torque to the pavement (vs. 385rwhp and 800 lb-ft stock). It runs well but has never felt 100-percent stable with a big trailer and the factory 275/70R18’s in the mix. We’re hoping the F load range (and wider) G2’s change that. When we check in again, our Super Duty will have spent considerable time hooked to a 35-foot camper and a flatbed trailer with construction equipment tethered to it.
Curious why Nitto’s Grappler line and the NT420S is so popular in the diesel pickup segment? Find out right here.