Off-roaders require one thing to be successful when in the dirt, traction. In what seems like a never-ending quest for the ultimate drip we had the chance to test out the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T.
We went with a 37×12.5R17LT Baja Boss A/T to help fill the wheel wells on our 2019 Chevrolet Silverado. The Silverado sees time in the dirt as well as time on the pavement and towing so there is nothing that this tire won’t see on this truck.
BETWEEN THE TREAD
There are usually only two tire markets in the off-road world, all-terrain or mud-terrain tires. In the last few years, that has changed, and there has been a growth in the hybrid tire market, and the Baja Boss A/T falls into that category.
“The ‘all-terrain hybrid’ has a tread-to-void ratio more like a traditional all-terrain but has a lug count more like a mud-terrain,” Ben Anderson, product Development Manager Mickey Thomson tires. “This provides large surface area tread elements for improved handling and stability and wider voids for off-road traction and a more aggressive appearance as compared to a traditional all-terrain. The hybrid also has more tread depth to start with.”
The Baja Boss A/T comes with features that make it one of Mickey Thompson’s top tire choices. It features massive, variable-length, and depth SideBiters, which are 150-percent deeper than those on the Baja ATZP3, that provide off-road traction, protection, and a bold appearance.
The unique asymmetric design and optimized tread element placement provide a smooth and quiet ride. The tread compound and design allow the tire to achieve 3PMS (3 Peak Mountain Snow) certification for severe snow service (on sizes 12.50-inch and narrower) plus a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty.
The PowerPly XD 3-Ply construction provides durability as well as a quicker reaction to steering inputs and stability. PowerPly XD differs from their previous PowerPly models in that the third ply, which is run at a bias angle, uses a heavier denier cord to increase puncture resistance, improve steering response and vehicle stability.
“The asymmetrical tread pattern works by utilizing a large surface area tread elements which are placed on the outside of the tread for handling and stability,” Anderson said. “While the inboard intermediate strip of tread actually has twice as many elements to help reduce and tune the noise the tire produces, it also provides improved all-weather traction, helping the tire to achieve 3 Peak Mountain Snow rating.”
“While 9-inch wide wheels remain a popular choice, 10, 12, and 14-inch wide wheels continue to grow in popularity with a limited number of tire options approved for those rim widths,” Anderson continued. “To address this, we have added specific sizes to the lineup which are approved for these wider wheels as well as accommodate the popular 16, 17, 18, and 20-inch sizes but also the growing popularity of 22 and 24-inch wheels.”
Looking great is one thing, but we wanted to see how the Baja Boss A/T did in the dirt.
LIKE A BOSS
A boss is defined as someone in charge; while Baja is known for its diverse terrain, it can be presumed that the Baja Boss A/T is the boss of all terrains. We set out to test this in as many terrains as we could find in Southern California.
We headed out to Lucerne Valley to test the tire in the Southern California desert. We had used our Silverado to tow our Class 2000 race truck to MORE race and decided to use the truck to prerun the course in the air-conditioning to beat the heat.
The 42-mile course had a mix of rocks, sand, and even some silt. Running a racecourse in anything but a race vehicle is rough enough, but maintaining traction is required by anything that touches the course.
In the rockier sections of the course, the tires held up against the sharp edges but still allowed us to maintain traction in the sandier sections without needing to air down. We did not feel the tires slip or feel like they were not engaged in the dirt.
We noticed in the softer terrain the extra grip provided by the SideBiter sidewall. The side lugs were able to grab the dirt even if the tire started to dig into the soft stuff.
“With 44 size options on the Baja Boss A/T line, our goal was to offer key sizing for today’s leveled and lifted pickups, SUVs, and Jeeps as well as replacement sizes for mid to premium trim level pickups, SUVs, and Jeeps,” Anderson said. ” For many of the sizes, the goal was to get as close to the ‘126’ load number as possible, allowing the tires to be approved for up to 1-Ton applications.”
“In several cases, we offer a metric-LT size like the LT305/70R18 with a higher load, 126, and a nearly identical floatation size like the 35X12.50R18LT) with a lower load, 118” Anderson continued. “We did this intentionally so the 1-Ton and 3/4-Ton applications could have an increased load tire for greater load-carrying capacity while the 1/2-Ton and Jeep applications could have a lower load tire for reduced weight, improved ride, and greater flex off-road.”
“The Baja Boss is Mickey Thompson’s second LT product to have sizing available in load range F,” Anderson said. “Unfortunately, there are many vehicles on the road where consumers are running a tire that is not approved for the rim width they are using, which presents a safety issue.”
On the pavement, the tires did not produce a loud road noise while highway speeds or on surface streets on the way home from the race. This was very welcomed giving the large tread blocks on the Baja Boss A/T.
Overall, the Baja Boss A/T did great in every terrain we tested it in, but it also did great on the pavement. The Baja Boss A/T is definitely a tire for the truck or Jeep weekend warrior or a vehicle that wants a great off-road look.
The Baja Boss A/T’s wide range of sizes to accommodate all types of vehicles makes it appealing regardless of what is done to the vehicle. For more information on the Baja Boss A/T or to find the right tire for your vehicle, be sure to visit Mickey Thompson’s website.